A Monitoring Survey plays an important role in construction projects. They help detect the early signs of movement, which is important for the health and safety of people using the structure or those near it.

They can also help inform long-term decisions about a structure and make sure people aren’t liable for any shifts. Construction regulations will often require a monitoring survey are often used when taking out insurance to understand if the construction project will disrupt any nearby objects.

Let’s explore the process for carrying out monitoring surveys and why they are so important in construction projects.

What is a monitoring survey?

A monitoring survey measures the movement of a structure or object over time. This is done to detect any changes in the structure’s position, shape, or dimensions.

The time between each measurement depends on the project and could be days, weeks, months, or even years.

They are usually required for the following reasons: 

  • Structures built on unstable ground.
  • The structure is old and deteriorated.
  • The structure is undergoing construction or close to construction work.
  • Exposed structures.

The benefits of carrying out monitoring surveys

Monitoring surveys are important for a range of reasons. From saving money to peace of mind, boundary surveys are a crucial part of any development project.

Early detection of risks

Identify problems with a structure early on before major damage by carrying out a monitoring survey. 

Enhanced risk management and safety

Monitoring surveys allow you to monitor potential risks such as ground movement or foundation instability, allowing for proactive measures to mitigate them. 

Early detection of potential hazards can help prevent accidents and injuries on the construction site and nearby.

Save money

Save money on maintenance and repair costs when you spot problems early on. Catching problems early saves money on maintenance by allowing for smaller, cheaper fixes, preventing minor issues from snowballing into expensive repairs, and ensuring parts are readily available. 

Improved decision making

Stakeholders can gain valuable data on the movement and behaviour of a structure over time, informing decisions about repairs, renovations, or future construction projects.

Compliance and regulation

Construction regulations often require monitoring surveys for specific projects. These surveys act as a crucial safety net, ensuring the project adheres to strict engineering standards and minimises potential hazards. 

What monitoring surveys do we offer?

We offer a range of monitoring surveys to help your construction project; these include:

Structural monitoringThis is one of our most popular types of monitoring surveys, where we record the movement or deformation of a structure. We can work on a variety of buildings, from new build developments to listed buildings. 

  • Environmental monitoring: Midland Surveys’ sister company, Lucion Services, can offer these services.
  • Asset Condition surveys: Used to evaluate the impact of construction projects on the wider environment. 
  • Vibration monitoring: Sensors measure the vibrations of buildings, which can detect issues such as loose foundations and overloaded beams.
  • Corrosion monitoring: Issues with rust or erosion are identified by sensors.
  • Temperature monitoring: Sensors detect structural problems such as heat stress and thermal expansion.

How Midland Survey Conducts Monitoring Surveys

At Midland Survey, our expert team uses the latest technology to produce reliable results and get the report to you as quickly as possible. 

The monitoring survey will record horizontal and vertical position changes of any size in real-time (all measurements on the same day) or annually. 

Our specialists choose the most suitable technique based on your project type:

  • Laser scanning: Creates a 3D point cloud of the entire structure, allowing for movement detection over time.
  • Fixed position monitoring: Utilises a network of targets attached to the structure and external control points. Measurements with a total station track movement compared to previous readings.
  • Tilt sensor monitoring: Sensors attached to the building measure angles at regular intervals, triggering alarms if they exceed a set tilt limit.
  • Crack monitoring: Crack gauges and studs monitor the movement and growth of cracks in brickwork, pointing, or gable ends.
  • Traditional methods: Total stations or precise levels can also be used, depending on the project’s needs. 

Comparisons with previous readings provide insights into movement and its rate of change.

Once the survey is complete, you will receive a report containing the following information:

  • Coordinate changes over time.
  • Heat map showing any movement
  • Point clouds

Monitoring survey success

We have carried out monitoring surveys for a range of construction projects, including structural health monitoring, environmental monitoring, mining, and civil engineering.

We have been working closely with Wolverhampton City Council to monitor some of their building stock. This involved monthly visits over six months to provide a report on how their buildings are moving.

We also provided a monitoring survey for a large theme park to provide measurements on how the various rope bridge supports behaved and to provide reassurance that they were safe to use.

Does your construction project require a monitoring survey? 

