FASS building artist's impression

Electrical Design for the Future

by Dave |September 5, 2017 |1 Comments | Blogs | , , , ,

We have a soft spot for all things electrical here at Castle Drawable (well, the boss is a sparkie from way back) and it’s an industry with endless possibilities. As our demand for and consumption of electrical power increases, so does our need for new technologies to allow workplaces and homes to access it, and this is where electrical design comes in.

What is electrical design? In a nutshell, it involves designing the power, lighting and communications cabling systems that meet both the needs of the client and all relevant Australian and local authority standards. Typically an electrical design comprises a maximum demand calculation, incoming mains and switchboard layout, single-line power diagrams, conduit and wiring layout, and control schematics and diagrams.

In reality, electrical design is a complex process of planning, developing, testing and installing – we’re talking systems that encompass lighting equipment, power distribution, fire and safety, electronics and comms infrastructure. Different systems might combine, or be subsystems of bigger systems, have their own subsystems… get the picture? It’s not easy to keep track of all that documentation, which is where we join the story.

The Drawable team works closely with electrical engineers and contractors to develop drawings for every stage of their projects including For Tender drawings (allowing contractors to quote), For Construction (approved for work to start on site), Shop Drawings (showing the contractor’s plan of attack), Revision Changes (documenting the design changes as the project progresses) and As Built drawings (recording the finished job including circuit tags, data numbers etc).

Two of our current electrical design jobs are great examples: Sydney Uni’s FASS building and the Tailor’s Walk residential development. The spectacular new Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences building (pictured) is part of a $1.4 billion project to expand and update the University of Sydney’s Camperdown Campus. Further east, Botany is about to welcome an “urban village” of 440 new homes in the $360 million Tailor’s Walk project.

We have generated drawings for the full electrical design of both projects, including the power, lighting, comms, NBN and emergency lighting layouts and line diagrams. The big difference between the two jobs is that while we’re drawing one in two dimensions using AutoCAD software, the other has all the 3D bells and whistles our Revit specialists bring to the table.

We’re also your go-to guys for Schematic Drawings (which can cover anything from circuitry, flow and control to NBN cabling).

But we don’t want the other trades to feel neglected. The team at Drawable also loves getting stuck into hydraulic drafting jobs like plumbing plans, plus mechanical drafting, security plans… anything that needs documenting. If you’ve designed, built or installed it, we can draw it.

Click here to get in touch with our drafters.

Click here for your FREE “How To Mark Up A Drawing” guide!

As built drawings certification text

What is an as built drawing?

by Dave |May 23, 2017 |1 Comments | Blogs | , ,

As Built drawings document the completion of works and are an essential part of the contractor’s hand over manuals. As the need for documentation throughout the construction process increases so does the need for as built drawings and other drawings.

As Built drawings can also be called As Installed drawings, As Constructed drawings and As Executed drawings.

An As Built drawing documents the changes that have been made throughout the job and the changes that have been made since the last revision of drawings.

For example, in electrical drawings the design phase for a construction project the electrical circuits are named P1, P2 etc. (for power) and L1, L2 etc. (for lighting). On the as built drawings these circuit tags are changed to show the distribution board number and circuit breaker number that the lights (or power etc) are connected to.

For example: DB1 CB37

Another good example is that data outlets are numbered to the client’s requirements.

Sydney University uses a unique numbering system for the data network which shows the room that the cable is fed from, including rack number and port number of the patch panel. Then the room number that the outlet is located in and the number of the outlet in the room.

A typical data outlet tag in Sydney University looks like this. 524.

These can be quite challenging to add to an as built.

There are several stages that drawings take through a project, here’s a few examples.

A project will start with several stages of design drawings however the first set that a contractor will usual see for the For Tender drawings which are used for quoting.

Once the builder has been awarded the contract they take the role of Prime Contractor and pick electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, fire and security contractors to complete the project.

The next set of drawings are the For-Construction drawings where most the design changes have been made and these drawings allowing the contractor to start work.

The next set of trade drawings that aren’t normally required are Shop Drawings, these are required when a builder wants to see any potential changes the contractor can see before work starts.

Then we come to the Revision changes (usually shown as R1, R2 etc.) which document any changes the client has requested or any issues that have been resolved during the construction phase.

The next step towards As Built or As Constructed drawings is the most neglected, the contractor’s mark ups.

Pens, pencil, highlighters, chewing gums, blood, a bit of electrical tape and Bob’s your Uncle. A true mark up is not complete unless it’s been kicked around the work van for a few weeks, and has a generous splash of coffee and smudge of meat pie with sauce.


The last and probably most important stage is the As Built, As Executed, As Installed or As Constructed drawings, these critters help the contractor get paid!!

The As Built drawings are included in the hand over manual which also covers the products used during the jobs, their specification sheet and maintenance details.

As Built drawings can take anything from 5 minutes to hundreds of hours depending on the size of the project.

As the need for more details are required many Australian projects are now being completed using Revit models. Revit allows the engineers, contractors and clients to view every facet on the job in 3D. With addition of programs like Navisworks clash detections allows any potential issues to be resolved before construction begins.

If you need any help with As Built drawings or any other revisions, please feel free to contact us at Drawable on (02) 9519 0000.


