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The Five Most Requested Existing Conditions Drawings for Architects

May 2, 2020 9:51:21 AM

Existing Conditions provides architects with situational awareness and empower them with the confidence to make smart decisions. Depending on the scope of a project, an architect may request a variety of existing conditions/as-built drawings. 

When our architecture clients come to us looking for precise existing conditions documentation, we use our advanced laser scanning technology to provide them with what they need. Since 1997, we’ve measured and documented more than 200 million square feet of space. 

Today, we’re discussing the most common drawings for architects. But our clients aren’t only architects. We also work with engineers, building owners, and real estate professionals as well. When it is architects we’re working with, these are the 5 types of drawings they commonly request.

Floor Plans

Every architectural project needs to begin with an accurate floor plan. This information provides you with the foundation for many of the choices you’ll make going forward on the project. Unlike a floor plan made with manual measurements, our laser scanning technology results in far more accurate and precise information. 

An existing conditions floor plan will include interior and exterior walls, windows and doors, and other visible structural elements. When a client needs additional details, we’re happy to include them in the floor plan or create a separate plan with that information. 

Roof Plans

Roof plans are required for many as-built plans, and they’re especially common for residential remodelling projects. To start, a roof plan will typically include the outline of the roof overlaid on top of the building perimeter walls. Other roof structural details are usually added, including valleys, hips, ridges, and pitch. In the case of flat commercial roofs, equipment can also be included in the plan. 

Exterior Elevations

An exterior elevation drawing provides an architect with a visual representation of the building from the side, rather than a bird’s eye view. This includes everything from the ground level to the peak of the structure. 

Exterior elevations, roof plans, and floor plans are the three drawings architects request the most, and usually they’re requested together. But there are also a few other existing conditions drawings architects often need for their projects. 

Reflected Ceiling Plans

Also referred to as an RCP, a reflected ceiling plan is another type of drawing our architects often request. This drawing includes not only the structure of the ceiling (including trays, soffits, coffers, and exposed beams), but also any attached elements, like sprinklers, vents, and lighting.

MEP/FP Drawings

MEP/FP stands for "mechanical, electrical, plumbing, & fire protection." Not every project requires as-built plans of these critical building systems, but they often prove incredibly useful. MEP/FP plans show any visible mechanical, electrical, plumbing, & fire protection equipment, including HVAC mains, electrical meters & transformers, outlets, panels, data jacks, lights, sprinklers, plumbing mains, and more.

With a precise set of drawings, an architect can see how the building is constructed in reality. And with MEP/FP drawings, they’re also able to see other useful information for their project, including the existing electrical and HVAC components.

On their own, each of these drawings for architects provides precise information about the task at hand. When used together, an architect has an even more comprehensive view of an existing structure. Starting off on the right foot with the most accurate, up-to-date information is essential if you want to avoid headaches down the road.

To find out about our laser scanning and BIM documentation for architects and other industries, get in touch with Existing Conditions today. 

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Jared Curtis

Written by Jared Curtis

President, Existing Conditions