Understanding As-Built Drawings: Definition, Importance, and Creation Process

  • Billy Cobb
  • Oct 15, 2023
Understanding As-Built Drawings: Definition, Importance, and Creation Process

What are As Built Drawings?

As built drawings are the completed and finalized construction documents that accurately represent the final design of a building or infrastructure project. These drawings reflect all the changes, modifications, and upgrades that happened during the construction process, ensuring that the final product is in accordance with the required standards and codes. They are considered as essential records for the future maintenance, modification, or renovation of a construction project, and are required to be submitted to the owner or operator upon completion of the project.

As built drawings are typically produced by architects, engineers, or contractors who are involved in the construction of the project. They use as built drawings to record the actual dimensions, layout, materials, and locations of various components of the project, including walls, foundations, electrical, plumbing, mechanical systems, and others.

Why Are As Built Drawings Important?

As built drawings are crucial to ensuring that the final construction product matches the desired specifications and requirements. These documents often reveal unforeseen changes in the original plans, amendments caused by any discovery during the construction process. Inaccurate or incomplete as built drawings can lead to future errors and complications causing a delay in building maintenance, redesigns, or renovation activities.

Furthermore, as built drawings also serve as a record of the building or infrastructure project, providing vital documentation that can be used for future reference. These documents help facilities managers, engineers, architects, and contractors to analyze past construction activities and identify areas of potential improvement for future projects.

What Information Do As Built Drawings Typically Contain?

As built drawings must be comprehensive and detailed and contain all the necessary information for future use. The scope and level of information contained in as built drawings often varies by project, building types, and design specifications. Typically, this kind of drawing will include:

  • – Original design specifications and the difference between them and the actual construction (changes, additions, deviations).
  • – Structural systems, including foundations, walls, beams, and columns.
  • – Electrical systems, such as power layouts, distribution boards, and control panels.
  • – Plumbing systems, including piping diagrams, valves, and fixtures.
  • – HVAC systems, such as heating, cooling, and ventilation.
  • – Fire protection systems, including fire alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers.
  • – Finishing details, such as flooring, painting, and ceilings.
  • – Site details, such as landscaping, pavement, curbs, and fencing.

In Conclusion

As built drawings represent the final construction drawings that capture all the adjustments and modifications made during the construction process. These drawings are essential for future maintenance, renovation, and modification and serve as a record of the project. Inaccurate or incomplete as built drawings can create unnecessary challenges for the future maintenance and related activities, leading to increased expenses and delays. Therefore, it is incredibly important to ensure that as built drawings are comprehensive, detailed, and accurately reflect what has been built.

The Importance of As Built Drawings

As built drawings, also referred to as record drawings, are essential documents in the construction industry. These drawings reflect the final construction of a building or structure, including any changes and modifications that were made during the construction period. They provide valuable information to architects, engineers, contractors, and property owners, allowing them to update and keep track of the changes made to the original plans.

The significance of as built drawings lies in the fact that they provide an accurate record of the final construction. They depict all the changes, additions, and modifications that were made, which is essential information to have in case of any future renovations or repairs. As built drawings allow contractors and property owners to easily identify the location of various pipes, wires, and other critical components, which is vital information when carrying out future projects.

Why Do You Need As Built Drawings?

As built drawings are not only beneficial for future renovations and repairs; they are also crucial during the construction process. They provide a reliable reference point to ensure that the work is progressing according to the original plans and specifications. Contractors can compare the original plans with the actual construction progress, making it easier to identify and rectify any discrepancies or errors that may arise.

As built drawings also play a vital role in the inspection process. They provide inspectors with a clear understanding of the building or structure’s components, allowing them to inspect all the critical elements thoroughly. This is particularly important for the various systems in the building, such as plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems, which need to be inspected and tested to ensure they are working correctly.

Advantages of Using As Built Drawings

As built drawings offer many benefits beyond the construction and inspection phases, including:

  • Cost savings during future renovations and expansions – As built drawings provide valuable information about the location of various components, making it easier and less expensive to make changes in the future.
  • Assistance with property management – As built drawings are a critical document that property managers can use to understand the building or structures’ components, making it easier to identify and rectify any issues that may arise.
  • Improved communication – As built drawings provide a clear and concise reference point for all stakeholders in a construction project, reducing the risk of miscommunication and errors.


In conclusion, as built drawings are essential documents that provide accurate and reliable documentation of the final construction of a building or structure. They are critical to future renovations, maintenance, and repair projects and play a vital role in the construction and inspection phases. As built drawings offer a wide range of benefits, including cost savings, improved communication, and assistance with property management. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that all stakeholders involved in a construction project are aware of the importance of as built drawings and that they are documented accurately.

Who Typically Uses As Built Drawings?

As built drawings are an extremely important component of any construction project, regardless of the scale or complexity of the project. They are used by a variety of professionals involved in the construction process to ensure that the final product meets all of the specifications and requirements. Here are some of the professionals who typically use as built drawings:


Architects are responsible for designing buildings, and their plans and drawings become the roadmap for the construction process. As built drawings are essential for architects because they help them ensure that the final construction adheres to the original plans and specifications. Architects use as built drawings to identify any possible deviations from the original plan and rectify them accordingly.


