What Exactly Am I Reading? How to Understand Construction Documents

Jul 09, 2018

Written by: Cris Johnson, NELSON

This article was written in June 2018 for the 2018 Quarter Three Newsletter.

Construction documents are an important part of the design process. For architects and designers, it provides the information necessary to convey to design intent of the space and keeps track of all the things that client/tenant wants and needs. For the contractor, the documents convey the scope of work, provide the basis for pricing quotes and are used to obtain permits for construction. For the landlord and property management teams, the documents convey the tenant's improvement intentions, helping the landlord understand how the tenant intents to use the space and the impact their improvements will have on the overall building. These documents can be confusing, cumbersome and hard to understand. However, they shouldn't be ignored. Having a degree in Interior Design or Architecture is not necessary to understanding these drawings; it is important for you to have a basic understanding of the various documents you will need to review and approve throughout the design process. Having a baseline understanding of how these documents work and how they are used will help owner's and property manager's come together with designers and contractors to create your tenant's ideal space. 

Over the next few issues, we will present some "tricks of the trade" in terms of how to read construction drawings. we will review items like: the sequence of drawings; where to find and how to interpret drawing symbols; what information is typically documented in a construction drawing set; where the "important" stuff is, and what can be reviewed at a more cursory level; the importance of tenant review and approval of plans. Please look for future articles - and let us know if there are any specific topics you would like us to cover. 

Have questions? We'd love to feature your questions in our future articles. Send a quick note to Cris Johnson

Category: Industry Insights

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