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14 C H A P T E R 3 This chapter provides information on current as-built methodologies in use at STAs and synthesizes the responses of the STAs about their current and future as-built development, pres- ervation, and usage practices. This information was collected using a survey instrument devel- oped by the study team with input from the oversight panel. The instrument was an electronic online survey developed using Qualtrics software. A copy of the survey instrument is included in Appendix A. The focus areas include the following: â¢ Identification and description of current methodologies used to develop, preserve, and update as-built plans. â¢ Identification and description of the accuracy and usefulness of as-built plans. â¢ Description of as-built plan usage after approval. â¢ Identification of the limitations of current as-built plan methodologies as reported by STA survey respondents. â¢ Impact of alternative contracting methods on as-built development and usage. â¢ Identification of areas of improvement. Survey Distribution and Responses The survey questionnaire was distributed to voting members of the AASHTO Subcommit- tees on Design and Construction. The literature review conducted before the distribution of the survey was used to determine which AASHTO subcommittee member was most appropriate for each STA. If an STAâs as-built information was located in design manuals, the voting member from the AASHTO Subcommittee on Design was contacted. If as-built information was found in construction manuals, the voting member from the AASHTO Subcommittee on Construction was contacted. If no as-built information was found, the voting member from Construction was contacted. Survey data were collected between February and March of 2019. Since some STAsâ online manuals may not have been updated to describe the most current practice, information collected in the survey may differ from that of the online literatures. Responses were collected from 42 states for an 84% response rate, exceeding the minimum NCHRP standard response rate of 80%. Figure 5 depicts the geographical location of the respondents. Definitions of As-Built Plans Survey respondents were asked whether their agency has a documented definition of as-built plans. The STA survey results, Figure 6, indicate that 50% of respondents have a documented definition of construction as-built plans. Respondents were asked to provide Survey Results
Survey Results 15 the definition if their agency had one. Table 3 lists STA definitions of as-built plans provided by respondents. Respondents were also asked if their agencies have a documented procedure for as-built devel- opment. Figure 7 shows that 68% of respondents have a documented procedure for as-built development. Of those, 75% provided their as-built development procedure. Information Documented on As-Built Plans The survey also sought to determine what information is being recorded on STA as-built plans. A multiple-choice question was asked of survey respondents about what information their STA requires to be documented on as-built plans. Preselected answer options were determined from the literature review conducted prior to the survey and input from the oversight panel. In addition, there was an option for the respondent to add items not offered as an answer. Results of the survey, Figure 8, indicate that the majority of STAs that answered the question require all changes made during construction to be documented on as-builts. Three respondents provided additional information required to be documented on their as-built plans. The responses included the following: â¢ Electrical pull boxes and other electrical items, â¢ Minimum vertical clearances, â¢ Pavement lanes, â¢ Sidewalks, â¢ Islands, Figure 5. Geographic map of survey respondents. Yes 50% No 38% Unsure 13% Figure 6. Documented definition of as-built plans.
16 Development and Use of As-Built Plans by State Departments of Transportation âThe Record Plans consist of the original drawings on which all construction details which differ appreciably from the original design are shown in the color red. Record plans constitute the permanent record of exactly how the project was actually constructed for future reference and information.â âAs-Built plans are the âAs-Awardedâ project plan sheets that have been updated to reflect the changes, if any, which occurred during construction. As-Built plans represent the field conditions at the completion of the project.â âAs-Built plans provide the permanent record of the actual structure and are used to develop plans for future work at the project site.â âThis set of As-Built plans â¦ is intended to show approved revisions to the contract design including but not limited to: revised roadway profiles and cross sections, revised typical sections, revised drainage installations, any changes to the demolition and removal items and any other changes to the original design.â âThe As-Built Plans are a compilation of the advertised Plan Sheets, Addendum Plan Sheets, Change of Plan (COP) sheets and other authorized changes.â âThe âas-builtâ drawings are an assembly containing a print or a PDF document of each original drawing, or revised sheet. Shop drawings may also be included with the plans if they provide any relevant information. âAs-Builtsâ are maintained for the purpose of recording approved field changes which are not shown on the drawings. Such field changes are usually of minor nature, as more significant changes usually require documented revisions to the plans.â âAs-Built plans are a record of changes made to the originally intended physical product of the contract.â âRecord Set shall consist of 8 Â½â x 14â or 8 Â½â x 11â reproductions of project drawings, plus the complete set of the project special provisions and standard special provisions.â âThe Final As-Built Plans shall include all revisions and changes, both design and construction, that indicate precisely how the project was constructed.â âThe field Record Plans will become the AS-BUILT PLANS when the project records are submitted to the Engineering Audit Section, and will be the permanent record of construction.â âAs-Built plans will be completed with field notations describing changed conditions from the original design plans.â Table 3. Definitions of as-built plans. Yes 68% No 24% Unsure 7% Figure 7. Documented as-built development procedure. â¢ Median openings, â¢ Utility crosses, â¢ Irrigation crosses, â¢ Anything that could have an effect on future project development activities, and â¢ All corrections, repairs, revisions, and additional details necessary to depict the work as it was constructed.
