Supplying clients with our working CAD files is not part of the service we offer unless specified in our estimate and agreed before we start working on the project. We will supply all digital data in .pdf format only.
We do this for the following reasons:
2. Cost to the Client
3. Loss of future income
If the supply, and conditions for supply, of CAD data is not agreed before we start work on a project, we will set up our CAD drawings using our usual in-house processes, with our own in file tools. To then send this data out to anyone not familiar with our processes or tools, can make the CAD data unreadable and easily misinterpreted. This then can lead disaster on site and in manufacture, for which our insurance does not provide cover.
PDF drawings are a snapshot of the CAD data at a particular time, a PDF file does not exist as a CAD file. This procedure, sending out PDF files, controls the data so the PDF file becomes a “controlled” document as it is not editable. However, if CAD data were to be sent out, it is an editable file and without any control measures in place havoc can be wreaked by the misuse.
Why Do We Do This?
If we supply the CAD data it could be used by the client or 3rd parties to design measured installation items, i.e. roofs, windows, doors, kitchens, bespoke furniture and carpets, only to find that when installing they do not fit, then the author of the file can become liable for the cost to rectify. On existing buildings, it is particularly important to note that we provide as accurate a survey as possible without destruction of materials, walls etc, so our survey is sufficient for the services estimated. When we issue PDF files, they have the disclaimer that “All dimensions to be checked on site” to confirm accuracy, before manufacture of any items or building work commences. This disclaimer is then a way of ensuring that proper care is taken for accuracy of construction and any nuances that could not be picked up during the survey do not cause problems.
If an Architectural firm supplies a CAD file for a project, then they are in danger of invalidating their PI (Professional Indemnity) insurance. Most insurance companies require specific insurance to allow for supply of CAD data as it is not a standard allowance in most PI insurance. This can be why a third party “survey” company may be employed to produce a CAD survey as in all likelihood they would have this specific insurance.