Construction Documents: The Final Set

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Design Development signifies the end of the design, but the design still needs to be documented in full, and this is where construction documents step in. This final drawing phase tends to be a bit quieter than what our clients may have experienced to-date. Because all the decisions have been made, this is the time for us to put our heads down and really focus on the drawing set, making sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. We check our spelling, make sure all the notes are referencing the correct pages, prepare the title page, and coordinate all the consultant documents when applicable. 

We also review the product specifications and make sure that we have reviewed all the required installation information, made notes to reflect EXACTLY what has been selected and what requirements we have in making substitutions. 

In a way, the design process is like writing a research paper.

Programming can be compared to doing the research. Schematic Design is our project outline. Design Development is the rough draft and Construction Documents is the final draft. It sometimes seems as though the final set should be the easiest part. It's all done, right? But, remember finalizing those papers and getting it from rough draft to final? It is detail work that requires reviewing again and again and again. This is my biggest area of paper waste... it's just not the same reviewing drawings on a screen. I need to see the paper and have the red pen in my hand to find the errors. 

Once construction documents are complete, we will have a set for you, one for your contractor, two for permitting, and one for us... for a total of five sets of drawings. It is important for all of us to have this final set, and for each set to be reviewed and approved with initials/signatures before construction begins. 


There is still one phase left in order for a project to be complete and designed. If we have done bits and pieces of each phase and not gone through programming, schematic design, design development, construction documents, and construction observation/administration the project is not our design, but a consulting project and we waive liability for any design issues/conflicts that arise during construction. This is how valuable the final step truly is, so read on, and we'll see you in CA (construction administration)

Rachel WaldronComment