Survey Results 17 Methods Used to Capture and Document Changes During Construction Another area of interest involves the methods used by STAs to capture and document changes made to the original project plans during construction. Respondents were asked to pick from a set of preselected methods developed from the literature review. Figure 9 illustrates survey responses. Eighty-six percent (86%) of STAs indicated they are capturing and documenting as-built information by hand. This statistic is interesting, as the transportation industry has employed advanced technology over the past decades making project plans more accurate and with higher levels of detail, while it seems newer technologies have not been utilized to develop as-built plans. Survey respondents commented that handwritten notes are sometimes the most conve- nient and efficient way to record as-built information in practice. However, of the respondents who indicated they are recording as-built information by hand, 89% are also using other methods and technologies (Figure 10). This is an indication that, while the methods used for as-built development may be less advanced than that of original project plans, there is a movement to incorporate newer technologies. Total Number of Responses: N=42 Figure 8. Information documented on as-built plans.
18 Development and Use of As-Built Plans by State Departments of Transportation Three STAs indicated they are using other methods to capture information than those listed previously. These other capture methods included contractor survey records, CAD files, and survey data files. The survey also sought to determine if STAs were indicating the accuracy or quality of the as-built information they were capturing. Only one STA that responded to the survey indicated it assigns quality and/or accuracy levels to the as-built plans it develops to inform users of the degree to which the information was recorded. However, no information was provided on such quality and/or accuracy levels. This practice could increase the trust in as-built plans, as users would know to what degree the information provided was recorded. Platforms Used to Establish As-Built Plans The survey respondents were asked what platforms they use to establish as-built plans (Figure 11). The previous section describes how STAs are capturing and documenting changes in the field, and it is equally important to understand what technologies STAs are using to 1 3 3 3 4 4 14 32 36 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Drones Other Ground Penetrating Radar 3D Models LiDAR Google Earth Photographs Electronic Notes Hand Written Notes Number of Respondents Total Number of Responses: N=42 Figure 9. Methods used to capture and document changes. Figure 10. Methods used by STAs that indicated they capture as-built information by hand. Other methods in addition to hand written notes 89% Only hand written notes 11%
Survey Results 19 establish the official plans. While an STA may capture as-built information in the field by hand- written notes, it may be using those notes to develop MicroStation as-built plans. The majority of STAs are still establishing as-built plans as marked-up plan sheets. Similar to capture methods, the majority of STAs that still establish as-built plans this way also incorporate other platforms. Only 14% of respondents establish as-builts solely as paper plans (Figure 12). The results of this survey question were interesting, considering the current technology of the industry. As expected, numerous STAs are establishing as-builts using PDF editors such as Adobe, Bluebeam, and CAD systems. However, five STAs indicated that they establish as-built plans as microfilm or microfiche, and only three indicated that they use 3-D modeling. Advanced technology has changed the accuracy and detail of project plans; however, it seems new technology has not had the same effect on as-built plans. Entity Developing As-Built Plans The survey also sought to determine which entity is responsible for as-built development. In-house employees such as construction and design employees, or outside entities such as design consultants or contractors, are all possible as-built developers. Figure 13 displays the percentage of respondents who indicated only in-house employees develop as-built plans, the percentage of respondents who employ in-house staff and outside entities to develop as-built plans, and the percentage of respondents who solely rely on outside entities to develop their as-built plans. 2 3 4 4 5 16 17 18 28 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Other 3-D Modeling AutoCAD Mylar Sheets Microfilm/fiche MicroStation Bluebeam Adobe Paper mark ups Number of Respondents Total Number of Responses: N=42 Figure 11. Platforms used to establish as-built plans. Paper plans and additional platforms 86% Paper Plans Only 14% Figure 12. Platforms used by STAs that indicated they establish as-built plans as paper markups.
