Engineering surveys and setting out services

Investing in an engineering setting out survey ensures your property redevelopment stays within the legal boundaries of the site. Avoiding unnecessary expenses, wasted time, and potential legal conflicts by accurately translating design plans into the physical environment before construction begins.

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Engineering surveys accurately translate architect design plans

In engineering surveying, the process of setting out, also referred to as “construction laying out” or “staking out,” involves transferring the architectural design onto the land directly, often after a topographic survey has taken place. This enables construction workers to accurately adhere to plans during the building process, maximising productivity on-site. 

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Establishing guide markers (grid lines) and essential points guarantees accurate construction, within the legal boundary. Setting out surveys utilise advanced surveying equipment and methodologies, involving terrestrial total stations and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology, to accurately measure and position construction elements.  

What are the benefits of a setting out survey?

CADS engineering surveys and setting out services

An engineering survey provides an accurate base for construction projects, saving time and money by minimising errors which reduces rework costs, project delays and increases site safety. Ensuring the development remains within the legal boundary avoids future legal disputes on rights of access, encroachment and property boundaries, safeguarding your investment and future reputation. 

Working with your retrofit project team

We bridge the gap between design and reality by translating your architectural and engineering plans into the physical landscape. Through precise gridline setups and establishing reference points, we ensure that every aspect of your design is accurately reflected on the ground before construction commences. 

To prepare for construction and site coordination, our experienced surveyors work alongside your team to fully understand their requirements and establish a project scope. CADS survey team has 40+ years of surveying experience. Collaborating with architects, engineers, and construction experts, our setting out surveys and site engineering services assist in precisely positioning vital elements including steelwork, foundations, cladding and brickwork. Large development and high-rise building construction often benefit from several setting out surveys throughout the project lifecycle to maintain consistency. 

Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

We’re very pleased with the service and expertise provided by CADS throughout the entire project. Their diligent survey team not only delivered accurate data promptly but also accommodated our evolving requirements. The data provided by CADS has helped us deliver a high-quality facade package while adhering to stringent safety and compliance standards.

Luke Davies Contracts Manager MCIOB, BSc (Hons) - Century Facades

Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

Our expert survey team provided a wide range of surveys to help Century Facades deliver a cladding replacement project, including measured building and setting out surveys, at Blackhorse Tower in North London.

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Ground control networks for setting out surveys

CADS engineering surveys and setting out services

Vertical and horizontal measurements are created using a Total Station to establish a Ground Control Network, comprising a number of control stations to cover your entire site. If required, the Control Network can be linked to the Ordnance Survey National Grid for the horizontal coordinate system and the Ordnance Datum Newlyn (ODN) for the vertical coordinate system (in Great Britain), using GNSS for coordination purposes.  

The control network observations are processed and analysed, followed by a coordinate transformation to correct for map projection effects and ensure scale-free ground distances. This enables the use of data by design and fabrication teams, ensuring accurate positioning within the national grid coordinate system and simplifying future setting-out. 

Internal setting out

The ground control network can be expanded or a secondary control network can be introduced inside the building, running throughout all the floors in the building to allow for internal setting out.  

We recently completed an engineering survey including internal and external setting out for a Century Facades cladding project at Blackhorse Tower in London.

Transferring the architectural design  

To transfer architectural details from project drawings to your existing structure for a retrofit project, the design drawings are georeferenced to the site coordinate system. Grid lines and reference points are then extracted from these drawings and uploaded to survey instruments for setting out. Depending on the scope of works, grid lines and reference points can be materialised on the ground, on floor slabs, ceilings, internal walls, columns and building facades. The surface hosting the marks will drive the choice of suitable marking materials e.g. survey nails, permanent markers or chalk lines.  

Our surveyors hold Academically Qualified Person (AQP) Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards, meaning our team can survey on site during any stage of your construction project. 

Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades
CADS engineering surveys and setting out services

Building Compliance

Obtaining accurate data and setting out services not only assists in making design and installation more efficient, it can help to ensure you are complying with relevant Building Regulations. Setting out survey data also contributes to the Golden Thread requirement for a single source of truth on a building’s data  

Measured survey with a setting out survey

Using a Trimble X7 3D laser scanner, we can complete a laser scan survey which will be georeferenced to the ground control network. To prepare your regeneration site for construction, the captured data can be used to create an external floorplate drawing for each floor and overlaid to access the buildings verticality.  

Additional design and installation facilitation

To profile the external envelope of the building, our surveyors can create drawings detailing the building slab edges and soffits, cladding, windows and openings. 

Great Yarmouth-based business CADS develops skills of future generation with apprenticeship scheme

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