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I need an opinion, please.

 

Our Architect has taken a firm position not to provide us with the CAD for our Architectural plans, citing this is the reason...

 

"We don’t issue DWGs of our plans generally, other than to 3rd party designers for their use in designing specific elements for the house. As I’m sure you appreciate, the DWGs contain work which is our intellectual property, so we need to control to whom, what and when that is issued. If you have people asking for DWG’s, please do pass on their requests and we’ll provide what they need where appropriate."

 

We are hands-on self builders, I am the Principal Contractor and am sure I'm going to need the CAD to measure accurately from. Even if it is possible to scale from drawings (as was the case in times past), I'm sure the CAD would be very helpful. Given what we have paid for the service (a lot). Am I entitled to it?

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Absolutely outrageous 

 

The plans and Cad drawings are yours 

Your untitled to them 

You will need them and most design services Floors roof etc will ask you for them to enable the to quote 

Go in and kick up a fuss 

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30 minutes ago, Mulberry View said:

I need an opinion, please.

 

Our Architect has taken a firm position not to provide us with the CAD for our Architectural plans, citing this is the reason...

 

"We don’t issue DWGs of our plans generally, other than to 3rd party designers for their use in designing specific elements for the house. As I’m sure you appreciate, the DWGs contain work which is our intellectual property, so we need to control to whom, what and when that is issued. If you have people asking for DWG’s, please do pass on their requests and we’ll provide what they need where appropriate."

 

We are hands-on self builders, I am the Principal Contractor and am sure I'm going to need the CAD to measure accurately from. Even if it is possible to scale from drawings (as was the case in times past), I'm sure the CAD would be very helpful. Given what we have paid for the service (a lot). Am I entitled to it?

Odd one.

 

In fairness there are people who you would not typically want to issue DWG's too. Your not high on the list of unfavourables! 

 

As a consultant engineer myself, I know what it is like to create drawings knowing that they might be poached but at the same time I would be kidding myself on if I really thought by withholding DWG files I was protected. On the whole we will provide DWG's unless we clearly know they will be used for nefarious purposes. Within this industry CAD drawings are just the norm, we use architects drawings every day and getting them is just automatic as soon as we start a project, be it a 3 room school extension or 13 storey office block, complete with elevations, sections, details, the works. 

 

You can import PDF drawings into CAD anyway and 99% of the time you can scale it correctly and then convert the PDF xref to DWG and bind and essentially end up with a CAD drawing which apart from the layers sometimes being a bit crazy, is as good as the original for most purposes. 

 

Interestingly architects should be the very DWG's that are released because they create the GA's from which everything else is usually drawn upon, just contact them and tell them you have an M&E engineer who is doing some designs and wants the GA's, elevations and sections as a CAD package. 

 

I would first look at what I signed up to, maybe they clearly state no DWG's, secondly I would speak to them and explain as a self builder you want them for your use, thirdly, if you need to use them for measuring, ask them for the CAD's or alternatively tell them to dimension their drawings better.

 

To be honest, they sound a bit childish. What are you going to do, run off with some pretty standard details and your house drawings and sell them on eBay?

 

 

Edited by Carrerahill
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Tbh, why do you need a cad file, what you do want that he said he would do is to have a set sent to your surveyor, structural engineer and bco. 

What you need on site is a set of drawings with measurements on them, you cannot really scale from plans accurately. 

So get a set sent to surveyors, they will come out and do a rough plot peg out, from there you can do your site prep, then surveyor to mark out foundations, then you dig then surveyor to mark wall position. 

I cannot see how a dog is of any use to you unless you have the ability to read it on your computer. 

 

If you really want it get the surveyor to send or to send a copy to you. 

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our architect's were a little reluctant to send me .dwg files but simply for the reason that they held the master copy that was sent to other companies (e.g. timber frame, civil engineers, structural engineers etc) to add their bits to them and so they didn't want them altered outside of their control in case things went awry. I completely understand that I ensured that they would just be for my own personal use so they sent me them. 

