Building surveys are a vital component of any construction project, whether it’s a commercial build or a renovation. They provide essential information about the condition of the property, identifying any issues that need addressing before construction work can begin. 

However, it can be challenging to know what data to ask for during a building survey. In this article, we will discuss the critical information that you should request from your surveyor to ensure your construction project runs smoothly.

What is a building survey?

A building survey is a comprehensive report on the condition of a property. It aims to identify any defects, damage or potential issues that could affect the building’s structural integrity, safety or value. Building surveys can be tailored to meet specific requirements, but they typically cover the following areas:

  • The property’s overall condition, including any significant defects or areas of concern.
  • The condition of the roof and its supporting structure.
  • The condition of the walls, floors and ceilings.
  • The condition of the plumbing, heating and electrical systems.
  • The presence of any damp or other forms of moisture damage.
  • The condition of any extensions or outbuildings.
Image of a surveyor surveying a building site.

What data should you ask for in a building survey?

Here’s our top list of data you should ask us at Midlands Survey for in your building survey.

Structural condition

The structural condition of a building is one of the most crucial pieces of information to gather during a building survey. You should ask for details about the construction type, age of the building, and any alterations or repairs that have been made to the structure.

This information will help you to understand the overall condition of the building and identify any potential issues that could impact the project’s feasibility.

Site survey

A site survey provides essential information about the land surrounding the property, including the topography, drainage, and any potential hazards or risks. You should ask for a site survey to help you understand the impact that the site’s features may have on the construction project.

As-built surveys

As-built surveys provide accurate and up-to-date information about the property’s dimensions, layout and features. You should ask for an as-built survey to ensure that the construction project plans accurately reflect the existing building and its surroundings.

Building services surveys

Building services surveys provide detailed information about the property’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electrical systems. This information is vital to ensure that these systems are compatible with the planned construction work and that they are in good working order.

Environmental surveys

Environmental surveys provide information about the potential presence of contaminants, such as asbestos or lead, and any other environmental hazards or risks. 

You should ask for an environmental survey to identify any potential hazards that could impact the safety of the construction workers or the building’s future occupants.

How building surveys are used in the construction industry

BIM, which stands for Building Information Modeling, is a digital approach to construction that enables architects, engineers, and contractors to create a virtual model of a building. The model contains detailed information about every aspect of the building, including its structure, systems, and materials.

In BIM, data is stored as objects within the digital model, much like the objects in a video game. Each object represents a real-world component of the building, such as walls, floors, doors, and windows. These objects are connected to each other in a way that reflects the physical relationships between them in the real world.

The data associated with each object includes not only its geometric properties (such as size, shape, and position), but also its functional and performance characteristics (such as its thermal properties, acoustic properties, and fire rating). This data is organized in a way that allows it to be easily accessed and analyzed by various stakeholders throughout the construction process.

BIM data is often represented graphically, in the form of 3D models, renderings, and animations. These visualizations enable stakeholders to better understand the building and its components and to identify potential issues before construction begins.

BIM data provides a comprehensive and integrated view of the building, allowing stakeholders to make informed decisions and collaborate more effectively throughout the construction process.

Get in touch with us at Midland Survey 

The data you’ll want to collect and review can be displayed to you and your stakeholder in various ways. Either electronically or PDF is an option with Midland Survey

Your highly skilled surveyor will walk you through the findings of whatever survey you have conducted at your site which will help you move forward with the build confidently. 
Speak to our friendly team today to discuss your surveying needs and questions. Contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

You may know how surveys are used in a domestic setting but how are measured building surveys used on major construction projects? 

Between commercial and residential builds, measured building surveys are an essential part of any project. 

Construction companies on a national scale lean on the expertise of skilled survey professionals. Building surveys are used to eradicate unforeseen problems with the internal and external structure of any build. 

From the very infancy of most projects, the measured building survey will arm the project managers with fine detail feeding into the project’s BIM. 

construction workers looking over plans

What is the purpose of a measured building survey?

They are usually specified to an agreed level of detail, to acceptable accuracy tolerances, scale, delivery times and costs. Here are some other examples of what is the purpose of a measured building survey: 

  • Plan and cost projects: When planning a construction project, it is important to have a clear understanding of the building’s existing condition. A measured building survey can provide this information, which can help to ensure that the project is planned and costed accurately.
  • Identify potential problems: A measured building survey can identify potential problems with a building, such as structural defects, water damage, or electrical hazards. This information can be used to make repairs or improvements before they become serious problems.
  • Assessing historical work: If the project involves a listed building or site, a measured building survey will be able to assess any movement or considerations of the materials already used. This information may feed into wider applications that involve local councils. 

Why not explore our recent case study on St Albans Abbey belfry to see how our survey helped measure the existing structure? 

If you’d like to discuss your upcoming project with us at Midland Survey, get in touch today.

  • Avoid costly mistakes: A measured building survey can help to avoid costly mistakes by providing accurate information about the building’s condition. For example, if a construction company is planning to demolish a building, a measured building survey can help to ensure that the demolition is done safely. In addition that any asbestos or other hazardous materials are properly disposed of.
  • Meet legal requirements: In some cases, it may be required by law to have a measured building survey before making changes to a building. For example, if you are planning to make changes to a listed building, it may be a requirement to have a measured building survey to ensure that the extension complies with building regulations and planning restrictions.
close up shot of surveying equipment

Who carries out a measured survey?

