Steel shop drawings: A comprehensive account of information incorporated in them!

Steel shop drawings: A comprehensive account of information incorporated in them!

Before discussing what kind of data is incorporated in steel shop drawings which are also referred as fabrication drawings, let me make it clear to readers who is reasonable accountable for developing these drawings. Many people think that architects and engineers are liable for developing steel shop drawings which is absolutely incorrect, if we look at the technicalities of the functions of AEC professionals. If you analyze the contract between engineers and owners or between architects and owners, you will not find it anywhere that they are answerable for developing shop drawings and erection drawings which are generally provided  to owners by contractors and suppliers. Though these highly crucial drawings are not developed by engineers and architects but they cannot be implemented in construction until and unless they are reviewed by them.

Information that is contained in steel shop drawings

  • Information about prefabricated steel components such as steel columns, braces, beams, handrails and joists etc. is provided in details by steel detailers in fabrication drawings.
  • The information that is contained in the drawings, which are developed with the assistance of a wide range of information sources, is utilized for manufacturing these crucial steel parts.
  • Dimensions of steel parts are clearly described in fabrication drawings which provide great help to fabricators in terms of error-free manufacturing of these parts.
  • Information that is required for welding, bolting and painting is also described clearly in shop drawings by detailers who ask help from architects, engineers and contractors during detailing process.
  • The fabrication related information that is also provided in construction drawings should be defined clearly in shop drawings as information contained in construction drawings does not define dimension, size, welding and bolting related information clearly.
  • If in case certain new information is added by steel detailers in the drawings, they make it sure to add notes in the drawings regarding it, so that architects and engineers can determine it easily and can evaluate it.
  • All the information in fabrication drawings including this additional information that is added by detailers must be approved by structural engineers and architects prior to their release for the intended purpose.
  • For clarifying ambiguities in the drawings, there must be clear communication among architects, engineers, detailers and fabricators, after which they should be able to reach at a conclusion.
Written By:
Bhagwati Pathak
Bhagwati Pathak is an Executive Director at Tesla Outsourcing Services. Technical Project Management, BIM, Client Management, and Leadership are her forte. With an expertise in BIM and a flair for writing, her articles provide a direction to contractors, sub-contractors, engineers, and architects in employing the right methodology for an Architectural, Structural, or MEP CAD / BIM project.

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