Monitoring surveys are vital to any construction project to ensure safety and compliance. If you are looking for a monitoring survey, get in touch with us today for a free quote, and our expert team of surveyors will help you.

Are you carrying out subsurface mapping on your upcoming project? If you want highly accurate results, and no costly mistakes, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys could be the right solution for your project. 

Subsurface mapping is so important in creating a map of the underground of a work site. Whether you are a developer, an architect, or a planner, you can study the underground properties to determine utility infrastructure including piping, cabling, drains and sewers, etc. It is a crucial part of the process to ensure the building site can be prepared with this information in mind.

GPR surveys are particularly helpful in helping to detect non-metallic objects such as plastic pipes, concrete, or clay. Completing subsurface mapping can save time and money in the long run by preventing costly mistakes that could be difficult to reverse. 

So, let’s prevent any costly mistakes and discover the power of GPR surveys in subsurface mapping.

How does GPR technology work?

GPR technology sends a high-frequency electromagnetic pulse into the ground using a transmitter. The radar signals are then reflected and detected by the antenna.  

Next, the signals are processed and displayed on a graphic recorder. The transmitter and antenna move across the area of interest, and the graphic recorder will create a final radar image. 

This technique is standard in completing our underground utility surveys to ensure highly accurate results. 

A vital component of GPR technology is resolution. Our surveyors are experienced in using a combination of frequencies to produce accurate results. By using a combination of lower frequency and higher frequency antennas, our surveyors can ensure a high resolution but are also able to identify different features and smaller objects.

What are the benefits of using GPR Surveys in Subsurface Mapping? 

There are many advantages to using GPR surveys in subsurface mapping: 

  • Highly accurate results: through their ability to detect both metallic and non-metallic objects. 
  • Cost-effective solution: allows developers to prevent delays and structural damage through thorough planning. 
  • Fast data collection: the high-resolution image is created in a matter of minutes, making it cheaper and safer than radiography. 
  • Non-destructive and safe: you only need single-sided access, making it an ideal solution for public spaces.

How can GPR surveys help you?

There are various ways that GPR surveys are being used in the construction industry. Here are some common applications:

  • Construction details: to determine the general construction such as material, location, and thickness.
  • Concrete mapping: provides clear radar images on thin concrete floors, roads, pavements, walls, tunnels, and balconies to locate and map rebar tendons and conduits.
  • Floor slabs: to identify voids below the slabs to prevent structural damage.
  • Chimney flue location: detects the location of a chimney flue by detecting the change in the material of the masonry wall and flue void.
  • Locating embedded steel in masonry: due to its non-invasive nature it is effective for use on listed buildings.
  • Hazardous waste: detects any hazardous leaks or contamination.

GPR in practice on a level six service avoidance survey

On a large college field in Oxfordshire, we had to detect air raid shelters for a client with short turnaround times. We suggested the level six service avoidance survey due to the tight deadline. 

This project used the Cobra GPR unit to scan the grid at 1m intervals and detect each anomaly or service found. We also used on-site analysis of the RD10000 GPR unit to cross-reference the data collected by the Cobra GPR unit. 

We found the air raid shelters with both GPR units efficiently and accurately. Using GPR surveys in subsurface mapping improved the efficiency and success of the project. Moreover, we completed the project within the client’s deadline and budget.

Considering GPR Surveys for Subsurface Mapping in Your Next Project?

As we have discussed, GPR surveys can provide numerous capabilities and applications in subsurface mapping. From detecting plastic pipes to identifying voids, it is a highly accurate and efficient method. 

The technology is constantly evolving. Researchers and developers are working on novel antenna designs, signal processing algorithms, and advanced imaging techniques to improve the resolution without compromising the ability to penetrate the ground. AI is revolutionising GPR surveys, enabling faster and more accurate identification of subsurface features.

The demand for highly accurate and efficient subsurface mapping is driving the rapid development of Ground Penetrating Radar surveys. If you have an upcoming project you would like to unleash the power of GPR surveys in subsurface mapping, then get in touch with us and we will provide you with all of the information you need to execute your project with success.

Having been in the surveying industry for over 35 years, here at Midland Survey, we know the importance of surveying the future with ever-evolving technologies. 

