Sunday, March 18, 2012

Design And Drafting Services

What is the scope of a Design and Drafting Services firm? Does it vary with the industry?

Puzzling as a term? Normally Designers use Drafting as a service. So the obvious question is: who would hire the combo of Design and Drafting Services?

The answers vary with the Industry:

Architecture: Some architectural firms restrict themselves to Design and Drafting Services, and stay away from the process of implementation like tendering, permits, project management, for various reasons, like:

· Creative freedom

· Boutique practice

· Project scale

· Client (many Government projects call for separate bids for Design, Drafting, Tendering, Project Management, Site Supervision, etc.)

Engineering: In Engineering services, Design and Drafting go hand in hand. In fact CAD, CAM and CAE software have many design support features for Engineers, like calculations, strength of materials, and modeling curves. Also, the Engineering Industry, being more machine-oriented, is more organized. Hence most Engineering Design consultancy firms deliver Design and Drafting Services.

What are the responsibilities of a Design and Drafting Services firm? Does they vary from a Full Services Consultancy?

Broad responsibilities of a Design and Drafting Services firm are:

· Understanding and documenting the Project brief

· Creating a design to satisfy the project needs

· Review the design with the client and other stake holders to an agreeable look and feel

· Translate the agreed design in the form of drawings for different stages of the project: SD, DD, CD, Permit Set, Bid Set, and As-Built Set.

· Coordinate drawings from all service consultants and vendors into the final drawings

· Ensure that the drawings accurately represent the agreed design

Yes, they do vary from a Full Services Consultancy in 3 ways:

1. Exclusions: Some services are excluded from the scope of a Design and Drafting Services firm, like:

o BOQ and Tender documentation

o Vendor selection, negotiation and Contract award

o Project Management, Scheduling and Tracking

o Site survey, soil testing, quality assurance and supervision

o Coordination with Consultants, Vendors and Property Managers

2. Tolerance: A Full services consultancy has a chance to make up for imperfection in drawings by correcting them at site. A Design and Drafting Services firm is liable for any errors in the design and documentation

3. Accountability: A Full services consultancy is accountable for all aspects of the final outcome of the project - its look, feel and performance with respect to the design intent and the project targets of time, money and quality. A Design and Drafting Services firm's liability is, however, limited to what it produces on paper. If the final Construction Documentation delivers the design intent correctly as agreed upon in the Design Brief, then it is deemed to have done its job, irrespective of the success or failure of the project.

What are the Benefits of hiring a specialized Design and Drafting Services firm?

A few pointers to help the client make an informed decision of hiring a Design and Drafting Services firm versus a Single Agency are:

1. Creativity: Designers feel more creative freedom when unburdened of material constraints

2. Accuracy: Being liable for the documentation rather than the finished site, ensures error free drawings, which is the first step for on-time, quality project implementation

3. Discipline: Dealing with a dedicated agency ensures project discipline at the client's end, too. In an industry when the human mind can never stop thinking of an improved idea, changes will never end, and neither will the project, unless controlled. This segregation, and the fact that changes after documentation will cost the client more time and money, do act as a reasonable deterrent to changing a finalized design.

4. Records:The client also ends up with an accurate As-Built Drawings set, which records his site accurately - a necessity for any future actions on the site - addition, alteration, sale or lease.

In an informed society and a progressive AEC Industry, Design and Drafting Services play a key role in ensuring the progress wheel moves smoothly.

The AEC Associates are, as the name suggests, your partners in the ever dynamic and invigorating AEC domain; your service providers for all disciplines of the architecture, engineering and construction industry. We will assist you in all your drawing, drafting, documentation, CAD/BIM and value added services. A well-knit consortium of professionals, our combined experiences spans across continents, millions of square feet in construction spread through a wide gamut of executed projects.

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