Comprehensive CAD Standards for Facility Management

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Purpose and Scope of CAD Data Standards

The General Services Administration, in their 1997 CAD/CIFM Manual, note that Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is an accepted tool for producing the documentation required for construction and management of facilities and provides for a common medium of information exchange. In fact, the true power and potential of CAD is the ability to re-use and share the information contained within the CAD document. The key to realizing this potential is common organizing principles­standards for the production and dissemination of CAD information. The standard organization of files, layers and entities, as well as standardized software applications is essential for effective work and communication.

CAD data standards establish a basis for electronic communication among design, building construction and facility management professionals. There have been significant developments in technology over the past decade and the development of CAD data standards is necessary to capitalize on those improvements. CAD data standards lead to improved communication between architects, planners, and engineers and also with construction contractors, product manufacturers, and facility managers.

Standards are necessary to ensure that:
  • CAD drawings and data created in one phase (e.g., design) are readily usable in subsequent phases (e.g., facility management).
  • Drawings and data are applicable for their intended use.
  • Drawings and data are compatible with the available CAD equipment and software.
  • Drawings and data created for one project or project discipline, are compatible with those created for others.
  • Drawings and data can be transferred and integrated with other applications, such as facility management.
  • Drawings and data created in one department of an organization are consistent with those developed by other departments.
  • The compatibility of an organization's CAD drawings and data with pertinent national, international and industry standards is maintained.

Standards and procedures developed by JCG are comprehensive in nature covering both the technical aspects of structuring CAD data along with the administrative issues related to data access and delivery, data security, standards compliance and reporting. Standards developed by JCG are often incorporated as contractual requirements in design and construction contracts.

Because CAD guidelines relate to an area of technology that continues to change, JCG is actively involved in national standards efforts to insure that the work done on behalf of JCG clients continues to evolve and improve in compliance with emerging national standards. JCG currently co-chairs the CAD Concil for the National Institute of Building Sciences.

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