A comprehensive overview of Steel Detailing and its increasing importance in the construction sector

A comprehensive overview of Steel Detailing and its increasing importance in the construction sector

Steel Detailing is predominantly used in the construction industry especially when it comes to the construction of large buildings and infrastructure. The reason why steel is primarily used is due to the durability and strength it yields to the buildings in comparison to wood and bricks. However, using steel comes with its own set of challenges. It requires significant amount of precision and even a small blunder might result in loss of time and money.

What is Steel Detailing?

In the construction process first the architect, engineer and designer create conceptual 2D drawings based on the requirements and inputs of the owners. These construction drawings are necessary for onsite construction.  However, these drawings are not sufficient for the steel fabricators to fabricate or erect steel. It is here Steel Detailing Services come into play. Steel Detailing involves the development of comprehensive drawings for fabricators and contractors. It involves details, standards, assembly information, material specification that is necessary for prefabrication, assembly and installation of steel components. It also involves quantity and cost estimations.

What are the different types of drawings in Steel Detailing?

Steel Shop Drawing Services includes the creation various different 2D drawings that each serve a purpose during the course of the project. Steel shop drawings include specifications for each and every piece of individual steel component and part that will be utilized in the fabrication process. It includes joists, beams, braces, columns, trusses etc. that are required by the steel fabricators. Steel shop drawings include diagrams, schedules and details like sizes of these components, the details of the materials that will be utilized, surface specifications etc. They provide clear details for the design and fabrication and are essential for an error free fabrication. However, when it comes to fabrication of singular part or components then single/part drawings are used. They use small sheet sizes and provide precise and comprehensive description required for its creation.

Once the components and parts are fabricated the next step involves its assembly and installation. Erection Drawings provide dimensional plans, information and location of each steel component in the building or the structure. Erection drawings not just contain detailed information about the position of components but also the installation requirements like reinforcing details, steel design, connectivity planning etc. When there are more than one component then GA general assembly drawings are created to show how they need to be assembled. It also communicates the overall relation between different components and can also be used to account for any missing parts of components.

Importance of Model Based Steel Detailing

CAD as well as BIM can be used for steel detailing. Even though CAD Services have a few advantages like ease of access, is more convenient and maybe even more cost-effective for small projects. However, modern BIM software like Advanced Steel, Tekla etc. provide most benefits. With model based Steel Detailing software it is possible to carry out accurate and faster calculation. Digitized calculation reduces the errors which could be caused as a result of human mistakes. It also saves considerable time by making it possible to carry out quick modifications. Any changes made in one singular part are updates in all the drawings and plans. This means that the engineer doesn’t need to carry out the cumbersome task of making changes in each shop drawing, erection plan etc. It also reduces all the redundant data and decreases the number of errors.

Finally, from the error-free model, shop drawings, erection drawings, part drawings etc. can be extracted. Since they are extracted from a model that is accurate it lends the same precision in all steel detailing processes It also allows to extract .nc files which include information like hole position, notches, part length etc. and are utilized by the CNC machines to cut steel structures into exact lengths.


As stated steel plays a crucial role in construction of large buildings and infrastructure like malls, skyscrapers, bridges etc. These high value buildings and structures have to withstand wear and tear of time, natural calamities etc. Any small mistake could have adverse consequences. Hence, the integrity and robustness of the structure is vital. Moreover, considering the cost of steel, owners nowadays can’t afford to really make any mistakes that would lead to rework. It is here that the role of accurate steel detailing becomes clear.

Written By:
Tesla OS
Tesla Outsourcing Services is an Architectural and Engineering Outsourcing Company providing CAD Services, Engineering and E-building Design Solutions (BIM Services) to clients across the globe.

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