What is Construction Surveying? Importance of Construction Survey
What is Construction Surveying?
Construction surveying or building surveying (also known as “staking”, “stake-out”, “lay-out”, “setting-out”, or “BS”) is the process of marking out reference points and markers that will be used to guide the construction of new structures such as roads or buildings.
These markers are typically staked out in accordance with the project’s chosen coordinate system.
Construction surveying is important for determining the layout of buildings, roads, electricity lines, gas mains, and other infrastructure in the vicinity of possible construction sites. The analysis of this data makes it easier to design building projects.
Construction surveying can be either general or specific unless it is an engineering firm, design-build consulting firm, or owner-builder performing their own work.
Processes in construction Survey
The following are steps followed when conducting Construction Survey
- Survey existing conditions of the worksite
This includes inspecting the geography, existing infrastructure and buildings, as well as any subsurface infrastructure.
- Stakeout corners
This entails physically marking the corners of each plot, work area, service, and construction cabin placement, as well as the markers and reference points that will be used to guide the construction itself.
This includes checking the position of steelwork, blockwork, and so on, and applying correction instructions as needed.
On each floor, horizontal control must be offered
- ‘As-Built’ survey
Once the construction project is completed, the building surveyor will conduct a survey to ensure that the specifications as outlined in the authorized plans have been satisfied.
Types of Construction Survey
The types of Construction Survey are:
The type of construction survey that is conducted to determine the contours of various objects. The contours are usually performed by collecting topographic maps before the undertaking begins and creating a large-scale drawing of the site.
Besides this, other such surveys can include perimeter measurements and calculations for foundations, retaining walls, and other items that are necessary to maintain buildings in good conditions.
The resulting construction drawings will help implement buildings’ incorrect locations with no room for errors.
Geophysical Survey is a survey that involves the use of ground-penetrating techniques in order to determine the locations of various structures.
These techniques include geophysical techniques that are used to detect the presence of objects underground and electromagnetic methods that are used to analyze soil structure, water distribution, and aquifer movement.
The geophysical surveys are primarily conducted on government buildings, utilities, industrial sites, and buildings that can contain radioactive materials.
This is a type of construction survey that measures the distances and locations of underground utilities. This includes gas and water mains, storm drains, sewers, cables, telecommunications tunnels and lines, as well as other such structures.
These surveys are conducted prior to the commencement of construction so that work sites can be established with minimal damage to the underground infrastructure.
These are surveys that determine whether building designs and specifications have been implemented correctly.
This is usually the responsibility of the surveyor, who will examine the structure’s design and compare it to what has been built. Here, there may be discrepancies which have to be corrected.
Deal Structuring Survey
This is a type of construction survey that determines how a firm should respond when there are significant risks involved in negotiating a project deal.
This involves evaluating risks and selecting an appropriate response. The response can include rejecting, minimizing, sharing, and limiting risk in order to make the project financially attractive and ensure its success on completion.
Tasks performed in construction Survey
The following are some of the tasks done in Construction Survey.
- Survey the current circumstances of the planned work site, including terrain, existing structures and infrastructure, and, if possible, subterranean infrastructure (for example, measuring invert heights and diameters of sewers at manholes).
- Construction surveying (also known as “lay-out” or “setting-out”): the process of staking out reference points and markers that guide the construction of new structures such as roads or buildings for later construction.
These markers are often staked out using the project’s arbitrary coordinate system.
- During construction, double-check the position of buildings.
- As-Built surveying: a survey performed at the end of a construction project to ensure that the work allowed was done according to the specifications specified on the plans.
Equipment used in construction surveying
The main instruments used in Construction Surveying are:
A total station (TS) or total station theodolite (TST) is a surveying and building construction electronic/optical instrument.
A 3-D scanner is imaging equipment that captures distance point measurements from a physical item and converts them into a virtual 3-D model. Photographic, stereoscopic cameras, lasers, or structured or modulated light are used in optical 3-D scanners. Optical scanning frequently necessitates a large number of angles or sweeps.
GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver
A total station (TS) or total station theodolite (TST) is a surveying and building construction electronic/optical instrument.
