Architectural Construction Documentation, also called a ‘CD set’ or ‘Working Drawings’ is the set of drawings issued by an architect, by which a building or interior is constructed. It contains accurate information about material, thickness, size, placement, fixing and services.

Architectural Construction Documentation is a legally admissible document in many countries, and the firm issuing the set is liable for any damages or losses caused by errors in the CD set.

This article looks at the inputs that go into the creation of Architectural Construction Documentation

Final approvals

The stage preceding Architectural Construction Documentation is Design Development. From this stage, approvals from the following need to be incorporated:

  • Client: Stakeholders, users, technical departments
  • Statutory bodies: Town Council, Municipal, Urban Development, ADA, Environment, Airport regulatory, etc.
  • Community:  Permission to work, unload material, allow workmen etc. Normally this would come through a Citizens’ Group, or, in case of an interior, the Premises Management

Site data

The site is studied before the design stage. However, more data needs to get incorporated at this stage of Architectural Construction Documentation for various reasons like:

  • Engineering: Certain new elements in the design might require fresh site data, e.g. a new structural design  might need deeper foundations or a new material in the interiors might need specific fixing details
  • Design: The design having firmed up, may need site data not required before, like specific climatic data, or magnetic fields, etc.

Building Engineering Services

Building Engineering Services are the most critical contributor to giving a final shape to Architectural Construction Documentation. After Client Approvals and vendor finalization, the Engineers can give exact and accurate requirements of engineering components of the building in terms of:

  • Size
  • Clearances
  • Fixing
  • Relationship with other elements on issues like magnetic field, safety, supply, etc.

Shop Drawings

Vendors are selected based on a holistic assessment of (a) technical compatibility (b) commercial viability. In other words, the vendor whose product or service meets the design requirements is then selected based on his ability to meet the time and price targets of the project. Once on board, the vendor must submit detailed technical drawings showing (a) Retro fitment of their product on site (b) details of their product and its interrelationship with other elements of the site. These drawings are popularly termed ‘Shop Drawings’ and perhaps are the keystone that complete the Architectural Construction Documentation set.