It is crucial to be at the forefront of innovation to ensure we continue to provide the most efficient, accurate, and affordable solutions to all of our clients. 

Find out the latest surveying trends for 2024 for surveying the future of this industry. From Building Information Modelling to robotics, the industry has an exciting future ahead.

Significant developments in technology have pushed the surveying industry forward. This improvement in technology is helping land surveyors collect data and improve the accuracy of the data itself. 

Due to various factors such as an increasing population and increasing urbanisation, land surveying is a highly profitable industry. However, there are increasing challenges facing the industry, such as the climate crisis with the built environment estimated to be responsible for around 40% of global carbon emissions. 2024 is likely to see further improvements and more action being taken regarding the ongoing climate crisis.

Surveying the future with a drone across a field of crops.

Advancements in Building Information Modelling Surveying Software for 2024

Building information modelling (BIM) has slowly been integrated into various sectors of the surveying industry. Surveying trends for 2024 will certainly include BIM integration. In fact, from January 2024, public works contracts over £100m will have BIM requirements and over the next four years these requirements will be extended to include projects with a value of less than £1m

The integration of BIM will significantly enhance the efficiency, communication, and cost of land surveying projects. Furthermore, advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) will improve data integration with its ability to provide real-time data, improve asset management, and manage building operations more efficiently due to its remote monitoring capabilities. 

Blockchain-Enabled Surveying Software Innovations for 2024

Additionally, the advancement of blockchain technology will further improve the ability of BIM through improved security. This reduces the risk of data manipulation and streamlining the supply chain management by recording transactions preventing the risk of defects or delays. This improvement makes it a key surveying software for 2024.

Leveraging LiDAR Technology as a Key Surveying Trend for 2024

Another significant innovation in the surveying industry is LiDAR technology. This technology provides accurate 3D measurements of the earth’s surface allowing for detailed mapping. Further advancements in sensor technology will further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of LiDAR systems. 

As well as integrating it with other technologies such as BIM, it will allow surveyors to create actionable insights using the data from the LiDAR technology. This technology can be initially quite expensive, due to its accuracy and precision. However, it could be worth investing in for surveying the future.

Robotics at the Forefront of Surveying The Future

There has also been a significant impact of the advancement in robotics on the surveying industry. Innovations in drones and sensors have made this technology increasingly accessible helping to improve both productivity and efficiency within the surveying industry. 

For example, within just hours, a drone could fly over a site and take high-resolution photos, reducing the time it takes to use traditional surveying techniques. It is also safer by having the robots enter potentially unknown and hazardous locations. Further advancements in robotics could see the surveying of the future very different from today.

Surveying The Future with Midland Survey

Surveying the future will continue to evolve and change as technology advances and social priorities change. Here at Midland Survey, we realise the significance of staying informed in this dynamic landscape. We want to ensure our customers are always receiving the best possible services at the best possible price. 

Although we may not have yet been driven out of our jobs by robots yet. It is important to utilise this technology and further improve our efficiency and accuracy for surveying the future.

Looking for advice on the most effective survey for your project? Get in touch with our expert team today?

We’re here to tell you more about the importance of surveying in construction. Whilst projects and builds span across commercial and residential properties, surveying is an essential part of the collaborative and efficient building. 

We’ll take a closer look at how an accurate survey can prevent budgeting issues, retrospective work, and problems with health and safety. 

Knowing which survey is best for your project is the first step. You might need a GPS survey or 3D scanners or a Ground Penetrating Radar survey. While some of these surveys might be services you’ve used in the past, allowing Midland Survey to guide you through the most cost-effective survey is a great place to start. 

What are the benefits of surveying?

The importance of surveying in construction lies in its benefits. We’ve listed some key benefits that have helped clients in the past and could certainly help you in the future.

Image of two construction works assessing a building.

Covering a broad range of sectors 

More likely than not, our surveys have been used in your sector. Being able to have familiarity with the sector your project is in, allows us to understand what you’re looking for in your results. 

We cover a range of sectors such as aviation, commercial, residential, public and transport and logistics. 

Our experience in aviation alone has offered our clients essential information through our 3D modelling survey

From CCTV drainage surveys on existing builds, or topographical surveys for the pre-plan and design team, we understand that transparency is key for your project to start and finish.

