Construction Management

Difference between Shop Drawings & IFC Drawings

Difference between Shop Drawings & IFC Drawings

IFC drawings or Issue For Construction drawings are often confused with Shop drawings. In this article, we will see what is the difference between these two types of drawings in the construction industry.

What is Shop Drawing?

Shop drawings are a set of drawings that provide the details of different components that help in the construction of a project. A shop drawing is a drawing produced by the contractor, subcontractor, manufacturer, fabricator, or supplier. A construction document is generic and may therefore not contain finer details about these prefabricated components, hence the need for shop drawing extraction.

What do Shop Drawing Relate to?

They are typically related to pre-fabricated components, demonstrating how they should be manufactured or installed. They develop design intent drawings and specifications prepared by the project design team to show how the component will be manufactured, fabricated, assembled, or installed in detail.

Why Shop Drawings are important?

Shop drawings may be prepared for Structural Steelwork, Reinforcement, Lifts, Building Services Equipment, Appliances, Ductwork, Piping, Plumbing, Windows, Cabinets, Electrical and Data Layouts, Fire Fighting, Fire Alarm, and so on.

What Shop Drawing Comprises of?

  1. The Project Title.
  2. Project Number.
  3. Names of the Contractor, Subcontractor, Manufacturer, Supplier and Separate Detailer, wherever applicable and necessary
  4. Order of sequence and sequence number for each Drawing
  5. Identification of all materials and products along with their dimensions
  6. Relation of different components to adjacent materials and structures
  7. Applicable Building Standards
  8. Axonometric Views (give the fabricator a clear picture of the whole part)
  9. Sectional Views
  10. Assembly Drawings
  11. Tolerance Specifications

What is IFC Drawing?

It is an abbreviation for “Issued For Construction” The consultant provides this drawing for construction purposes as well as the preparation of shop drawings for the contractor. Drawings will be issued from time to time for reference and information purposes. It means that the drawings and specifications have been approved by the local governing agencies and that these are the plans by which the project will be constructed.

Commonly, a general contractor will request a set of “Issued for Construction” documents immediately after contract award. The issue of an IFC set should have been discussed with the client, and appropriate provisions and compensation should have been included in the client/architect agreement.

What is the Purpose of IFC Drawing?

Issued For Construction is a document issued by a consultant to a contractor as part of the contract documents and used to prepare shop drawings for site execution.

Shop Drawing Vs IFC Drawing

Among the many drawings submitted to contractors is another very important set of drawings, namely IFC (Issued for Construction). What differs it from Shop Drawings is that it is created by consultants and distributed to contractors.

IFC drawings are final contract drawings that precisely illustrate on-site operations. The on-site work is followed by an IFC drawing as a whole, whereas the Shop Drawings are the design of specific underneath parts. Essentially, IFC is an explanation of “what to do,” whereas Shop Drawings are guidance on “how to do it.”

Thus, the above-mentioned information about Shop Drawings makes it very clear that, amongst the many types of drawings issues in construction projects, the one that holds the most important spot is Shop Drawing, as it is the most detailed and understandable drawings of design that can be extremely useful during construction.


Issued for Construction(IFC) drawings sets come with liabilities for architects because of possible errors or omissions in compiling the changes into a set, and in introducing changes, not in the contract. The need for or advantages to the contractor that historically leads to the contractor requesting an Issued for Construction set don’t exist if the architect issues changes in addenda as complete pages or sections.

On the same lines, the Shop Drawings reduce the chances of mistakes at the site during the execution of the design through to the verification of material schedule and interim payment certificates preparation. Even if you find some duplication or an error at this stage you can make corrections before even disturbing the site.

See Also
What is RFI in Construction?
What is NCR in Construction?