our cad data policy is AS FOLLOWS:

 (.dwg, .dxf .skp etc.)

We would like to clear up potential misunderstandings about the use and release of CAD data; unfortunately there are misconceptions that can make it look like an organisation is being unhelpful when they do not release CAD data.

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.

Why do you do this?
There are 3 main reasons why we work this way:

1.    Liability

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.

Is it not just simply a case of sending over a CAD version of the PDF files?
In short, NO! The 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 or agreement of use in place havoc can be wreaked by the misuse.


REALLY?  How bad can it be?
The CAD data could be used by the client or 3rd parties to design measured installation items, ie. 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 sizes must be ”site measured” 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.


I know some people that WILL give me CAD data!
If an Architectural firm supplies a CAD file for a project without stating conditions for usage it in their contract/estimate, 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.


Will you EVER give me CAD data?
Yes of Course! As long as it is agreed before we start work on a project. We will then set the file up differently and agree beforehand with all parties who will be involved how we will coordinate document/data control. This way of working takes more time and so adds more cost for the client.


OK! I understand, but you’ve already given me PDFs does that mean that I can’t get the CAD data now?

Well, it is possible to send it out, however there are 3 things we need to do:

1.    We need to modify the file for usage and this takes time, so there would be a charge for this time.

2.    We may lose future work if we are mid-way through a project, therefore a calculation for loss of earnings would be carried out & a charge would be raised for this.

3.    A disclaimer would be sent to you for usage of the data and it would need to be agreed to by you prior to the data being sent out.

Subject to the charges being paid in full and disclaimer agreed to, it can be possible for us to release the data.