Engineers are responsible for creating and executing a variety of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing plans that are part of a building project. As built drawings are essential for engineers because they allow them to check if all the systems in the building are functioning correctly and are installed in the correct locations, as per the original plan. In essence, as built drawings are used by engineers to ensure that a building’s infrastructure is safe, secure, and operational.


Contractors are responsible for executing the construction plans drawn up by architects and engineers. As built drawings are essential for contractors because they help them check if the building has been constructed in the way it should have been. As built drawings are used to identify any plan deviations, the positioning of systems like electrical appliances, and plumbing and HVAC systems, among other things. Contractors use as built drawings to monitor the construction process and ensure that all the elements are installed in the correct location and functioning properly.


Owners invest a lot of money in constructing buildings, and they want their investment to be safe, secure, and sound. As built drawings are used by owners to confirm that their buildings have been constructed as per their requirements and specifications. Additionally, as built drawings can be used to help them plan future construction projects and renovations by providing a detailed layout of the building’s infrastructure.


As built drawings are essential for any construction project, as they ensure that the building is constructed as per the original plan and meets the required specifications. They are used by a variety of professionals involved in the construction process, including architects, engineers, contractors, and building owners. As built drawings are critical components that allow professionals to monitor the construction process and identify possible deviations from the original plan. Ultimately, as built drawings help ensure that the final construction is safe, secure, and sound, and meets the requirements of all stakeholders involved in the project.

How As Built Drawings are Created

As built drawings are an essential part of the construction industry, which assist the project team with verifying that the final construction of a project adheres to the original specifications. The process of creating as built drawings starts with the review of the original design and construction drawings that were produced before the construction project began.

The as built drawing process aims to capture all changes that have been made during the construction phase. Regular site visits are made to inspect progress, identify changes and record details with status updates on construction progress. This process is accomplished through detailed site notes, and annotations performed on the original design drawings or a digital 3D model of the design in the case of a BIM project.

The as built drawing, produced following completion of a construction project, captures changes and ensures that any modifications made are correctly and accurately updated in the documentation during the construction phase. The initial design plan may indeed include any future modifications made at a later stage of construction.

To produce comprehensive as built drawings, the project team might also collect photos, test reports, surveys, and other relevant documents, such as product data from suppliers, drawings from sub-contractors, inspection records, and certification documents. The as built drawing should always be considered a live document, constantly progressing. Without the creation of as built drawings, any subsequent changes will be hard to document and might result in a situation that is difficult to manage for the project team, which highlights the importance of this process.

The purpose of as built drawings is to serve as the final set of drawings, which accurately represents the current state of the construction project. These drawings may be used extensively by construction professionals for maintenance, repairs, future modifications, and even during future next construction phases.

Overall, as built drawings are vital for assessing the accuracy of the construction design based on the final constructed result. The process of creating as built drawings is not merely a matter of copying existing drawings, but also one of ensuring that the construction project is completed accurately according to the original intention and to the benefit of all parties involved. Construction industry professionals need to have the necessary skills, knowledge and tools to generate accurate as built drawings throughout the construction process.

The Benefits of Using As Built Drawings

As built drawings refer to the final set of drawings which reflect any changes, modifications or alterations carried out during the construction process. Using accurate and up-to-date as built drawings can bring several benefits to any construction project. Let’s explore some of the most essential advantages:

1. Reducing Errors

As built drawings accurately represent the construction work carried out on a project and therefore helps to identify any errors or discrepancies from the original plan. By using as built drawings, project managers can ensure that everything constructed on site is in line with the final design, thereby reducing the need for any expensive project revisions. This ensures timely completion of projects and helps to save both time and money in the long run.

2. Minimizing Rework

As built drawings play a crucial role in ensuring that the construction project is completed in a synchronized and efficient manner. With accurate and up-to-date as built drawings, construction workers have a clear understanding of the exact specifications of the project. This eliminates any confusion or misinterpretation of the original plans, thereby reducing the potential for rework. By ensuring that the work is carried out right the first time, as built drawings can help prevent costly delays or unforeseen expenses caused by rework.

3. Improving Communication

As built drawings act as an interface between the clients, contractors, and architects, and ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of the project scope and vision. Further, as built drawings provide a visual representation of the project, the client has a better understanding of the completed project. With as built drawings, stakeholders can communicate with one another in a much more effective and efficient way, reducing any misunderstandings or conflicts that may arise. This ensures a smooth project delivery, timely completion, and client satisfaction.

4. Ensuring Compliance

As built drawings are required to meet industry standards and local regulations. Any work done on the project must conform to the specified standards and regulations. Having accurate and up-to-date as built drawings helps the project managers to ensure that all construction work is in line with the laws and regulations, reducing any potential legal or technical issues that may arise.

5. Easy Maintenance and Updates

Finally, as built drawings make it easy for construction managers to carry out maintenance and repairs on the building after construction. These drawings also help to plan future updates and renovations quickly and efficiently. With an accurate representation of the construction process, updating and making changes to the building becomes easier, reducing any potential disruptions to day-to-day operations.

Therefore, it is clear that using accurate and up-to-date as built drawings brings several advantages to any construction project. By reducing errors, minimizing rework, improving communication, ensuring compliance, and providing easy maintenance and updates, as built drawings help to ensure projects are delivered on time, within budget and to the highest possible standards.

Originally posted 2023-06-07 22:22:52.

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