What Are Construction Drawings?
In a previous post, we talked about the entitlement process and the approvals by the political bodies. We mentioned that the documents submitted for this process tend to be known as the preliminary engineering, which will have enough design information for this approval process. This preliminary engineering, though, does not have the necessary construction details that provide for the issuance of permits and solid bids from contractors. After a project has been approved in the entitlement process, engineers and architects will prepare construction drawings that provide for the permits and construction contracts.
These construction drawings will be based on the design approved during the entitlement process. A civil engineer will prepare grading and site improvement plans that indicate more specific grading information, pipe materials and sizes, roadway details, utility equipment – all with specific information that a contractor will use for the construction. The architect likewise will prepare construction drawings that have specific information related to the vertical building construction, such as foundation details, framing design, plumbing and electrical – again, all the information needed for contractors to do their work.
These construction drawings are submitted to the city staff departments who review the plans to ensure that proper design and construction techniques are being adhered to. The grading, utilities, and street improvement plans are typically submitted to the city Engineering department. The architectural plans are typically submitted to the city Building department for review. These departments administer the plan check review process and eventually issue the permits that allow construction to begin. The planning commission or city council are usually not involved in this process.
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