20 Development and Use of As-Built Plans by State Departments of Transportation While looking at which entity is responsible for as-built development, there was also infor- mation provided on what groups within the STA and which outside entities are developing as-built plans. Figures 14 and 15 show which specific groups are developing as-builts within and outside of the STA. The majority of STAs are utilizing their construction groups to develop as-built plans, while seven have design groups involved in the process. Other responses included construction, engi- neering, and inspection (CEI) consultants, the Erosion Control Group, and the Bridge Program. Contractors and design consultants are also used by STAs to develop as-built plans. One STA is using a CEI consultant as the responsible party for as-built development. Information on when these entities are developing as-built plans was also of interest. Respondents were asked when as-built development begins on the following scale: beginning of construction project, 25% project completion, 50% project completion, 75% project com- pletion, and after the project is complete. Also, one respondent indicated that when as-built development begins varies project by project. Results are depicted in Figure 16. Most STAs are starting as-built development at the beginning of the project. Approval of As-Built Plans The survey sought to collect data on the approval process of as-built plans at STAs. First, respondents were asked if they have a documented procedure for as-built approval. If so, addi- tional information was requested. Of the respondents, 39% indicated they have a documented as-built approval process (Figure 17). Outside entities only 3% In-house employees and outside entities 45% In-house employees only 45% Figure 13. Entity responsible for as-built development. N=36 N=7 N=3 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Construction Design Other Figure 14. In-house groups developing as-built plan.
Survey Results 21 N=16 N=9 N=1 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Contractor Design Consultant Other Figure 15. Outside entities developing as-built plans. 23 0 1 2 12 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Percent Construction Complete Total Number of Responses: N=39 Figure 16. When as-built development begins. Yes 39% No 54% Unsure 7% Figure 17. Documented as-built approval procedure.
22 Development and Use of As-Built Plans by State Departments of Transportation Little information was provided by STAs regarding their approval processes. Information that was provided can be found in Table 4, and generally consists of the individual(s) responsible for signing completed as-built plans. Retention and Preservation of As-Built Plans The survey also collected information about as-built retention and preservation methods used by STAs. Respondents were asked whether their STA has a documented procedure for storing as-built plans, and, if so, the procedure was requested. Figure 18 is the breakdown of STAs with and without documented as-built storage procedures. Respondents were asked the format and location in which they store their as-built plans. Figure 19 shows the percentages of electronically stored as-built plans and hard-copyâstored as-built plans at the responding STAs. Figure 20 depicts where these plans are stored according to responses. âThe responsible PE will digitally certify the document to sign and seal the Final As-Built Plans.â âThe RE shall review the plans and drawings and sign the âCAD Record Plan Sheet Title Page.ââ âOur agency doesnât approve as-builts. The Regional Records Coordinator makes sure the PDF opens properly and correct labels appear on the title sheet before uploading to electronic storage.â âThe as-builts are done by our Construction personnel, but then are checked by our Engineering Audit personnel during the audit process.â âThe R.E. is to review, confirm and approve that the As-Built plans were completed according to his/her âredline corrections.â The approval of the As-Built plan corrections is confirmed by the R.E.âs signature (whether he/she is registered or not) within the As-Built stamp placed only on the Title Sheet. The R.E.âs signature on the Title Sheet attests only to the accuracy and completeness of the redline changes and not to any design change that may have occurred through a Contract Change Order. Only the R.E. who inspected the work can make âredline corrections,â not the person delineating the As-Built plans.â âThe ACE [Area Construction Engineer] has the responsibility of the assembly, field review, verification, and submission of all required final project records â¦â âCompleted as-built plans are signed and sealed by the Resident Construction Engineer/Project Engineer.