Member Discussion

CCTV Project With Incomplete Floor Plans - What To Do?

Have you encountered a CCTV project with incomplete floor plan? i mean some areas are not included on the floor plan. How do you engage with this problem?


[IPVM Note: Undisclosed A is the end user here and this is a 170+ camera system]

Usually the level of detail a floorplan needs for CCTV is reduced and specific compared to what a construction document contains. (See our Blueprints For Security Projects update for more on that.)

When it comes to 'filling out' the missing details, do you have access to the editable source drawings? I am expecting you do not, but that's always a good place to start. There could very easily be details hidden (unprinted or unrendered) in a .pdf or paper copy.

If possible, try to contact the head of maintenance or physical plant coordinator. Those people often have full sets of plans hidden away, and asking them couldn't hurt.

If not, field verification of the details you do have, coupled with sketching out the missing relevant pieces is the next step. You don't have to be an expert here, but accuracy in measuring the location of structural features like walls, doors, ceilings, cable paths is critical.

Does that help?

Btw im the end user. The engineering dept on our office dont have full sets fo plans. The cad files that was given to me was just segmented , some areas are not covered. I know that bidders will be asking for the full sets of plans, which i cannot provide. What will i do? Set a schedule for all of them to have a site survey?.

For best results, I would suggest that you create accurate floor plans of your facility before you ask for bids. This assures that all bidders are working off of the same set of assumptions and eliminates the need for each bidder to create their own drawings.

As Brian stated, it is best to see if better plans are available from the owner before you begin to draw you own. In many cases, a building may have been remodeled in phases over the years so you may need to piece together several drawings in order to get a complete plan. I have found that many times, the owner will say "that's all we got" when in fact better plans exist if they only take the time to do a,little searching.

If that fails, you will have to draw your own. Depending where you live, there may be drafting services available that can create "as-builts" of the building for a fairly reasonable cost. One such service is 2D As-Built Floorplans. I used to have my draftsperson/CAD guy go out and take measurements and then draw up floor plans. After finding out how little money some of these drafting services charge, I now use them to create as-builts rather than trying to draw them in-house.

Thank you very much!!!

Let's aska few questions first. 1. Are you having them design it as well as quote the installation? 2. Do you know where devices will be placed and what devices you want or are you soliciting ideas? If you can point out on a job walk where the devices are going and what type a contractor can use something as simple as a fire eacape plan, especially if it's 16 cameras or less. If it's many cameras and you require them to specify the field of views a more detailed plan is highly suggested. Of course, good as-builds after the job are a bonus.

The project is supply,delivery, testing and commissioning of ip cctv system. I've already plotted some of the cameras out of 170+ cameras. But the proper positioning and angle is up for the bidder right?

But the proper positioning and angle is up for the bidder right?

Yes, but make sure you explicitly define what you need your camera to see from a particular location.

For example, it's not good enough to draw a camera in a corner of a room, and then expect the bidder understands you want to see the entire room from that camera.

Describe in a sentence or two note for each camera what the surveillance goal is of that camera, ie: "Camera #155: View all people working with clerks at the check-in desk." This lets the bidder know what position, angle, and even factors like resolution, AoV, or WDR the camera should have.

That raises another issue. Should he specify the resolution and AoV for each camera? If he doesn't he runs the risk of interpretation - "Well, I thought a VGA camera with a 4mm lens would be good enough"

Absolutely, if he/they (end user) are confident enough in defining those attributes. Not many are.

Even as an integrator, I thought bidded requirements worked better when the end user defined performance, not parameters.

If my integrator said "Well, I thought a VGA camera with a 4mm lens would be good enough." when my performance statement reads "Camera needs to see license plates 200' away in a 30' wide area in daylight", I'd just tell them they thought poorly and to fix it before they get paid.

That way, the integrator is designing to a performance minimum, not minimum specifications.


You need the drawings to achieve an optimal bidding process. If they are not provided you can assume that the quotes from contractors will be higher because of the uncertainty around the level of planning and the amount of time it will cost the contractor to resolve this.

I have been lucky a few times I ran into this, I was actaully able to get a set of as built prints for the fire system from the local AHJ. I have also had some success gettign those same prints from the township planning office who had a set of prints down in their archive from some renovations that were done. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you waste your time, and sometimes you just have to get a CAD guy in there with a wheel and have him draw the thing out.

In cases like this, when the job is private and not public there is a time to pre-qualify bidders and select the final company and products, then value engineer as a team to completely define the job. As a guy who had to scan and design from old plans or whatever was available it is painful to do it when most of the bid variance will just be wiring distances, conduit if needed and physical mounting on a camera system. When I did fire alarms scale was critical, to the inch. If I have to make sure my camera meets the "intent" I'm going to look at each site in existing construction and make notes instead of trusting a reflected ceiling plan for placement. If course this is where you decide if hiring a consultant will add value or just cost.
Ive never seen a RFP like that. Maybe the AoV but not each camera's purpose.
So will it be part of the Scope of Work?

I have developed excellent relationships with architects and engineers due to similar problems. I contact the A/E early to allow him to make corrections on addendum. I do so in a manner of helping him correct an oversite. It helps correct issues for him before bidding and more importantly keeps him looking good to the end user (his client). It can establish you as a partner that watches his back. My experience is that most times he will appreciate it and it pays dividends down the road if you have a field issue on that or future projects he has drawn.

Check with the AHJ for previous submittals, and whatever city department enforces code.
Check with the AHJ for previous submittals, and whatever city department enforces code.