Offering the final product in several formats 

Your construction project might be an ambitious one. Having the results of your survey produced in various formats allows you to have cross-department visibility in your building information modelling. 

Having easy-to-access and easy-to-comprehend displays and results allows the whole team to target foreseen issues which could end up being costly. 

Furthermore, your Midland Survey surveyor will be able to walk you through the findings of any survey allowing you to make accurate decisions with confidence. 

Accurate and cost-efficient service 

Due to having a variety of surveyors and survey types available to you, we’re able to provide you with accurate results. 

As stated above, the accuracy of these results allows you and the team to make crucial changes to the planning and the build before any project-stalling issues arise. 

The ability to have visibility over your project in such detail reduces the chance of having to lean on your contingency budget or delay the completion date which can cost thousands and sometimes millions of pounds. 

The accuracy and detail provided in our surveys are an investment worth making. 

Harnessing the power of technology 

We don’t just use one technology for our surveys, we use the latest and most advanced industry-recognised technology. 

In hand with the technology we use, our surveyors are highly skilled, passionate and experienced in their field. We strive to give you the accuracy you need within a limited time frame. 

Our Measured Building Surveys are driven by the industry knowledge and high standards that our surveyors adhere to. 

From the latest FARO scanner for external surveying and 3D modelling for internal, we know how to marry technology to get you the clearest results. 

Explore our services today and see how Midlands Survey could get your project in clear view. We have experience with a wide range of budgets and project objectives, so make sure you get in touch with us. We’re happy to walk you through the surveying options that will give you the most transparent results. Get a quick quote today.

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.

Have you got major plans to extend or redevelop a property or building? In order to do it safely, you will need to have a measured building survey carried out. Measured building surveys provide you with intricate digitalised recreations of the building’s cross-sections, internal and external elevations, internal floor plans, ceiling plans, and roofs. 

Modern building survey equipment and tools for measured building surveys have replaced traditional equipment such as measuring tapes and pencils. 

At Midland Survey, we passionately believe in doing everything we can to uphold standards and best practice while embracing the power of technology. We are the UK’s leading surveying business and we provide surveying services across a broad range of sectors

But just how accurate are measured building surveys today? Here we have taken a deeper look at the matter. 

Can you get accurate measured surveys for older buildings?

We provide surveys for all types of land and buildings, whether they be for residential buildings, country fields, commercial buildings, cathedrals, or schools. In short, we provide surveys for all types of buildings, old and new. 

Looking to redevelop, repurpose, renovate, or restore an old building and give it a modern transformation? Historic and listed buildings often have intricate structural layouts which differ greatly from modern buildings, this may include timber beams, thatched roofs, and old barns. The good news is that we can use modern technology to help provide accurate surveys for historic buildings.  

Image of a listed building property.

How technology increases the accuracy of measured surveys for older buildings

Using FARO scanners for external work and handheld 3D scanners for internal work, Midland Survey are able to provide highly accurate measured surveys for existing older buildings. This includes highly detailed measured surveys of floor plans, sections and elevations. After all, you need to know what you’re working with, and measured surveys help you out with that.

Take a look at the work Midland Survey conducted to use surveys to assess and resolve the structural issues at St. Albans Abbey. The goal of this work was to help improve safety conditions in an ancient building without affecting its historic integrity.

Architects and construction professionals require high-quality measured building surveys 

Who needs to view in-depth detailed accurate measured building surveys? The answer is that architects and other construction professionals, such as project managers, engineers, and surveyors, all need to view measured building surveys before they start to embark on their work. The slightest inaccuracy could have a significant impact on the building project.

How long does a measured building survey take?

The size of the building will have an impact on how long it takes to perform a measured building survey, but fortunately, we use the latest technology at Midland Survey and this helps to ensure faster turnarounds. Our senior staff will be able to give you a clear and accurate idea of how long we envisage the measured building survey should take. 

Being thorough and meticulous is everything when it comes to getting building surveys right. Of course, you need to factor in that other types of surveys may need to be carried out alongside the measured building survey. We also offer:

Image a man carrying out a topographical survey.

How much do measured building surveys cost?

