Issuing drawings

It has already been noted that the drawing register is not a convenient document for recording the issue of drawings to others, neither, although it is sometimes used for this purpose, is the drawing itself. Indeed, one should first start by questioning the need for such a record in the first place. That drawings, both on completion and on subsequent revision, should go to the people who need them, is perhaps self-evident. Yet instances abound of site staff working from out-of-date information, of revision B going to the structural engineer but not the M & E consultant, of the quantity surveyor being unaware of the expensive revised detail agreed on site and hastily confirmed by a sketch to the contractor but not to him. The fundamental question for anyone engaged in preparing working drawings—who am I doing this for?—needs to be asked yet again here. Whoever it is being drawn for needs it, and the common-sense procedure of mentally running through the list of everybody whose understanding of the job is remotely changed by the preparation of the new drawing or revision is a valuable discipline for reducing communication gaps. Send to too many rather than to too few is a good maxim.

The keeping of a drawings issue register, however, will not of itself guarantee that the right people get the right drawings. The best we can achieve is to set up disciplines which, if they cannot prevent errors and omissions, can at least assist their detection in due time.

Two such disciplines may be mentioned. First, the use of a drawings issue slip when any drawing leaves the office—even though accompanied by a covering letter— provides an easily leafed-through file record in the issuing drawing office (5.12). Second, the routine issue at regular intervals to all members of the team— contractors, sub-contractors and consultants alike—of the drawing register. This at least enables the recipient to check that they are working to the latest revision of a given drawing, and to some extent throws the onus on them for ensuring that their information is up to date.

As to the more mundane question of physically conveying a package of drawings from one office to another, then the larger drawings, unless they are rolled (which is irritating for the recipient) will be folded down to A4 or A3, depending on their volume, and always, of course, with the title panel on the outside (see 4.19 and 4.20).

Small drawings, whether of A4 or A3 format, should not be issued loose when they form a set. Their use is sometimes criticised, especially by builders, but a lot of this criticism stems from their misuse in practice rather than from any inherent defect in their size. They are only difficult to coordinate if no logical search pattern holds the set together, and they only get out of sequence or get lost if they are issued unbound. It is important therefore that sets of small drawings should be treated as instruction manuals rather than individual sheets, and should be held together accordingly in simple folders (loose-leaf to facilitate photocopying for issue to suppliers by the contractor). It is anomalous that the motor engineer assembling a car in the protected conditions of a factory or workshop should be given a book of instructions to work from, while the building operative working on precarious scaffolding and battling against wind and rain should traditionally be expected to work from loose sheets of paper flapping round him.

It is appropriate that such bound manuals should contain the drawing register, and some form of guide to the drawing method.

One approach with CAD is to publish all drawings in electronic format on a secure 'members only' website. All the team can see the latest revisions and can call for their own copy if needed. This puts the onus on recipients to request drawings rather than on the architect to issue them.

T0:- (ß-J

FROM - CLARK & FENN LTD

MITCHAM HOUSE 681 MITCHAM ROAD CROYDON. CR9 3AP

01-119 2261

TITLE OF CONTRACTORS

JOB No. ~Z- ~7S 75" . J Please find herewith for:- CH APPROVAL

1 v U DISTRIBUTION

drawings as listed below

DRG NO

REVISION LETTER

TITLE

NO OF COPIES

A?&o<yj I

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^ C/

Sinned for Clark R. Fenn 1 rri ¿f ' Haff

Please sign and return duplicate copy

These drawings are CH APPROVED ----copies requ'd for distribution as 1 I I APPROVED SUBJECT TO T 1—1 COMMENTS NOTED

I I RETURNED FOR AMENDMENT js^n.rt 1—1 »RESUBMISSION

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5.12 Drawing issues form accompanying all drawings issued provides a convenient file record of such issues

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