US National CAD Standard, NCS 3.1-07, for Electrical Design
Thomas Mason, PE
The course begins with the Statement of Compliance. This is a required form, which must be presented on the cover sheet of the construction drawing set. Each statement will be very briefly explained, much in the way a glossary explains the technical words used in a report.
Second, each statement
will be converted into a checklist, for ease of determining compliance at submission
and during later audit. Within the checklist, examples will be given, showing
acceptable and unacceptable forms. Note that the checklist and interpretation
are by the author and not part of the published standard. Also, all examples
will be in the electrical discipline, totally ignoring structural, mechanical
and architectural applications. A list of references is included at the end
of the course.
The course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.
At the conclusion of this course, the student will:
This course is specifically directed towards electrical designers concerned about complying with the latest CAD standards. Content will be relevant to other disciplines, project managers and CADD managers. In call cases, purchase of the full NCS 3.1-07 from National Institute of Building Sciences, 1090 Vermont Ave, NW, #700, Washington, DC 20005-4905, is recommended.
Benefit to Attendees
The course is about NCS 3.1-07, expected to be adopted by organizations which purchase facility design services. Persons providing design services and making proposals for design contracts need to know what the requirements are when the Request For Proposal calls for "compliance with National CAD Standards". This course will make clear that NCS is just good design practice - not necessarily consistent with past conventions followed, but clearly good design practice. If and when Clients do require NCS compliance, the Worksheet makes definition, review and audit straight-forward tasks.
Most designers learned their skills on-the-job. Red-pencil mark-ups indicated sections to be changed and indicated the change required. After a few projects, the red-pencil marks became very few and the designer was deemed skilled in his trade. This worked very well within a discipline, such as Electrical, within a single firm. However, it was common for electrical design and mechanical design to appear to have come from different firms.
The most common response to this problem was a CAD Manager with military bearing, who had to sign-off the completed design before it was released to the Client. The CAD Manager, typically, prepared a set of CAD Standards, for his own use. It became obvious that design time was used more efficiently if the designers and draftpersons knew what was required, and the firm's CAD Standards were published internally.
Today, large customers of facility design services, such a governmental bodies, quasi-independent agencies, utilities, industrial and commercial giants, all have CAD standards, which they require of work done for them.
When we are done, the Client will still determine what is good CAD presentation, but it is hoped that the many client and provider CAD standards will converge into a National CAD Standard. This is the goal of US National CAD Standard 3.1-2007 (NCS 3.1-07).
The only visible
part of NCS 3.1-07 is the Statement of Compliance, required to be on the cover
sheet of the construction drawing set. (It might be argued that each detail
of each sheet of the set reflects compliance with the Standard, but the Standard
only codifies what was good practice previously.)
In this lesson, you are required to download and study the following course content in PDF format:
Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.
Cad standards are
intended to improve the uniformity of presentation, improve the economy of preparing
the construction documents and improve the economy of later revisions of the
documents. The key concept to successful application of NCS 3.1-07 is recognizing
that it does not really require all of the elements shown, it only requires
that, if present, they comply with the Standard.
Related Links and References
For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:
https://www.nibs.com - National Institute of Building Sciences
https://tsc.wes.army.mil/products/standards/aec/aecstdweb.asp - (Military) Tri-Service CAD / GIS council, with free downloads
http://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/National_CAD_Standard - a one-paragraph entry
http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/browse.com.php?o=76 - downloadable electronic files of details per NCS, Whole Building Design Guide is a part of NIBS
http://aec.cadalyst.com/aec/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=145470 - uncomplimentary article about NCS in Cadalyst, a highly-respected magazine for CAD users
http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0471703788.html - Wiley (publisher) webpage for a Guide to NCS for Architects
http://discussion.autodesk.com/thread.jspa?threadID=551197 - user interactions on NCS, sponsored by AutoCAD
http://www.architosh.com/news/1999-07/0702-cadstandards.phtml - article on NCS from Architosh, a MacIntosh-specific architectural publication
http://selectservices.bentley.com/en-US/Support/Downloads+And+Updates/Bentley+Library/Levels/SingaporeCADStandard.htm - most interesting. This is the free download site for the CAD Standard of the City of Singapore, provided by Bentley, the MicroStation people.
- very nice overview article on NCS from Consulting Specifying Engineer