Tradesman viewing trade drawings and electrical drawings

Types of trade drawings

by Dave |May 10, 2017 |4 Comments | Uncategorised | , ,

What are the different types of trade drawings completed throughout the stages of construction?

At Drawable we complete a number of different types of trade drawings depending on the stages of construction.

Trade drawings, sometimes referred to as technical drawings, are drawings or plans used by contractors, engineers and tradesmen that documents specific trade elements for construction. An example of a trade drawing is a drawing made for a plumber with unique symbols to show where all the water lines, sinks, faucets, tubs and toilets are to be located.

The type of trade drawing required depends on the stage of construction and the specific development requirements. Not all developments will require all types of trade drawings.

There are 5 main types of trade drawings completed by Drawable throughout the construction process:

  • Tender Drawings:

Tender Drawings are the first type of trade drawing completed during the construction process. They are the engineers vision for the project used for estimating/pricing the cost of the building to be.

These drawings convey a lot of information about the construction to enable the contractors who are quoting for the job to understand the project completely.

The detailed drawings include exact dimensions, specifications and positions of elements.

The contractors will use the Tender Drawings to create the Tender Package. A Tender Package normally consists of the detailed set of drawings as well as a specification document detailing materials, workmanship and required standards for the entire project.

  • For Approval Drawings:

After the tender stage the drawings become For Approval Drawings. The For Approval Drawings are checked by the client and any required amendments are completed.

These drawings are used to affirm that the contractor has correctly interpreted the overall requirements for the development.

The client will then approve and sign off on the drawings, preferably before the construction commences.

  • For Construction Drawings:

Once the For Approval Drawings are signed off they become the Construction Drawings. Construction Drawings are used by the contractors to complete the actual construction.

These drawings, just like the Tender Drawings, will still include all of the detailed and exact specifications which are required by the contractors to get the job done.

  • Revision Drawings:

During the construction process it may be necessary for changes to be completed on site. Revision drawings are completed to document the various changes completed throughout the construction.

A number of revisions may be required depending on how many changes are completed by the contractors.

If there are no changes during the construction process, Revision Drawings will not be required.

  • As Built Drawings:

As Built Drawings are the final set of trade drawing completed for the development project. These drawings are completed after the construction has been completed. They will document the final details of the construction including the exact dimensions, geometry and location of all elements of the work completed.

Depending on the project specifications set out during the tender process, As Built Drawings are not always required.

The As Built Drawings can be used as a record from which future changes and/or additions can be designed. They can also be used as a starting point for any future developments to the same building.

Drafter in blue shirt making revisions on electrical control drawing

AutoCad or Revit?

by Dave |April 10, 2017 |11 Comments | Uncategorised | , ,

If you’re new to drafting and design you’re probably familiar with AutoCAD and Revit by now, or you at least heard of these tools. AutoCAD has been around since the 1980’s and since it’s introduction has eventually become ingrained in the DNA of most design firms and offices and has become an integral part of the day-to-day activities of the design process. It was almost 20 years later that Revit was introduced to the public. It’s acceptance in the design and construction industry was a gradual one but overtime more and more professionals began making the transition or included Revit in their workflow. Not everyone was on board, however. Imagine after years and years of projects all the documentation standards, block libraries and even the comfort of using a tool you’ve used for years, would you be able to put down your favorite application that’s been tried and tested, for a newer shinier tool? This was, and is the dilemma for a lot of professionals when it comes to new technology. This article will give you some insight to the similarities and differences between the two powerful design tools so you can decide where you want to draw your lines; AutoCAD, Revit or both? Let’s begin with what makes them similar.


When it comes to similarities, there are three main topics to discuss; 2D, 3D and Rendering. Both AutoCAD and Revit are used to create 2D drawings such as floor plans, elevations, details, etc. There may be slight differences on how they’re presented graphically but essentially the end result is the same. With both you can generate a set of construction documents. In addition to the common 2D drawings and plans, both can be used to create 3D models and objects, which is extremely helpful in the design process as well as for presentations. Although, the user interface and tools differ slightly, the end result is the same. A tool for 3D modeling. Lastly, you can quickly create rendered images using both types of software. The great thing about this feature for both tools is you don’t necessarily have to be a rendering expert to use the tools. Both AutoCAD and Revit have done a nice job of making it very easy to generate rendered images.


When it comes to the differences between the two, it can be summed up into one acronym, BIM or Building Information Modeling. Long story short, with AutoCAD you’re using lines to create basic geometry that represents real life objects. With Revit you’re using geometry that’s equipped with real life information. In addition to that, with Revit while you’re working in one view like a floor plan, other views are automatically being generated as well, like an elevation for example. The same goes for when you’re making changes. A change in one view will automatically be reflected in other views as well. A good way to look at the benefits of each tool is AutoCAD is great for 2D drawing, where only precise line work is needed, such as elevation detail drawings. Revit is great for modeling, generating cost schedules, collaboration and change management. In the industry of design and construction, competition is fierce. Especially when it comes to getting your first job or to have your bid selected for a project. Mastering both Revit and AutoCAD can give you an edge both in the job market as well as project management in the field. Both applications currently have their place in the design process and construction industry, and putting all your eggs in one basket might not be a wise decision.