â The Resident Engineer writes and signs and dates the following paragraph on the Key Sheet: âI CERTIFY THAT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED IN CONFORMITY WITH THE ORIGINAL PLANS, SPECIFICATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS, IF ANY, AS DESCRIBED IN THE APPROVED CHANGE ORDERS.â The as-built plans are then sent to the Designer for creation of the Mylars. The Designer then adds, signs, and dates, the follow[ing] paragraph on the Key Sheet of the Mylar: âI CERTIFY THAT THESE PLANS ARE A REPRESENTATION OF THE PROJECT WHICH THEY RECERTIFIED AS CONSTRUCTED IN CONFORMITY WITH THE ORIGINAL PLANS SPECIFICATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS, IF ANY, AS DESCRIBED IN THE APPROVED CHANGE ORDERS.â âUpon receiving the submitted As Built plan information, the As Built Administrator reviews the As- Builts to determine if they are ready to be turned to Final status or if they need further correction.â âAll final records and documents are submitted to the district office for review. The district will review all records and documents for accuracy and that they conform to accepted procedures. When the district is satisfied that all records and documents comply with all DOT policies and procedures, the district engineer will approve the final estimate and write the Combined Project/Materials Acceptance Letter to the Construction Engineer.â âThe responsible Engineer affixes the final plans statement to the title sheet and signs, seals, and dates the final as-built plans.â âThe District Reviewer will review the âAs-Builtâ Plans for the following: a. Inclusion of required sheets (Plan Revisions, added sheets, etc.), b. Inclusion of all pertinent information as instructed above, c. Deletion of unrequired sheets (Standard Plans, Roadway X-Sections, deleted sheets, unused alternative design sheets, etc.), d. Updated Index of Sheets, e. Correct Sheet Numbers. The District Reviewer will upload the approved âAs-Builtâ Plans to OnBase.â âEach Record Set requires the Seal, date and signature of the Engineer in Responsible Charge of project design.â âAt the completion of the project, the Project Engineer will forward two (2) sets of As-Built plans to the District Engineer/Contract Finals Reviewer.â Table 4. As-built approval information.
Survey Results 23 Yes 75% No 25% Figure 18. Documented as-built storage procedure. Electronically 47% Hard copy prints 11% Both electronically and hard copy prints 42% Figure 19. Format of stored as-built plans. 5 9 9 15 16 23 0 5 10 15 20 25 Project Archives District Offices as electronic files Central Office as hard copy prints District Offices as hard copy prints Central Office as electronic files Electronic Document Management System Number of Respondents Total Number of Responses: N=42 Figure 20. Storage location of completed as-built plans.
24 Development and Use of As-Built Plans by State Departments of Transportation While the majority of STAs are still establishing some of their as-built plans by hand, most are storing those plans electronically (89%). It is interesting that 58% of STAs indicated multiple storage locations for as-built plans. It has not been determined whether these STAs store every set of as-built plans in multiple locations or if the storage location varies project to project. EDMSs were the most frequent storage location across STAs. These systems provide a central storage location for plans and documents. Ideally, as-built plans located in EDMSs would be accessible by all employees and eliminate the need to wait for others to provide such informa- tion. EDMSs used by STAs include the following: â¢ SharePoint project sites, â¢ Bentley ProjectWise InterPlot Server Digital Print Room, â¢ Department of Transportation Viewer, â¢ Falcon Document Management System, â¢ ProjectWise, â¢ Electronic records management system, â¢ FileNet, â¢ Electronic content management system, â¢ OnBase, and â¢ Microsoft Access. Preservation of as-built plans was also of interest. To address how STAs preserve their as-builts in addition to their storage methods, STAs were asked whether they update as-built plans to reflect changes made to facilities after construction completion. Only 11% indicated they update as-builts to reflect changes made after construction completion (Figure 21). Uses of As-Built Plans After as-built plans are developed and stored, they are intended to be used on future projects and/or maintenance. It is important to understand how STAs are using as-builts, because it can provide guidance on how they might be developed and what they might include. The survey sought to determine who is using completed as-built plans and how they are doing so. Yes 11% No 76% Unsure 13% Figure 21. STAs that update as-built plans to reflect changes made after construction completion.
