Plans (architectural, structural, electrical, plumbing) and specifications together with relevant supporting information (certificates, installation instructions) are the key means of communication between all parties involved in a construction project.
They are required to:
Good documentation can save you money and reduce:
Early on in the project, problems such as time delays and inaccurate costings may arise from poorly prepared drawings and specifications. These problems can often be avoided if the parties to the building process insist on clear and accurate documentation, including a fair contract that protects both the owner and builder.
Further down the track, the most common risk of time delays, inaccurate costings, disputes and the need for amendments during construction may be reduced if the parties to the building process insist on good documentation.
Producer statements, architectural and
structural design certificates, durability assessments, weathertightness opinions, thermal design calculations and specific fire engineering design make up part of the building consent application as required.
These documents must:
All the final plans and specifications as described in the Building Act 2004 include:
A good set of documents:
The importance of good documentation is that it clearly shows, where required to demonstrate compliance with the Building Code, & supporting information that:
Most sets of drawings show the easy and straightforward aspects of construction (which both the designer and builder could reasonably be expected to know) and do not include the complicated or nonstandard parts of the building. Where a particular construction detail is required, it must be shown in sufficient detail so the builder (and where subject to Building Code compliance, the BCA) can understand what is intended.
When building work is being priced, the quoted price will be more accurate when the information supplied is comprehensive, accurate and clear. Leaving it up to the person pricing to make assumptions about materials or finishes can lead to disputes and possible litigation where the contractor’s choice is at odds with the designer’s unstated vision. However, the contractor should avoid making assumptions and flag any unclear items. Significant queries can mean providing new details to all the prospective tenderers, and the tender period may need to be extended. It can also result in tagged tenders, slowing the tender acceptance process and making it difficult to compare tender prices.