Blueprint Storage

Blueprints are a unique kind of document that are very precise in content but at the same time quite large to store and manipulate. But it is important to find ways to store blueprints that protects them from damage. A blueprint for construction of a building are the "Bible" for every aspect of that construction. Every contractor and technician who will work on that building uses the blueprints to determine exactly how to do their jobs. So a typical set of blueprints has to stay useable sometimes for months as the construction project proceeds. While copies can be made, there is usually a master set of blueprints that changes are made on and that everyone involved with the project will come back to.

Two levels of storage are important when it comes to keeping blueprints in good shape while not in use. Long term storage is a level of retention that is necessary after the primary use of the blueprints as passed. But there is also need to keep the blueprints stored in a way that keeps them in useable condition on a short term basis. So in addition to producing a quality blueprint for a job site, an architect should have a way to store those documents when not in use.

Probably the most common way to store blueprints is rolled up and inserted into sturdy tubes. While those tubes do keep dirt away from the documents and protect them from damage, there is a draw back to this kind of storage. The value of blueprint tubes is that it makes it very easy to transport the blueprints in your car and they are easy to find each day when they must be laid out for use in the construction of the building. The problem is that the blueprints will develop a permanent curl from spending the night rolled up. Then when you need them to lay flat to help with the construction management and planning, they want to roll up which hinders progress.

A solution to the rolling is to laminate the blueprints. This is a good plan to keep the plans safe from rips and it does allow them to stack upright against the wall at night. But often the people in charge of a building project make notes on the blueprint that become part of the permanent record. Lamination hinders that part of construction management.

Vertical files that allow the blueprint to be stored upright but not rolled is probably the best short term solution. For long term storage, rolls may be the only option because of the space considerations. But before putting the blueprints away permanently, it is wise to create digital copies at a high resolution so you have a permanent computer record of the work that was done on the project. That ongoing record can be important to the building owners and to the planners of the work in many ways.

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