Survey Results 25 Survey respondents were asked who has access to their agencyâs as-built plans. The ques- tion was intended to determine if as-builts are made public or if they remain private within the agency. Fourteen STAs allow individuals or groups outside of the agency access to their as-built plans, while the remaining respondents indicated only agency employees have access to their as-built plans. Figure 22 shows the number of respondents who allow a specific group access to their as-built plans. Thirteen percent (13%) of respondents allow only certain depart- ments within their agency access to as-built plans, while 50% allow anyone within the agency access but no outside agencies or individuals. Sixteen percent (16%) of respondents indi- cated their agency employees, other STAs, federal agencies, and the general public all have access to their completed as-built plans. Ten percent (10%) allow their agency and federal agencies access; 5% allow their agency, other STAs, and federal agencies access; 3% allow all agencies access but not the general public; and 3% allow their agency employees and the general public access (Figure 23). N=5 N=33 N=7 N=13 N=9 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Only certain departments within the agency Anyone within the agency Other STAs Federal Agencies General Public Figure 22. Access to completed as-built plans. Own agency only 50% All groups 16% Only certain departments within agency 13% Own agency and federal agencies 10% All groups except other STAs 5% All groups except general public 3% Own agency and general public 3% Figure 23. Access to completed as-built plans as percentages.
26 Development and Use of As-Built Plans by State Departments of Transportation Design Projects 29% Maintenance projects 3% Highway maintenance projects 11% All projects excluding highway maintenance 3% All projects excluding bridge design 3% All project types 51% Figure 24. Project types that use approved as-built plans. 4 8 10 14 14 15 17 17 17 20 20 21 21 22 22 23 23 23 24 26 27 28 28 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Other Pictures and/or LiDAR Scans Maintenance History Beam Seat Information X Dimensions Rock Cut Slopes Actual Courses Placed ADA Ramps Information Right-of-Way Plans Bearing Details Subsurface Utility Information Culvert Fill Heights Cut and Fill Slopes Pile Length Intersection Grades Foundation Layouts Depths and Clearances Subgrade Details Pile Tip Elevations Footing Information Stationing Information Typical Sections Alignments Number of Respondents Total Number of Responses: N=38 Figure 25. Information used from approved as-built plans. Next, how the agencies are using as-built plans was determined. Information of interest included which project types use approved as-built plans and what information from the plans is used. Figures 24 and 25 are graphical representations of the responses. The majority of STAs indicated they are using as-built data for all project types. Twenty-nine percent (29%) use them for new highway and bridge design projects. One respondent indicated it uses them for maintenance only. Typical sections and alignments are the most frequently
Survey Results 27 used as-built information across respondents, while pictures and LiDAR scans of the site are less used. In addition to the responses depicted in Figure 25, one respondent noted it also uses elevation modifications and additions of minor structures from approved as-built plans. As-Built Plans for Legal Purposes When considering how as-built plans can be used in legal matters, who has access to the as-builts is relevant. From Figure 23, nine STAs indicated they provide access to their as-built plans to the general public and 20 provide access to other agencies besides their own. It is also important to consider whether as-builts are updated continuously. Only 11% of respondents indicated they updated as-builts for maintenance and additional work after the completion of initial construction. It was decided that the storage and retrieval of as-built plans for legal purposes was too com- plicated for a survey question. For that reason, a case example was used to explore this topic. Arizona DOT indicated in its survey response that its Risk Management Department uses as-built plans. Its case example write-up found in Chapter 4 of this report goes into detail about how it uses as-built plans for legal purposes. As-Built Information from Third-Party Agencies As seen early in this chapter, STAs often rely on third-party agencies such as design consul- tants and CEI consultants to capture and record as-built information. This synthesis sought to determine how this information is transferred from these agencies to the STA. Figure 13 shows that 48% of respondents utilize third-party