June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.157.1 - 13.157.8
Advances in the Production of Shop Drawings and Their Impact on Constructability
Over the last two decades, many advancements have occurred in the production of shop drawings due to advancements in computer technology. The developments in computer-aided drafting and building informational modeling (BIM) have impacted how shop drawings in structural steel, reinforcing steel and other trades are produced. Computer-based 3D modeling has impacted constructability issues and improved communication among the major players in the overall construction process. This paper highlights currently-used 2D and 3D computer technologies in the production of shop drawings, and emphasizes the importance of imparting requisite graphics skills in architectural, construction, and engineering students. Based on interviews conducted with a select group of fabricators, contractors, and engineers, the author concludes that shop drawings produced using 2D and 3D computer software is a positive step toward improving constructability.
Since the 1980s, many developments have occurred in the production of shop drawings due to advancements in computer technology. The advancements in computer-aided drafting have impacted how shop drawings in structural steel, reinforcing steel and other trades are produced. The utilization of computer-aided drafting and 3D building information modeling (BIM) have impacted constructability and improved communication among the major players in the overall construction process.
“To the construction industry, shop drawings seem to be a necessary evil. Contractors find them expensive to produce and architects find them unappealing to review.”1 Shop drawings, however, do serve the purpose of avoiding unexpected flaws in the constructed facility. Among the architect’s and engineer’s services, the contractor is obligated to submit shop drawings, and the architect/engineer obligated to review and approve. Shop drawings illustrate design concepts shown on the architect/engineer’s contract drawings, and bring to life the physical transformation of design concepts. Mistakes made in the shop drawings and not caught before construction have led in the past to structural disasters such as the Skywalk failure of Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. This paper highlights the importance of producing technically sound shop drawings using the current available technologies, and emphasizes the importance of imparting requisite graphics skills in architectural, construction, and engineering students. With the reduction of graphics courses in the modern-day engineering and technology curricula, students are less likely to be prepared with the blue-print reading skills; hence there is every reason to emphasize the importance of producing and approving shop drawings that are technically correct.
This paper reports on the current practices of producing structural steel and reinforced concrete shop drawings using 2D and 3D computer software such as AutoCAD, and SDS/2 Design Data. “Design Data’s SDS/2 Steel Detailing System has simplified and automated the design, detailing, fabricating and erecting of structures across the globe,”2 is a bold statement from the software
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