You have probably seen it before. You are looking at the contract language for an upcoming project and under CAD file deliverables you see the requirement: “Comply with the U.S. National CAD Standard (latest version).” If you were not aware that the U.S. National CAD Standard (NCS) existed, you may wonder “Why do I have to follow this requirement?”
Why even bother with a standard for CAD files? Well, think about it this way. Let’s say you asked two different structural engineers (for the purpose of this example, Joe and Bob) to draw two identical concrete slabs. When you get the CAD drawings back, the results are not what you were expecting. While you would have created a layer called “CONCRETE SLAB” and drawn the slabs on there, Joe decided to create a layer called “Slab by Joe” while Bob was lazy and just drew the slab on Layer “0”.
This is a simple example but just think if you add in all the other elements of a building, such as columns, reinforcement, and walls. Eventually, it would get to the point where you would waste more time trying to find the layer something is on than you do reviewing the design itself. Also, we didn’t even consider what the name of the drawing file the slabs should be drawn in is called, or what hatch style should be used for the concrete pattern, or what color/weight/style to make the lines for the slabs.