agencies to assist in as-built development. The survey itself did not explore the topic of how this information is transferred between the third-party agency and the STA itself. However, six case examples can be found in Chapter 4 of this report in which this topic was thoroughly discussed. Of the six STAs in which this question was asked, e-mail was the most common response to how they receive as-built information from third-party agencies. USB and disc storage were also cited as ways to obtain the information. How Project Delivery Methods Affect As-Built Plans One question was present in the survey to determine if STAs employ different as-built pro- cedures according to the project delivery method. This information was used in the selection of STAs to participate in a case example. Fifty-five percent (55%) of respondents indicated the entity responsible for as-built development varied by delivery method (Figure 26). Two of the six STAs interviewed for the case studies indicated the entity responsible for as-built development varied based on delivery method. Differences in as-built procedures by delivery method were further examined in case examples. Issues and Future Improvements to As-Built Procedures Four survey questions were asked to respondents in regard to current issues they face with as-built procedures and future opportunities for improvement. Respondents were first asked what they see as necessary improvements to their current as-built procedures (Figure 27). Accessibility to the public and loosely defined as-built procedures were additional written responses.
28 Development and Use of As-Built Plans by State Departments of Transportation Same entity 45%Different entities 55% Figure 26. Effect of project delivery method on entity responsible for as-built development. 22% 61% 94% 56% 28% 50% 56% 33% 33% 17% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Re sp on sib le en tit y Inf or ma tio n i nc lud ed Ca pt ur e m et ho d Pla tfo rm us ed De ve lop me nt pe rio d Ap pr ov al pr oc es s Sto ra ge lo ca tio n Na mi ng co nv en tio n Us es Ot he r % o f R es po nd en ts Total Number of Responses: N=18 Figure 27. Necessary improvements to current as-built procedures. Follow-up questions were asked about whether the agency plans to or has already begun to refine its current as-built procedures and, if so, which aspect of its procedure it plans to refine. Eighteen (18) respondents indicated they planned to or are beginning to refine their current as-built procedures. When asked what aspects of the procedures they plan to refine, all but one indicated they planned to refine or improve the method used to capture as-built information. Improving this aspect of as-built development should improve the accuracy and usability of as-built plans as well as improve efficiency in as-built collection. This also has the potential to incorporate new technology available in the industry. Aspects of as-built procedures these 18 respondents plan to refine are shown in Figure 28. Written responses recorded as âOtherâ included exploring electronic document possibilities such as Bluebeam and 3-D models, require- ments for 3-D models, the retrieval process, and public publication. Finally, respondents were asked what key challenges they face when attempting to improve as-built procedures (Figure 29). STAs may benefit from understanding and addressing the chal- lenges they and other STAs face while attempting to improve and refine as-built procedures. More than half of the responding STAs indicated they lack the technical staff to improve the current as-built procedures, 32% are experiencing IT issues and a lack of technology, 26% are uncertain where to begin their improvement process, and 6% lack management support. Other written-in responses included available time, personnel training, resource issues, record reten- tion policies, the culture of paper versus electronic plans, and deciding on which technology to use and where to store as-builts to maximize the awareness of the existing as-builts.
Survey Results 29 32% 52% 6% 26% 32% 26% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% IT issues Lack of technical staffing Lack of management support Uncertainty on where to begin Lack of available technology Other % o f R es po nd en ts Total Number of Responses: N=31 Figure 29. Challenges faced in making improvements to as-built procedures. 57% 70% 68% 19% 49% 68% 11% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Improved accuracy Improved usability Incorporation of new technology Applicability to multiple delivery methods Increased feedback between divisions Better linkage to asset management Other % o f R es po nd en ts Total Number of Responses: N=37 Figure 28. Aspects of as-built procedures that STAs are refining.