Detailing: A General Overview

Detailing“What exactly does detailing do?” If I had a dollar for the number of times I have been approached with this question, I could take a good portion of you out for a decent meal.

Detailing is a process where the project detailer works with project supervision to enhance a set of contract drawings that will increase productivity, decrease labor time, and identify prefab opportunities. Upon completion of a project, these drawings can also be used as your record-drawings with little or no cost to the project.

Faith Technologies has really developed the detailing practice over the last three years. We have used detailing on our projects for many years, but it was either done on a set of plans with color pencils and highlighters, or with a sharpie marker and piece of cardboard that we found somewhere on the job site. While this allowed us to visualize and instruct others on how a certain task needed to be accomplished, we now have paired these great ideas and visions with the latest in software technology to capture a great plan before we hit the job site.

There are several key steps to the detailing on a project.

Kick-off Meeting:  The kick-off meeting is the first step in the process. This meeting helps detailers request vital information needed during the detailing of the project, and meet other project team members.

Detail Planning Meeting:  The detail planning meeting allows the project manager, field supervisor, prefab manager, and detailer to determine the level of detailing that needed for the project. There are several driving questions asked to help determine this:

  • How much prefab is planned for the project?
  • Does this project require overhead coordination or Building Information Modeling (BIM)?
  • Are there VE options that will be utilized that do not appear on the contract drawings that have been negotiated?
  • Will there be a portion of the raceways installed underground, and if so then will the project be scheduling locating services using the Trimble station?

One-On-One Time:  The most important step is one-on-one time between the superintendent or foreman and the detailer. It is crucial field leadership be engaged in the detailing process and the layout of the project to ensure their plan and vision for the project is captured in the detailed drawings.

Deliverables:  The last, and equally important step, are the deliverables expected from the detailer to the other members of the project team. These include drawing counts and breakdowns, elevation drawings, conduit schedules, and prefab.

At Faith Technologies we encourage our employees to engage their local detailers on up-coming projects to see what services can be provided to assist in the project being the most successful one to date.  I most definitely encourage you to do the same!