Do you review drawings?


What does a good set of drawings look like to you?

Since starting my new job, I have been working hard to understand the needs of our internal customers – but there is a group that is harder to reach… YOU!

At least, those of you Architects, Engineers and Designers who are responsible for reviewing shop drawings or submittal drawing sets.

So, let me ask you – What do you look for when you review a set of drawings? What makes your heart leap with joy as you turn the page? What makes you grind your teeth in frustration? I’d really like to know…

I’d really appreciate it if you would leave a comment below, or contact me.

I have also started threads on this subject in the following forums.

Thanks in advance for your time,



 [Edit: I’ve already had some excellent feedback. Thanks very much to all who’ve commented so far – please keep up the debate!]

This is from David Koch on the AUGI forums:

‘Comments from an architect:

1. The most joy comes from reviewing a submittal where it is obvious that the submitter has actually looked at our drawings and has incorporated the design intent into their own, more detailed drawings.

2. I dread submittals that consist of our drawings (in whole or in parts) sent back to us. I already know what we drew, and even in the best of circumstances, what we show is design intent, not shop-drawing level detail or development. Simply sending me what I issued to you is not a submittal; I expect to see your detailed knowledge of your specific product or fabrication as it applies to this project, and, when applicable, how your specific product works with the surrounding construction and what requirements, if any, your work needs from the surrounding construction.

3. I also dread submittals that show excruciatingly detailed internal construction, but give little or no indication of how that product or fabrication interacts with the surrounding construction. I have no objection to detailed internal construction – it may be very necessary on your end – but I want to see that you understand what the surrounding construction is (or how you need it to be) and how your product/fabrication integrates into it (including fastenings, joints/clearances/tolerances). I understand that some of that is not part of your contract – great, note it as such, but show it none-the-less. If the joint has to be bigger than what was shown in the design documents, show it and indicate why. I would rather deal with this in the submittal phase, than learn about it in the field, after it is already installed…’

Read more at on the  AUGI Cad managers forum


This from Organic on the CAD Tutor forums:

‘…Another thing that annoys me is when someone does something really well, then in other aspects of the design it is substantially lacking. Yes, it is great that you done component A really detailed and the design does look good. So why the heck didn’t you list any design data at all (no levels, grades, sizes, anything etc) for component B which is just as important on your construction documents?…’

Read more on the CAD Tutor forums


This comment from Jon Vales on G+

‘My clients and other companies I worked for in the past had their own style to stand out. When you saw a set of drawings, you knew who’s set it was if it was that good.’

Read more on Google+


I have also posted the question on the Autodesk CAD managers discussion group


Thanks very much to everyone who’s taken the time to contribute.

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