AEC design industry is affected by global financial crisis so seriously that most of architectural drafting outsourcing companies become very slow. As architectural companies lost their contracts and projects, there are much fewer architectural construction drawings needed to be drafted. However, architectural drafting outsourcing companies are improving their management and technical ability during the slowdown.
Architectural drafting outsourcing companies used to be busy catching up project schedules for their clients and their clients used to work with them just giving mark ups for their architectural construction drawings. Thus, those architectural drafting outsourcing companies didn’t have to know much about building codes and other advanced skills and they just followed their clients’ mark ups and didn’t have to know why. They could finally complete a good project with their clients’ close supervisions and mark ups back and forth. However, this kind of architectural drafting service is more and more incompetent in drafting outsourcing market nowadays.
During the global financial crisis, architectural drafting outsourcing companies have the incentive to improve their technical capability to survive and also have more free time to do more research and training. As for architectural construction documents capabilities, there are usually several aspects to improve – architectural CAD drafting skills, building information modeling skills, local building codes, local construction materials and methods.
Architectural CAD skills are the basic technical skill that architectural drafting outsourcing companies should handle. However, the abilities vary a lot between companies – some companies boast that the can do architectural CAD drafting for architects or architectural firms, however, they just know “CAD drafting” and don’t know “architectural”. Architectural CAD drafting
is a specific type of CAD drafting. Those CAD drafting companies doing well in mechanical CAD drafting can’t guarantee that they can do well in architectural CAD drafting. As for CAD skills, architectural drafting outsourcing companies should at least know local architectural graphic standards, such as title blocks, layers, line types, dimensions settings. There’re many more architectural CAD skills besides graphic standards.
Building information modeling is more and more important in architectural drafting outsourcing industry. Companies that are not prepared for building information modeling would be defeated by others. During the slowdown, many architectural drafting outsourcing companies are researching and training building information modeling
skills by applying building information modeling skills into their architectural CAD drafting and architectural construction documents production.
Local building codes are the weakness of most architectural CAD drafting companies. Now, they have the free time and incentive to study local building codes which their clients apply, such as International Building Code. Once they can understand those building codes, they can do more in the whole set of architectural construction documents
by themselves, such as the life safety plans sheet and code search sheet.
Local construction materials and methods are also a big topic for architectural drafting outsourcing companies. Architectural drafting outsourcing companies can learn a lot of local construction knowledge from the architectural construction drawings
that they’ve drafted. Now they have the time to stop drafting and study these architectural construction documents carefully and train their employees.
Every coin has two sides. Global financial crisis has hit the architectural drafting outsourcing
industry fiercely, however, it also urges those companies to improve their architectural design capabilities to be prepared for new challenges.