The majority of Document Controllers (70%) work on projects, and the majority of those projects involve a construction phase.
Best practice dictates that documents are revised to reflect what has really been built.
As per safe and best practices, at the end of the project, all “Issued for Construction” or “Approved for Construction” documents must be marked up and revised to reflect what has really been built.
These revised documents must all be issued with the:
a. “As-built”; or
b. “As-constructed”; or
c. “As-installed”; or
status, whether they have changed since the last revision or not.
As-Built documents are critical for safety
The “as-built” status is the only guarantee that what is shown on documents reflects exactly what has been built. This is very important, and it has profound implications, including in terms of safety (see article “Do you know what ‘trusting a document’ means?” ).
These “as-built” documents are handed over to the Client / Employer organisation, who will be operating what has been built and who will use these documents as part of their operations and maintenance manuals.
Recently, a few Consepsys consultants have reported a question that they have rarely been asked, but it has been asked frequently enough to deserve its own article. This question is: “Can an ‘as-built’ document be revised?”
So: “Can an ‘as-built’ document be revised?”
First, the answer is “yes, of course”.
Basic principles of Document Control state that any change / revision / update / modification on a document must lead to a new revision. Therefore, if any change / revision / update / modification is made on a document that is already in “as-built” status, well, it must be revised (with a new revision index) and re-issued with the status “as-built”, again.
What has been built never stays the same throughout its life
A building, facility, process / chemical plant, mine, aircraft – just to name a few – never stays the same throughout their lives.
Just like a home, improvements are made, modifications are implemented, things are removed, things are added, and sometimes the site is expanded.
Every time any such modification is made on an already constructed building, facility, process / chemical plant, mine, aircraft etc, the “as-built” documents must be revised (with a new revision index) to reflect the latest changes, and they must be re-issued with the status “as-built”, again.
Therefore, in practice, “as-built” documents can be revised dozens of times over the course of the life of a facility, to reflect the various undergone modifications (see below figure).