The most common errors in structural drawings. Structural plans are the main source of information for any builder since they show dimensions, location, and construction specifications. What happens if there is an error in them? This post is dedicated to talking about some errors that can occur in the plans and the repercussions on the construction site.
What is the function of blueprints in an architectural project, and what are their characteristics?
Within the planning and structuring of a construction project, there are several stages that must be carefully followed in order to achieve the pre-established results. One of the most important elements when carrying out a construction project is the architectural drawings.
These graphics are part of the documentation of a project, similar to the digital files and database of a BIM project. In essence, plans are the graphical representation of a project in its architectural, technical, construction, regulatory, and ownership aspects. They are vital to the correct performance of the design, construction, operation, and legal definition of an architectural project.
Years ago, architectural plans were limited to freehand technical drawings. They were even considered by many as works of art due to the time and materials used to highlight even the smallest detail. Now, constant technological innovation forces architects to evolve day by day to adapt to the changes demanded within their field. New tools such as computer design and all that it encompasses have become established in the architectural field.
The new means of architectural design entails a broader and more complex project scope. That is, they offer more technologically advanced methods for the creation of higher quality complex structures.
Mistake #1: Missing Information
A blueprint usually contains a lot of information. In fact, it contains so much that at first glance it is difficult to notice anything missing. However, any missing information can cause delays in the execution of a project.
As an example, just imagine that the structural plan for level “X” of a housing project is missing a dimension.
Without this dimension, the length of a beam cannot be accurately determined. This would delay the assembly of the formwork and the pouring of concrete throughout the level.
When that happens, the only way to fix this is to contact the designer to request an adjusted site plan. There is then a waiting period for it to be received by the construction manager before proceeding. It seems like a simple problem, but any delay on a construction site generates costs, no matter how small.
Mistake #2: Lack of Coordination
A building project requires the participation of multiple multidisciplinary teams (architects, structural specialists, electricians, mechanics, hydraulic engineers, and more) who must provide their specifications and designs in drawings to be read and executed on-site.
However, if there is no prior coordination between these teams, inconsistencies may occur. One example is a sewage pipe going through a slab and not the duct that the architect had foreseen in his project.
Mistake #3: Lack of Detail
Lack of detail is the most common error in structural drawings. It seems to be similar to missing information, but it is not.
In reality, this error arises because some architects or engineers avoid elaborating on specifications or additional details. Many times this is because they want to save time or because they figure it can be solved onsite.
It is this type of error that haunts designers and catches them off guard. The only solution to this problem is to elaborate on the details, investing more time in a project that was thought to be complete.
Design Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake #1: Plan Measurements do not Coincide with Furniture
Of course, the first thing you should check is that the plan is scaled. That is to say, you can measure things accurately and make necessary checks.
A disproportionate floor plan can make you assume that a house is bigger than it is. Although this is not really a design flaw, it can be a huge mistake when it comes to buying a house.
Remember that measurements are necessary to know if you are on the right track.
Once you have done this, check that the furniture is drawn to the correct size. In some floor plans, I have found beds that are six feet long.
The furniture in a floor plan not only makes it look nicer, but it will really show you if the space is sufficient.
Mistake #2: Form is Prioritized over Function
A floor plan may look very nice on paper, but if you don’t study it and review it well, mistakes may only show up after you start work.
Reconciling your lifestyle with the floor plan in front of you is a task that can ensure that the home works the way you want it to.
To check that the design is right, imagine yourself going about your daily routines.
Pay special attention to potential functional challenges.
Mistake #3: Misallocation of Space
The most common error in structural drawings is the misallocation of space. Even in a large house, a few wasted meters in a poorly maintained area can make a significant difference.
Hallways are a good example of this. Although they are usually necessary both for functional reasons as well as to create some privacy, they should always be planned to take up minimal space.
Forgetting to include the right amount or type of storage is a frequent and costly mistake.
No architect or designer knows what you need better than you do.
Mistake #4: Flexible Storage Space
You may need to store bicycles next to the entryway or children’s toys in the living room.
Proper storage is priceless. It will help you avoid clutter, which means a more organized, safer, and quieter space.
Thanks to the floor plan, you will be able to quickly check if there is enough space or not.
Mistake #5: Furniture is an Afterthought
Furniture being neglected is one of the most common errors in structural drawings.
Finding the right place or position for your furniture can become a challenge, even in large spaces.
This task is especially difficult the more open the space is.
As I’ve already discussed, to avoid costly and frustrating mistakes, having a floor plan with the furniture drawn to scale is key.
Mistake #6: Proposed Design is Insensitive to Existing Infrastructure
Most of the infrastructure, from pillars, structural walls, pipes, main downspouts, or the electrical installation itself, is hidden. While it may seem easy to move things around, the cost of relocating the bathroom to the opposite side of a house, away from the downspout, can be costly and can cause major problems in the future.
The design errors you can catch in the plans can be easily solved. There is no excuse for not doing a quick review of the plan. This way you can avoid spending more time and money than is necessary.