Sunday, April 24, 2011

shop drawings

Ecosteel sent us 359 sheets of shop drawings on Friday. These are drawings that will be used to fabricate the steel framing members for the house. They are intricately detailed, and are based on a detailed three-dimensional model.

There are ten sheets of plans and elevations (showing the house as a whole), which are keyed to 233 sheets of details (which show the complex steel structural members built up out of smaller pieces), which refer to 116 sheets showing those smaller pieces. It is like looking at the directions for the world's biggest model airplane kit.

It takes at least two computers and a pile of Easter chocolates to deal with 359 sheets of drawings.
There are two major advantages to fabricating the steel frame members offsite. One is precision: the frame should bolt together easily, and it should be the exact size shown on the drawings when it's done. The second is efficiency: prefabrication means little or no material waste at the job site, which dramatically reduces the amount of material sent to landfills.

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