What To Do With Old Blueprint Drawings? Problems And Solutions

As any building/facilities manager knows, blueprints are some of the worst documents to keep organized. They need to be kept forever. Maintenance and facilities workers need access to them at all times. They are very important.


  • Plan rooms are messy and hard to organize.
  • Drawings are huge in size.
  • They are heavy, especially if made of mylar.
  • They are hard to file.
  • Sets become separated.
  • Drawings are often “borrowed” but never returned
  • Often drawings are rolled up and it is hard to identify the set
  • Documents are sensitive to light and can fade
  • Documents are often very old and fragile
  • Usually 30-50% of the drawings are duplicates taking up valuable space
  • It is hard to find the right drawing quickly when an emergency happens
  • Storage solutions such as flat files, cubbies, or hanging racks are big, bulky, and located in a far away place like the attic or basement!
  • Finally, as with any paper document, the original drawing is often the only copy and is at risk of fire, flood, theft, rodents, etc.

Below are pictures of a few plan rooms that archSCAN has organized, digitized, and indexed:

Wow. No wonder folks cringe when they have to go hunt for a drawing in the plan room. It is often a time-consuming and daunting task. Don’t worry any longer! There are solutions to the problem!


  • Organize, scan/digitize, index, share!
  • The first step is to organize the plan room.
    • Create a database of what is there and record important information such as document title, date, building, As-built, record set, etc.
    • Separate out duplicates.
    • Merge sets back together
  • The next step is to scan or digitize the information.
    • It is critical that documents be scanned in order to view/store them on the computer
    • We recommend scanning to PDF for easier viewing.
  • Utilize tools within PDF for creating user-friendly documents
    •  Bookmark the different disciplines such as architectural, electrical, plumbing. We also recommend bookmarking each page for easy retrieval
  • Create a logical file folder structure and standardized naming conventions
    • We recommend creating a folder per building, and a folder for each project within the building
  • Share the information with people who need it
    • Upload the information to a server or a cloud based system
    • Maintenance workers, contractors, engineers, architects all benefit from digitized documents
    • The information can be accessible from any computer/phone/tablet
    • When an emergency happens, there are no delays in finding valuable information such as shut off valves or breakers

Facilities managers have said over and over again that digitizing their plan room was the best decision they ever made! It changed the way they do business and they can manage a building with greater ease and accuracy with the information at their fingertips. No more disintegrating drawings buried in a flat file in the basement! Information at a touch of a button.

No time to go through this whole process? No problem! archSCAN has organized, scanned, and indexed hundreds of plan rooms. We have the method and experience to get your plan room modernized and digitized. archSCAN comes on-site and organizes the blueprints prior to scanning. They do not call us the blueprint maids for nothing! Call us or email us for a quote today. Click here for more information!

Vivica Williams

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