Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

Mark Johnson
Survey Insight by Mark Johnson National Accounts Manager 09/04/2024

In our latest survey insights article, we’re looking at which survey service is the most suitable for each stage of a property development project. CADS Surveys offer a survey service suitable for every stage of your project - from inception to completion.

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Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

Ensuring property development project success

Collate, Create, Translate and Validate

In property development projects, success hinges on thorough planning, effective execution, and informed decision-making at every turn.

Most property development projects go through a four-stage process – which CADS Surveys refer to as Collate, Create, Translate and Validate – taking the project from conception to completion.

And, at the heart of this, lies accurate site data.

So, in this blog, we’re delving into the wide range of survey services available and which is needed at each stage of a project…

Collate

Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

At the beginning of a property development project, the project team must collate and digitally store all the necessary information about the building or land they intend to develop as a Golden Thread requirement.

This data is used to assess existing structures or sites and determine the project’s viability. It can also be used for strategic decision-making, including evaluating pros and cons, risks and budget, to shape the scope and scale.

Laser scanning

Laser scan surveys capture detailed 3D information about existing structures and topography which can be used for various purposes. These include creating accurate 3D as-built models and 2D plans, identifying potential clashes or conflicts and assessing the condition of existing infrastructure.

Their speed, accuracy and versatility make laser scan surveys an essential tool for gathering vital information at the outset of property development projects.

Total station

Total station surveys measure angles and distances simultaneously. The accuracy of a single distance measurement from a total station can be as precise as +1mm.

They can gather detailed data about site conditions, aiding informed decision-making by providing accurate information on topography, boundaries and existing structures. This can help identify challenges early on and facilitate proactive problem-solving and efficient planning at the beginning of a building project.

Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?
Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

GNSS

GNSS data provides accurate three-dimensional positioning information, allowing surveyors to determine the precise coordinates of points on the Earth’s surface. This capability is essential for establishing control points and referencing survey data.

A property development project will benefit from GNSS survey data at the early stages. It can be used in conjunction with Total Station data to acquire information about a site’s topography, to plot boundaries and determining the layout of the site.

GNSS data is particularly valuable for projects which require extensive site analysis and evaluation before the development starts.

UAV

Also known as a drone, UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – surveys quickly and efficiently capture topographic data across a site.

By covering large areas in a short period of time, UAV surveys enable developers to gain comprehensive insights into site conditions, such as terrain, vegetation and existing structures, including hazardous or hard-to-reach areas.

This data is invaluable for initial site assessment, aiding decision-making, enhancing safety and reducing the need for terrestrial surveying early in the project lifecycle.

Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

Receive accurate and reliable measured surveys for your building project

For architects, project managers, property professionals or building contractors working on complex projects or multiple locations, our measured surveyors work across the UK and internationally to provide fast, reliable and accurate data.

Measured surveys

Create

Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

After initial data capture, projects progress to design.

Architects and project teams use existing data and conduct additional surveys to create a design, including form, scale and appearance. This survey data can be used to inform the design process – or even establish the base of the design.

Floor plans, elevations and sections

Created using measured survey data, floor plans, elevations and sections are 2D drawings fundamental to the design process.

These drawings provide information on the buildings structure and architectural features, spatial relationships and existing MEP systems.

As well as ensuring a design is based on accurate measurements, these drawings play a key role in visualising, communicating, coordinating and analysing various aspects of the design process.

Topographical site plans

Topographic surveys capture data which is used to map a site and its features, recording site terrain, boundaries, levels and features. These elements are crucial in understanding the existing physical conditions of a site, making it an ideal survey to commission at the beginning of a biodiversity net gain assessment.

This information guides architects, designers and project teams to create accurate and well-informed designs which considers the existing context and meets the needs of the surrounding environment.

Also, they can sometimes be overlayed with design proposals to help architects and project teams visualise the property development on the existing site.

Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?
Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

BIM and Revit models

BIM and Revit models Surveys for Building Information Modelling (BIM) involves creating 3D models of a building, forming a digital twin of a structure which architects and engineers often use as the foundation for their work.

Revit® is widely regarded as the industry-standard software for BIM, enabling all project stakeholders to create, edit and review the model in exceptional detail.

These models are easily manipulated and examined, helping architects visualise design proposals.

Utility mapping

Also known as utility detection or ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys, utility mapping involves identifying and precisely mapping the location of invisible underground services, such as gas mains, sewers and water pipes.

Commissioning a utility mapping survey is crucial in the creation phase of a property development project as it provides architects and project teams with visibility of the buried services which may affect their project.

With accurate information on underground services, design teams can create a proposed design which considers and integrates existing infrastructure, leading to a well-designed building with fewer conflicts and reduced reworking.

Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?
Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

GIS

A GIS survey involves gathering spatial data and creating an accurate and cohesive digital geo-spatial mapping record of all external property assets within a Geographic Information System.

This survey provides architects and project teams with comprehensive overlayed data, enabling them to make, visualise and evaluate design decisions based on various data and its relationship with each other, including OS data, grounds maintenance data and property boundaries.

It’s ideal for spatial analysis, feasibility assessment and environmental evaluation.

Translating survey data onto a site helps bring the project from plans and designs to a physical reality, with greater accuracy – and a higher chance of project success.

Translate

During the ‘translate’ stage of a property development project, architectural proposals should be transferred onto the property or land itself, prior to construction, for the best chance of project success.

Translating survey data onto a site helps bring the project from plans and designs to a physical reality, with greater accuracy – and a higher chance of project success.

Setting out

A setting out survey is a critical step in the construction process where precise locations and dimensions for the placement of structures, infrastructure and other elements are established on a construction site according to design plans and specifications.

Setting out surveys play a crucial role in ensuring the successful execution of construction projects by translating design plans into reality and providing a reliable reference framework for construction activities to proceed efficiently and accurately.

Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?
Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?

Validate

The validation stage of a property development project involves confirming that the newly developed property meets the intended design specifications, regulatory requirements, and quality standards.

This phase occurs after the completion of construction or major renovation work and before the property is handed over.

Construction verification

Typically undertaken using HD 3D laser scanners, construction verification surveys quickly and accurately capture as-built site data which can be compared

with approved plans, specifications and design intent to verify that work is being carried out as expected.

It involves capturing on-site measurements to confirm the accuracy and alignment of constructed elements, such as foundations, columns, walls, beams, utilities and landscaping features. This is often a contractual requirement of BIM projects and can assist with detecting and addressing any discrepancies to ensure the project meets the expectations of the client and other stakeholders.

Floor flatness analysis

A floor flatness survey is conducted to measure the flatness and levelness of a floor surface where even floors are essential.

This information helps identify any areas of the floor surface that do not meet the required flatness standards, allowing for corrective measures to be taken.

This is particularly important when verifying industrial developments as flat and level floors can be key to effective operations.

Which survey service do you need for each stage of your project lifecycle?
contact CADS

Need accurate data throughout your project lifecycle?

Here at CADS, we can provide the accurate and reliable data you need – no matter where you are in the project lifecycle.

Whether you’re at collate, create, translate or validate, our expert survey team can provide the survey service which is most suitable for your project.

Get in touch today to find out more.

Get in touch