Now, let’s get onto the topic of how much measured building surveys cost. A brief description of what survey services you need together with a site plan or an aerial view may be enough for us to be able to give you a price. 

However, since our surveys are bespoke to your needs, pricing can vary and it depends on the specifics of the project.

Generally speaking, measured surveys for smaller properties with easy access are cheaper and quicker to produce.  A measured survey floor plan of a simple flat that creates a CAD drawing of each floor may cost you around £1000 in total (plus VAT). More substantial projects usually cost more. You can request a quote here and we will get back to you. 

Get in touch with our team at Midland Survey today if you are looking to get a measured building survey in the United Kingdom. We will provide you with our professional insight into the best solutions for your surveying needs.

While you may have heard of the term ‘topographical survey’ being batted around during a project, you might be looking to do some of your own research. Here’s our ‘Ultimate Guide to Topographical Surveys’ which should help answer any questions you may have. 

Let’s start at the beginning.

What is a topographical survey?

Simply put, it is a detailed survey of an area of land that shows its physical features, such as hills, valleys, rivers, and roads. It is used to create a 2D or 3D map of the land, which can be used for a variety of purposes, such as planning construction projects, designing landscapes, or creating marketing materials.

Unsurprisingly, 2D or 3D maps are essential tools for core team members such as project managers. The maps will be fed into BIM in construction which stands for Building Information Modelling. 

Project managers use the maps critically to plan the project, communicate with the team, track the progress of the project and document the project for directors and stakeholders alike. 

You can see why choosing a highly experienced professional from the get-go can save thousands of pounds as well as time.

surveyor using equipment

What is included in a topographical survey?

Typically, there are four stages of the topographical survey. However, within these stages are varying degrees of complex data acquisition and evaluation from the surveyor and client. A topographical survey typically includes the following:

  • Surveying Equipment: A variety of surveying equipment is used to collect data for a topographical survey, such as a total station, a theodolite, and a level. (but we’ll talk more about this further down).
  • Data collection: The surveyor will use the surveying equipment to collect data on the physical features of the land, such as its elevation, slope, and vegetation.
  • Data processing: The surveyor will use software to process the data collected from the field and create a 2D or 3D map of the land.
  • Report: The surveyor will create a report that summarises the findings of the survey and includes the 2D or 3D map which feeds into BIM.

What does a topographical survey show?

No two surveys are the same. The type of information that is included in a topographical survey will vary depending on the purpose of the survey. However, all topographical surveys will typically include the following information:

  • The location of the survey area
  • The elevation of the land
  • The slope of the land
  • The location of natural features, such as rivers, lakes, and trees
  • The location of man-made features, such as buildings, roads, and bridges

You can see how this information would certainly help inform progress and adjustments to planning cross-departmentally. 

close up shot of surveying equipment

What are the benefits of a topographical survey?

While you’d think it’s only the construction sector who take advantage of this detailed survey, there are other uses for its purpose too. 

Obviously, topographic surveys can be used to plan construction projects. But you might be surprised to know that design and marketing are often the other two main users of a topographic survey. Let’s take a look at why: 

Designing landscapes: Can be used to design landscapes by providing information on the physical features of the land, such as its elevation, slope, and vegetation. This information can help to create a landscape that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Creating marketing materials: A topographical survey can be used to create marketing materials, such as brochures and websites, by providing information on the physical features of the land. This information can help to attract potential customers and investors.

Which sectors use topographical surveys?

Topographical surveys are used by a variety of sectors, including:

  • Construction: Construction companies use topographical surveys to plan and design construction projects.
  • Engineering: Engineers use topographical surveys to design roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.
  • Architects: Architects use topographical surveys to design buildings and landscapes.
  • Landscape Designers use topographical surveys to design garden layouts.
  • Real estate: Real estate agents use topographical surveys to assess the value of properties.
  • Government agencies: Government agencies use topographical surveys to plan land use and development.

How much does a topographical survey cost?

Unsurprisingly, this is a complex question due to varying factors. The cost of a topographical survey varies depending on the size of the area being surveyed, the complexity of the survey, and the experience of the surveyor. In general, a topographical survey can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £10,000.

How long does a topographical survey take?

