Why investing in survey data is critical for digital construction projects

Mark Johnson
Survey Insight by Mark Johnson National Accounts Manager 06/04/2018

In the fast-developing world of digital construction, data is power. CADS Mark Johnson looks at why investing in survey data is critical


Digital construction

Why is investing in survey data critical?

In the fast-developing world of digital construction, data is power. It is therefore critical that when Architects, Designers, Engineers, Building Contractors and Facilities Managers commission surveys, they consider the specific data needs of the many different stakeholders in a project.

Unlike traditional surveys which are a retrospective record of building data, a digital 3D model is a current, primary, centralised source of information about the site, the building, its services and condition. It is the oracle from which all subsequent design, construction and management activities derive their knowledge and the basis on which critical judgements and decisions are made.

Clients want accurate data that’s delivered to their desktop, ready to go. Yet it can only be accurate if the time is taken to specify what is needed. It is important that the project team knows their longer-term information requirements from the start of the project, including those needed for asset, facilities and estate management.

The potential damaging legacy of incorrect digital construction information emphasises the importance of commissioning the appropriate surveys, in the correct format and to the right standards at the earliest stages of a project. This ensures that information is:

  • Reliable
  • Compatible and comprehensive
  • Fit-for-purpose
  • Providing the best value for the client and stakeholders

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digital survey is not simply a commodity but a tailored service and should be purchased based on its fitness for purpose and its quality – not just its price.

Its usefulness and longevity can be greatly impaired by short-termism and inadequate budgets.


If there was a Surveying mantra, it would be to invest money in your information – and once you have that information, look after it and maintain it.

Mark Johnson National Accounts Manager, CADS

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