 

but, to be honest, what I found most useful was they sent me the drawings in SketchUp format. it's a much easier piece of software to use (and is free!) than other CAD software and for what I needed it for, checking dimensions etc, they were absolutely perfect. so maybe, if they definitely won't release the .dwg files, ask them if they'll export to SketchUp. it is honestly all you should need.

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5 hours ago, Mulberry View said:

I need an opinion, please.

 

Our Architect has taken a firm position not to provide us with the CAD for our Architectural plans, citing this is the reason...

 

"We don’t issue DWGs of our plans generally, other than to 3rd party designers for their use in designing specific elements for the house. As I’m sure you appreciate, the DWGs contain work which is our intellectual property, so we need to control to whom, what and when that is issued. If you have people asking for DWG’s, please do pass on their requests and we’ll provide what they need where appropriate."

 

We are hands-on self builders, I am the Principal Contractor and am sure I'm going to need the CAD to measure accurately from. Even if it is possible to scale from drawings (as was the case in times past), I'm sure the CAD would be very helpful. Given what we have paid for the service (a lot). Am I entitled to it?

 

This is normally the case with Architects but you should check the T&Cs. If you wanted them you needed to state that in the contract. 

 

Edited by Adrian Walker
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What you are entitled to is in the T&C of the contract.

 

Are we talking about drawings done for planning or for Building Control? If you're just talking about planning drawings it wouldn't normally be hard to remake you own CAD model. Annoying but possible. 

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Seems a bit petty really. If they are really concerned about IPR suggest that the drawings are “exploded” and set on one layer before they send them to you.

 

They could also remove all the notes if they’re really concerned.

 

You will be able to measure but all the editable information will be removed.

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I’d never send out a dwg… I don’t think you have an automatic right to it.


I draw in 3D and there’s lots of ‘stuff you can’t have’ in there. Not only is it intellectual property (not just mine), it’s also probably wrong and will cause me grief down the line.
 

I have found though, putting the flat pdf into cad is a lot of effort. CAD doesn’t flatten or purge things in a friendly way. I’ve spent hours converting drawings and it feels like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

 

It’s easier if you just import the pdf into cad yourself. I think if you’re a CAD user you should be able to do that?

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12 hours ago, ETC said:

Seems a bit petty really

Yes.

All they are trying to do is minimise the risk of someone copying their designs.

Probably because they cannot afford to enforce them.

 

I do find it odd that IP can be applied to standard bricks, timbers and steels.

There was a Sci-Fi story about a man that made film props.  He was working on a film and the aliens came down and accused him of steeling their design, then took him away.  Was MacArthur era.

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1 hour ago, SteamyTea said:

Yes.

All they are trying to do is minimise the risk of someone copying their designs.

Probably because they cannot afford to enforce them.

 

I do find it odd that IP can be applied to standard bricks, timbers and steels.

There was a Sci-Fi story about a man that made film props.  He was working on a film and the aliens came down and accused him of steeling their design, then took him away.  Was MacArthur era.

 

This is how I feel. I'd say in terms of design risk, I'm very low in the stakes. It's a unique design that we've paid a lot of money for, the last thing I want to do is compromise it.

 

I'm not hell-bent on getting the CAD, I just want to be able to accurately scale everything in the easiest and most reliable way. There is software out there, I'm told, that will allow me to do this from CAD without the need to edit or get more deeply involved.

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It is interesting this whole IP thing.

I do understand that people want to keep control of their ideas and designs. But in the real world, this is almost impossible. Not as if you can hide a house from view.

 

It may be worth getting the people to place the files in a secure folder that uses normal encryption, so that only you (or whoever you give the password to) can use it.

There are a number of ways this can be done. 

There are also methods for tracking images and files on the internet, but I suspect that designers would not be bothered to enforce it.

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I wouldn't send my main dwg file - there's too much work in progress and standard details that get dragged into every drawing file.

 

But I'd certainly be happy to send out a purged version. 

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6 hours ago, Mulberry View said:

There is software out there, I'm told, that will allow me to do this from CAD without the need to edit or get more deeply involved.

yeah, as I mentioned before, SketchUp is great for this. Get the architect's to export to a sketchup file and move on! 😉 

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