Construction Document Management Services and Its Purpose

Typical Construction documents contain all critical information such as bidding papers, building plans, specifications and related documents required for the construction of a building or structure. These documents are used for various purposes. They help explain the needs of the owner into a buildable format that can be unanimously understood within the architectural and structural community. They also help the owner to put the project out for bid and to get necessary approvals from regional authorities. At last, they impart complete instructions to the contractor as to how the project should be executed.

Generation of a set of construction documents begins with the developer. The architect drafts different sets of building plans, which the builder revise and approve at each step before the construction is carried further. The conclusive set of plans is commonly referred to as 100% construction documents (CDs).

This final set is divided into three components. The major component is the set of building plans or drawings. These may contain everything from floor plans to architectural drawings. Plans for any project are generally divided into many different sections. The plans will begin with architectural drawings followed by mechanical, structural and electrical drawings.

Second component is the specifications manual book. It includes information regarding materials and methods to be used for construction. People who are new to the construction field often ignore the manual and concentrate only on the drawings. This is not the best practice since the manual often contains details not found on the building plans.

The third component is made up of the revisions made by the architect, structural engineer or the owner during the design phase. Official changes are published in the form of supplemental instructions, directives or bulletins. These written changes are included as an official part of the construction documents.

Once a completed set of construction documents is ready it is sent to prospective contractors for bidding and finding cost estimation of the project. Since they form a part of the legal construction contract, it is very important to provide accurate and comprehensive details. Each document should serve to a specific purpose so that the retrieval of information is simplified and the possibility of contention is considerably reduced. Each team member should benefit from this standardized approach of placing information within the documents.