Find answers to many popular questions.
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An As-Built drawing of a building is an accurate depiction of the building AS IT IS. You see, a building does not always get built according to the architectural design. There are changes along the way and the plans are generally not changed to reflect those revisions.
Not just during the construction, but through the years owners add walls and reconfigure offices, closets, bathrooms and more. Those changes are seldom reflected in revised plans. So most property owners do not have accurate plans of the buildings they own.
Value. Value is an important number when it comes to property. And the value of a building for sales or leasing purposes is calculated on the square footage of usable space. If that square footage is incorrect, someone is getting cheated – either getting more or less than what is truly due.
Accurate Dimensions. Accuracy of measurements has another purpose. Every remodel, renovation or interior design or plan is based on dimensions. If those dimensions are not accurate, the owner may not be in compliance with building codes and restrictions and the cost of changes could be increased due to additional materials needed or problems with construction fit.
Changing Technology. As-Built Drawings are especially important for building more than 25 years old. Technology has advanced and measurements are much more accurate now than ever before. Electronic drawings did not exist then and measurements were taken with rulers. An electronic As-Built Drawing would accurately reflect the true dimension of the building.
Safety. Also, but not least important is the safety issue. When there is an emergency, first responders would benefit from knowing the exact layout of the building. (See How do As-Built Drawings impact safety?)
Efficiency. Efficiency in office interactions and work flow can be improved with an As-Built Drawing. A work flow analysis can identify where workers and materials are backtracking and intersecting taking more time and effort and reducing productivity. Consider a factory line. The product goes down the line and each part is placed on in a specific order and manner. There are no bottlenecks, no confusion, no question of what point the product is in. Offices and work can be designed the same way.
If there is an emergency in a building and the first responders (police, fire) have an accurate layout of the building they are able to get in quickly and efficiently. There is no trial and error and there is no time wasted trying to figure out which way to go. Those moments may mean the difference between life and death for one of your employees.
Also, in going back to the work flow analysis, (See Why would anyone need an As-Built Drawing?) eliminating potential dangerous situations and maintaining compliance with OSHA regulations can reflect your on-going and proactive efforts to prevent injuries in the workplace.
Having As-Built Drawings reflect your proactive stance on safety and emergency preparedness in the workplace. If there is an accident or active shooter incident on your property, the question of liability is broached. If the property does not comply with state and federal building and safety regulations and restrictions, you and/or your business may be liable. An As-Built Drawing will identify code compliance issues and let you address them before a situation arises.
If there was a correctable condition and you did not correct it, you may liable.
Insurance coverage may help, but depending on the situation, it might not be enough for your situation.
On the flipside, if you proactively took steps to prevent injury and had policies and procedures in place based on the workspace flow and plan, your good faith and actions may reduce your liability.
Remember, it is not just the victims you want to protect. They have families, too. Lawsuits often come after the incident and can affect you, your company, the city and many others.