Highly skilled surveyors would usually carry out your measured building survey. Taking various readings such as roof plans, floor plans, internal elevations, external elevations, reflective ceiling plans, sections, deformation and more, your surveyor will be able to tailor the survey to target what you’re trying to focus on. 
However, construction companies are keen to keep an eye on the project from the get-go so an integrated package of survey drawings is the most effective way of having a full vision of the build.

Bringing your project to life with 3D modelling can really seal the confidence of all of the project stakeholders – including yourself. 

When your project is in pre construction, it can be difficult to understand your structure’s dimensions on site, the complications of multiple contractors or the marriage of design and engineering. However, with 3D modelling you can see a fully realised and scaled down version of the project before you’ve even laid the foundations.

Learning more about 3D modelling

A digital scale model for visualising the project in full. Our 3D modelling specialists use a variation of technologically advanced 3D lasers, 3D fly throughs and modelling software to measure your site with precision and draw up a digital plan of the finished project. 

The measurements are pulled together to create an accurate digital life drawing of your project. These can be easily animated and used for virtual tours around the building or site. 

In construction, 3D modelling helps stakeholders produce the build more efficiently and with a reduction in expenditure. 

You may have heard of BIM (Building information modelling)? BIM is the progressive partner to 3D modelling. You’ll find it being incorporated as a key feature of BIM during project management. 

3D modelling allows cross department problem solving as well as helping coordinate MEP systems (mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems). 

What are the benefits of 3D modelling?

There are many benefits to having 3D modelling. Here are our top rated ones.

Accurate measurements and dimensions.

Being able to see footfall obstacles in areas early on in the project allows adjustments to be made pre construction saving time and money when nearing the compilation date. 

Lowers the chance of communication mistakes 

It’s sometimes easier to show someone than to tell someone. The 3D modelling allows you to really point out the item you are talking about and even demonstrate solutions with efficacy. 

With projects having so many stakeholders, the chances are there will be a few language barriers to overcome. 3D modelling is a strong visual communicative tool.

Allows stakeholders to have virtual walkthroughs of the building 

Investors, clients, developers alike will all want to know the progress of their investment. Having the 3D model established in the BIM, you’ll be able to take all project stakeholders on virtual tours which will emphasise progress, design and adjustments that need to be made which may affect the timeline of the overall build.

Being able to communicate these implications effectively allows for good communication to be maintained across the span of the project. 

Details and the surrounding area 

Whether you’re getting a 2D or 3D survey carried out, you’ll be able to understand your project in the situation. You’ll be able to see how it relates to the work and landscape around the site. This could even help you with your preservation or enhancement of the site’s biodiversity

You’ll also be able to experience detailed design features like wall colour, tile texture and flooring. This is where your project will really feel like life has been breathed into it. 

How Midland Survey can help you 

Using highly accurate point clouds to create our 3D plans can produce all our models to a high degree of accuracy. 2D plans can be easily extracted from our models giving consistency throughout the project.

With a process designed to make things as easy and straightforward as possible, our services can be tailored to the exact requirements of you and your organisation.
Get in touch today for a free quote and place your trust in experienced hands.

In architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), technology has adapted to propel efficiency, communication and cost. These technologies have been implemented into construction projects nationally. The process for integrating these technologies into construction is called BIM.

What is BIM and how is it used in construction?

BIM stands for ‘building information modelling’. This method of technology is used to manage information in the AEC industry. BIM is not one single technology or process, it is a network of various technologies which help project teams with risk assessment, cost and sharing information as well as much more. 

The implementation of these digital tools means that multiple stakeholders and team members can have visibility on the project at once. Working on the project simultaneously, the BIM model helps reduce budget impacts and increases opportunities in the build environment. 

Red BIM text with red roof graphic over text held with hands by man in red t-shirt

Why is BIM important in construction? 

Construction management is very complex and requires good communication across departments. Design and construction teams are constantly in need of optimising their communicative tools. 

When delays, miscommunication and errors occur, it can have a huge knock on effect to various parts of the project. With the overview enabled by BIM integration, construction and project managers alike can also forecast any issues and iron out unforeseen project hiccups.  

How is it used in the construction industry?

Smaller projects have found the shift to using BIM level 2 guide line significantly more challenging than larger projects. Since 2016, the government has made it mandatory to comply with BIM level 2 guidelines for public sector construction projects

This has now been translated over to The UK BIM Framework in recent years. Nevertheless, from 2016 to now the BIM model allows projects of all sizes to overcome major obstacles, it is being more accepted and embraced by smaller projects.

Digital tools make project management much easier and more streamlined. Furthermore, they avoid any miscommunications across departments which occur when using traditional CAD approaches.

construction of building with blue sky behind BIM text over image

Scan to BIM Software

The BIM process starts with capturing data about a space, ready for the construction process to begin. This data forms the foundations of the entire process, facilitating the creation of a digital model.

Whether the sector you’re in is residential, commercial or the public sector, you’ll be wanting to start the pre planning process with an assured investment of budget on initially surveying. 

Getting accurate data captured will enable communication and progression of the project to get under way in no time. 

We offer a range of quality-assured surveys for commercial properties, including land surveys, commercial building surveys, roof surveys to help you prioritise actions and repairs, underground utilities surveys for commercial buildings and 3D modelling to help guide you through your project.

Get in touch for a quick quote today and speak to our highly experienced team. If you represent a company in the commercial sector, we’d love to hear from you about the scope of your project. Get in touch with us via our contact page, or upload your plan here to get a Quick Quote.