The ‘Standard Details’ concept is deceptively simple. “An easily accessed library of building details that describe how you like to do things.” Everybody gets that.
Have you ever tried to do it?
I found success elusive. But it is worth a try. Here is why ...
Every building that you design is full of details that you use over and over because your experience has vetted them as reliable. Usually they are innocuous and don’t have much to do with ‘Design’. They have to do with how you want these innocuous parts of construction to be put together.
Your time is better spent on other things. But to have that time you need a system for dealing with the standard stuff. Quickly.
And by the way, having a system like this makes you a better and more valuable business because it consistently improves your overall results. See more about this here.
I think this is a big deal, but it isn’t an A1 priority (Important / Urgent). But it is Important and deserves an evolutionary, one foot after the other, constant development.
What Are Candidates For Standard Details?
Most of the candidates are construction details that don’t reflect Design Issues. The point of Standard Details is to create more time to spend on Design Issues. So Standard Details are truly standard and not where your originality is displayed. Here’s my list of things I would concentrate on.
How Will You Go About Implementing Standard Details?
My suggested criteria:
I am not a big fan of drawing grids because they require extra effort in the name of aesthetics. Having annoyed a lot of folks with that statement, I would tell you that if you are already using a grid, then don’t invent anything new.
Keeping in mind that I am at least five years out of touch with CAD/BIM, this is my solution to the criteria outlined above.
Use cloud-based storage that you can access through your CAD/BIM system. Store the details in drawing sheet templates that you will use on each job by making a copy. So door details would be on an ‘Interior Details Sheet Template’ (or similar name). After making a copy, arrange the details that you need on the sheet and remove the others. You can leave a ‘note to designer’ with any special considerations. Just remove the note before publishing the drawing.
That’s the idea. Simple and easy to use.
Pitfalls I’ve Stumbled Into.
Most details include work of several spec sections so CSI Divisions are no help. Use Uniformat Assembly Divisions instead. If you even need this level of categorization / organization.
Storing details in lists is off-putting. Too much handling required.
Using keynotes on standard details is desirable, but they inevitably change and create problems.
Giving the details a number is often an issue especially with BIM.
Dimensions must always relate to the detail and not to the project.
Give thorough consideration to how you use text so that notes ‘scale’ appropriately.
Tackle just one small group of details on your first attempt. You will be amazed at what you learn about your process by the end of the first project. So build the process first. Then build the library of details.
Standard Details are just one of the many processes that you can ‘embed’ in your firm to save time and increase the reliability of your results. Here are a few others.