This is usually with 25-foot beam and 150-foot (45 m), 300-foot (90 m), 600-foot (180 m), or 1000-foot (300 m) tapes.
This is a computer program commonly used by construction surveyors to create and edit construction drawings according to the measurements taken by the surveyor and other related information.
This is usually a common-length tape but with a few feet of accuracy, and also sometimes a surveyor’s “lay” tape. It consists of various sizes, including 100-foot (30 m), 200-foot (60 m), and 300-foot (90 m) lengths.
It is usually with a few feet of vertical step switch or digital level that can be triggered electronically to keep a desired reading in the field.
It’s also known as a “level bubble,” which is an instrument used to measure slopes and angles that is based on angular size rather than length or distance.
These are used to determine the distance from three points that have been selected for use in laying out the area for construction purposes.
These are normally on surveyors’ drawings that depict three points set at locations of known distance from each other and used to accurately indicate distances between those points at the time of construction surveying.
The following procedure is undertaken when carrying out Construction Survey.
1. Competency review.
2. Client requirements analysis.
3. Determine all relevant factors that affect the design, such as the design engineer’s job scope, engineering constraints and limitations, and the client’s schedule.
4. Prepare the contract documents and specifications for building construction (including schedules).
5. Perform an onsite walk-through.
6. A rough site survey is typically performed by a team leader or the project manager to determine the location of existing structures, such as roadways, utility lines, and fences.
7. The design process begins after the contractor has been enlisted for the construction of the building or structure. The work team then creates individual design drawings that include all information necessary to construct the building or structure.
8. Submit drawings to the architect for review.
9. Revise the design and make adjustments according to the architect’s feedback.
10. Once the design meets all of the client requirements, submit construction plans and specs to local building authorities for approval. Drawings of a structure or building are typically required for construction approval.
History of Construction Surveying:
The virtually flawless squareness and north–south orientation of the Great Pyramid of Giza, completed around 2700 BC, attest to the Egyptians’ surveying prowess.
In the sixth century BC, geometrical principles were utilized to build the Eupalinos tunnel on the island of Samos.
Modern technology improved the precision and efficiency of surveying. Surveyors, for example, used two posts connected by a chain to measure distance. This technique was only capable of accounting for distance and not height.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a modern technology that can estimate distances from point A to point B as well as elevation variations.
Importance of Construction Survey
Construction Survey is important in various factors. They include:
- Construction surveying is important ensuring that all construction activities are in accordance with plans.
- Construction surveys can be used to answer the following questions:
Which buildings are constructed on contract and which ones are not?
- How do we get materials delivered?
- Where does the construction equipment need to be parked for efficient service?
- Who is responsible for lighting jobsite at night?
- Where are the sewer connections located and what is their location?
- Which utilities are installed and where do they need to be laid?
- The most important thing that construction surveying is used for is keeping a construction site safe by making sure that safety precautions are followed during construction.
- A good surveyor can determine whether or not a project will be financially viable as well as whether a contractor has followed all proper construction procedures.
- A good construction surveyor also provides information on construction contracts, specifications, and work plans.
- Construction surveying is a very important job as it can mean the difference between a minimally successful project or an extremely successful project.
- The speed and precision with which a survey is conducted can determine the outcome of a project. A poorly done survey may result in problems later on in completion, but it will not allow for problem finding or fixing at that time because there will be no mistakes to fix at that point.
What are the basic principles of Construction surveying?
- Starting with the whole and working your way down.
- The measurement from two points of reference determines the location of a point.
- Work Consistency.
- Independent Verification.
- Exactness is required.
What are the basic objectives of Construction surveying?
- Supplying layout stakes, both horizontally and vertically, that construction employees can use to position buildings or earthwork projects in a precise and efficient way.
- Continual replacement of layout stakes as a project develops.
What are the challenges of Construction Surveying?
- The main challenges in construction surveying are all the new methods that have been developed to save time and money and to produce better results.
- Another challenge is how far ahead does one go in a job before plans are drawn?
- One of the main challenges is use of GPS for tight spaces like under overpasses or bridges, it would be good to know whether the surveyor can get permission from the owners.
