Rebar Detailing is a process that is integral to the structural integrity of a building. Right after the architectural plans are finalized and the structural engineer completes his drawings, the rebar detailer comes into the picture. A rebar detailer is more of a problem solver, who puts the pieces of a puzzle together to create the right drawing. He is required to have a good understanding of civil and structural engineering with clarity on how steel is transported, fabricated, and erected. A mere understanding of the software does not qualify for a job as a rebar detailer.
Once the structural engineer develops the specifications for rebar for the project, the rebar detailer goes to work by interpreting the engineer’s drawing. The rebar detailer comes out with two drawings namely – bar bending schedules or shop drawings and rebar placement drawings. These have to pass through verification from the structural engineer before being put into use.
While creating the bar bending schedules or shop drawings, the fabrication shop keeps the detailer informed about the maximum truck weights, minimum safe bending numbers, and the lead time (idea about what goes first). The final drawings contain all the specifications and precise requirements that rebar fabricators will need to shape and form the steel rods. The fabricator cuts the rebar that will be embedded into the cement. The drawings provide details on every rebar piece as to how it should be fabricated and formed at the shop.
Rebar placement drawings are made through close association with the General contractor, rebar site foreman, and structural engineer. Gaps in information are fulfilled through Request for information (RFI) directed to the General contractor, who forwards it to the structural engineer. Also, the rebar site foreman is the point of contact for the detailer to get information such as maximum bar lengths, the number of drawings per elevated slab, etc. The final outcome of the entire exercise is an accurate placement drawing which is sent to the engineer for approval.
Rebar detailers are expected to conform to industry standards and adhere to all procedural formalities to ensure the safety of the building in its entire lifecycle.
In the past, detailers used pencil and paper along with aids like T-squares, triangles, templates and drafting machines. Now, all these have been replaced with advanced computing software and industry-standard applications. Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) is the software process used by detailers to create drawings. Autodesk Rebar is the most known software application developed by Autodesk for the task and it happens to be the foremost name in the business. Other applications with the same scope include – RebarCAD, Solidworks, and Tekla Structures.
The work of rebar detailer involves high-skill backed by years of experience. In terms of high-quality and accuracy, a company must utilize the services of an agency with a track record for serving a variety of clients in major verticals. Such a company with its breadth of experience will have expert rebar detailers to deliver on any project both big and small in the stipulated time period with expected efficiency.