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Why precise surveying is important in civil construction

Why precise surveying is important in civil construction

Surveying is a critical backbone of any civil construction project. Taking place before construction even begins, surveying plays a foundational role in the project.

Here are 3 key reasons why.

1. Surveying prepares critical foundation information of your construction site

Using different types of mapping, surveying identifies the following features in and surrounding the proposed construction site:

  • Topography and Contours – to understand accurately shape of the land, confirm constraints for design and construction, as well as calculate precise volumes and quantities
  • Cadastral Boundaries – to identify property boundaries and extents of ownership and access 
  • Engineering features – to identify details of road pavements, service levels, depths and sizes, understanding transitions, all are critical for decision making and design before and during the construction.
  • Vegetation constraints –  for clearing and preservation 
  • Benchmarks, Control points  and Datum – setting up a foundation mapping datum and coordinate system via physical points on site is critical to transfer design to construction. This forms the basis for any site to transfer measurements from to align construction with design.


Compromising on quality surveying by a registered professional before construction commences will most likely cause inaccurate design, project complications, confusion and delays. All projects need a complete foundation survey, supported by high quality data, to then be able to properly strategise the most cost effective and resource efficient build. Have your chosen surveyor check these critical items as early as possible to take maximum advantage of their skills and to give you the greatest amount of time to adapt if needed.  Don’t rely on information from others to dictate your future, check it first and early.

2. Surveying provides accurate to-the-millimetre measurements for your build

Using tools and technology combined with specialised skills of a qualified registered surveyor, is critical to provide: 

  • Precise measurements  and marking for placement of critical elements within the civil construction project
  • Preparation and maintenance of ‘Constructible‘ 3D data models to allow guidance machinery to replicate design accurately.  It’s important to understand these are not the same as 3D design models, as models for construction require checking and management to ensure they are fit for purpose of construction during the build.
  • As built data to ensure the depths and conformance to key design criteria are met.

3. Surveying provides knowledge and experience to better mitigate risk and manage your project budget

Working in partnership with your project surveyor before, during and after the project has many key benefits that can improve efficiency and the bottom line for your project. These are only possible when your surveyor has a strong working relationship with your team and can deliver these efficiencies in partnership with foreman and project managers: 

  • Identifying methods and technology early in the project that can create greater efficiency for the  construction to occur. This means project budgets can be correctly forecast and maintained
  • Coordinating less reliance on human capital and rework though clear and practical  timing of the works. This ensures construction and as-builts are done at the most efficient time to be most effective – and also to ensure marks don’t get destroyed.
  • Performing and sharing as-builts in a timely and manageable way so they can inform progress volumes and quantities. These then nform project budgets, programs and handover at critical payment milestones for the project.
  • Having the knowledge and skill to check and practically to solve minor design changes or problems when they arise. Being able to quickly adapt a design or model to suit a practical outcome, without the need to engage another consultant.


In a nutshell, working with a skilled and productive surveyor, one that has the full complement of qualifications and skills and knowledge of the latest technology is worth the time and money. They complete the job more quickly, are adaptable which means a greater efficiency and profitability for your team. If and when things do go wrong (as things never quite go exactly to plan), then you’re ahead of the game. You can respond to issues quicker, finish ahead of time and budget, and importantly, have your outcome fully documented so your client has the faith in your reputation to successfully complete their next project.

 

Looking for that skilled and productive surveyor, one that has the full complement of qualifications, skills and knowledge of the latest technology and the ability to adapt for your next civil construction project? Check out our Capability Document or give us a call.

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