Step 4: Construction Documents
The creation of Construction Documents (CD's) or "Working Drawings" is largely a technical process of generating the set of drawings that will communicate the design, structural, electrical, and mechanical (HVAC) information to the builder. The "design process" has not stopped, but the level of the design decisions is very detailed. Essentially the building is built on paper with the goal of anticipating and solving the problems that the builder will encounter during construction. With the construction documents, the building is described in sufficient detail so that the builder can generate an accurate estimate of construction cost. Construction documents always include drawings; they sometimes include specifications as well. Specifications are a verbal commentary, which define the quality level that is expected in the project. The complexity and detail in the construction documents is determined by the complexity of the building, by the client's relationship to the contractor, and by how much control and foreknowledge the client needs to have about the finished product and its cost before the work begins.