Con Doc Paper Size...?

So my Planning documents and con docs are A3.

A builder says my A3 con docs are information dense which he likes but it’s not great (for him) reviewing on a his laptop, tablet and phone. They’re great on my 1440p 27" monitors.

A3 overviews are ok, he says, on laptop/tablet/phone. He prefers A2 on-site.

A recent project I did some overview documents for the engineer on A3 at 1:75 which he was not keen on because his scale rule didn’t have 1:75.

They were 1:75 because I needed to fit them onto A3.

Engineer says 1:100 or 1:50 is better because if the paper size is A1 or A2 it scales down nicely printed on A3.

Historically I done A3 because I could never afford (or actually want to get) a larger format printer. These days I don’t provide hardcopies. If the client or builder wants hardcopies I say go to a print shop.

What’s your experience?

(I do domestic alterations, extensions, conversions and the occasional new build single dwelling)

We have never provided our own hardcopies. In the hand drafting times we sent our originals to a printshop, and when it became possible we sent first plot files via e-mail and later pdf files via the internet to the same print service providers. Today we store PDF files in “the cloud” where the builders and other project members can get them and order their hardcopies if they need them.

I have sometimes produced client review documents and the like at odd scales (to make them fit to a4 or a3) but everything sent to builders uses standard scales. I remember that the drawing archive of our main client had a portion of old drawings from the late 1800s and early 1900s that were in the odd scale of 1:66 ²⁄₃. Whenever one of those old drawings needed to be consulted, there was a hue and cry to find the single old scale rule we had that had that scale.

We architects love our A3 papers, but in my experience everyone else hates them. Most people don’t have A3 printers and they cannot be stored in standard A4 binders. So sending genuine large format documents is not generally much worse.

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Paul, I have generally worked on A3 since moving away from a physical drawing board. That was partly driven by not wanting the expense, space, and maintenance of a large format printer, but also because large format drawings need all that folding, are hard to store, etc. For domestic scale projects, A3 is generally fine. I know some architects have even managed to get by with just A4, which makes printing and filing even easier, but you tend to lose a lot of drawings space to title blocks.

I do tend to keep to standard scales, not least because planners and others require that. Very occasionally, when I can’t fit a 1:20 drawing on a sheet, I resort to 1:25. Most scale rules either have a 1:2500 scale which you can read off and divide by 100, or you can use the 1:50 scale and double. Not very testing maths! I can see that 1:75 would be harder to handle - if you allowed scaling from your drawings.

I can see that it is useful to be able to look at drawings on a laptop/tablet/phone instead of paper but I have yet to come across a builder who would rely on doing that without any reference to paper drawings. I would make that his problem and not mine.

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