- As mentioned before, the main challenges of construction surveying are modern technology. As a surveyor you have to be to adapt with technology and know all proper safety precautions.
What is the salary of a Construction Surveyor?
In the United States, the national average compensation for a Construction Surveyor is $66,212 per year.
How long does a Construction Surveyor work?
10 hours per week during the summer months and 5 hours per week during the winter months.
What are the duties of a Construction Surveyor?
- Measure, plot and stake out all work as directed by a surveyor/project supervisor.
- Operate transit and total station.
- Make measurements for preparation of drawings and specifications, computations for the conveyance of property to public authorities.
- Prepare and record plats, survey instruments, and supplies.
- Collects compiles and prepares surveys for the surveyor/project supervisor to review and approve for presentation to plan checker.
- Recognize deviations from approved plans in the field and make appropriate notes or sketches to document same.
- Determine the centerline or alignment of a project by transit over right-of-way.
- Make as accurate measurements as possible.
- Make notes and record data in field book or a computerized database.
- Prepare reports on field survey and misc. surveying operations.
How can a surveyor become a Construction Surveyor?
In order to become a construction surveyor, one must have an associate’s degree in surveying, with classes like computer drafting, land development and urban planning.
A four-year degree is required for higher positions in the field.
How much does a Construction Surveyor make?
- In US, the average annual salary of construction surveyors is $66,212.00.
- The highest paid 10% of construction surveyors earn about $101,350 per year.
- The lowest paid 10% of construction surveyors earn about $34,880 per year.
The leading factors affecting the salary of construction surveyors are:
- Employer size and industry
- Workplace and location
- Years of experience and skills
What are the Elements of Construction Surveying?
- Construction surveying involves the use of instruments such as transit, remote sensors and GPS.
- Surveying can also include the use of maps, drawings, and computer software to analyze land in order to lay out construction project in the most efficient manner.
- Construction surveying is used to show the best way to layout a project. In construction surveying,
- Construction surveying must also include rainfall and topographical maps as well as aerial photographs of ground.
Where can Construction Surveying be applied?
- In electrical engineering construction surveying is used for calculating voltages, conduction and resistance of materials in a building or structure.
- In mining, construction surveying is used for calculating the metal content and know-how to cut that mine in the most efficient manner.
- In civil engineering, construction surveying is used for building roads, bridges, and buildings with materials such as concrete and steel.
- In electrical engineering, construction surveying is used for measuring voltages, conduction, and resistance of materials in a building or structure that produces electricity.
How much does a construction surveyor need to know about computers and technology?
A contractor’s computer software must be loaded with the drawings and plans that were produced by the project manager, along with all other information.
Where can one get an associate’s degree in construction surveying?
In the United States, there are no active college level programs offered in construction surveying. The closest school located in Florida would be University of South Florida.
The closest school located in Arizona would be Arizona State University.
The closest school located in California would be California State University, Sacramento.
What are the Coordinate systems used in Construction Surveying?
- The Plane Coordinate System is wherein the drawing it is using an x-y axis.
- The Geographic Coordinate System is used for determining location by latitude and longitude.
- Another coordinate system used in construction surveying is the Horizontal and Vertical Coordinate.
- Also, the degree of parallel and slope of the ground are very important elements to be measured with a transit.
When should Construction Surveys be taken?
- Construction surveying should be done as soon as the land is being acquired and before construction has begun.
- Construction surveying should be taken every six months to check on the work being done by a contractor or engineer’s laborer’s crew.
- Construction surveys should be taken by project managers and surveyors on a weekly basis for two weeks before any major project.
- Also, construction surveying should be taken at the final inspection period for all construction before the building is complete.
When should Construction Surveys be used?
- Construction surveys are used with a contractor every six months to check on the work being done by a contractor or engineer’s laborer’s crew.
- Construction surveys are used by project managers and surveyors on a weekly basis for two weeks before any major project.
- Construction surveys are used with a contractor every week for the two weeks before a major project.
- Construction surveys are done as soon as the land is being acquired and before construction has begun.
- Construction surveys are taken by project managers and surveyors on a weekly basis for two weeks before any major project.
- Construction surveys are also used at the final inspection period for all construction before the building is complete.