The time it takes to complete a topographical survey depends on the size of the area being surveyed, the complexity of the survey, and the availability of the surveyor. In general, a topographical survey can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks.

What is used to measure a topographical survey?

There are a variety of surveying equipment that can be used for a topographical survey. Some of the most common types of equipment include:

  • Total stations: A total station is a surveying instrument that combines the functions of a theodolite and an electronic distance meter. It can be used to measure angles and distances and to create 3D models of the land.
  • Levels: A level is a surveying instrument that is used to measure the elevation of the land. It can be used to create 2D maps of the land, and to ensure that the land is level.
  • GPS receivers: GPS receivers can be used to collect data on the location of points on the land and instantly relate the position to the National Grid coordinate system. This data can be used to create 2D or 3D maps of the land.
  • Laser scanners: Laser scanners can be used to create 3D models of the land. This data can be used for a variety of purposes, such as creating virtual reality models of the land or for collision avoidance systems.

The type of equipment that is used for a topographical survey will vary depending on the size and complexity of the area being surveyed, as well as the experience of the surveyor.

What would affect the production of the topographical survey?

A variety of factors can affect the production of a topographical survey, including:

  • The accuracy of the surveying equipment: The accuracy of the surveying equipment used to create the survey will affect the accuracy of the survey.
  • The skill of the surveyor: The skill of the surveyor will affect the accuracy of the survey.
  • The weather conditions: The weather conditions can affect the accuracy of the survey. For example, if it is raining or snowing, the surveyor may not be able to locate all the necessary features of the site.
  • The topography of the land: The topography of the land can affect the accuracy of the survey. For example, if the land is very hilly, the surveyor may not be able to get an accurate reading of the land.

It is important to be aware of these factors when interpreting a topographical survey. If you are unsure about the accuracy of a survey, it is best to consult with a qualified surveyor. If you’d like to explore our range of services at Midland Survey, get in contact today. Our highly experienced team are happy to guide you through our processes and service to accommodate the right survey for your project.

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.

Your project’s as-built survey is one of the most instrumental reports to a successful build. Making sure you hand over the exact dimensions of the space allows you to have clarity of the entire project.

Understanding what an as built survey is will also help inform you of what an as built survey actually looks like.

surveyor with surveying kit measuring the landscape

What is an as built survey?

An as built survey takes precise measurements inside and outside of your structures and creates a ‘blueprint’ or ‘map’ of the whole project site.

In addition, cross departmental information on works carried out feeds into this picture of the site as whole. 

For example, the electrical department will be using the as built survey throughout the project to grasp any clash detection that may occur.

Being able to see the (for example) design drawings layered on top of the steel works drawings gives cross department visibility and allows the entire team on the project to forecast and avoid issues.

 

project manager on site with client

What does an as-built survey look like?

The survey itself might look quite dense. However, it is cleverly broken down into departmental asset codes. The codes which refer to each item on the survey so you’re able to review each item with ease and with a methodical approach. 

Can BIM be used as an as-built model?

Yes. You can use the project’s BIM (building information modelling) as an as-built model to help showcase information. It’s common practice to extract 2D information from BIM. The 2D information to use this as the core reference for the health and safety file at the end of the project. 

What is the health and safety file? 

Obviously, no project will be complete without handing over the health and safety file which must include the as-built survey. The survey will give the property management, client and stakeholder clarity of any correctional works. They’ll also be able to view adjustments that have been made over the project. 

With stringent health and safety regulations, you can see why the survey is of utmost importance to complying with the UK construction standard. It’s very useful for everyone to understand the shape of the project when it is handed over.  

What are the benefits of an as-built survey?

  • Allows project managers and the project team to have clarity on cross departmental work
  • Allows contractors and project managers to plan and aid early clash detection 
  • Allows stakeholders and project clients to understand the progression of the project
  • Gives a clear footprint of the build when handed over to the client 
  • Helps smooth out any cross departmental issues more efficiently
project manager on site with client

When is an as-built survey carried out?

Your survey will be carried out at various key stages of the project. As contractors add their element of the build in, you’ll need your survey updated. With as-built surveys being taken to record variations on the original engineering plans, you’ll be able to prove and record if the project is aligning with the proposed site plans. 

At Midland Survey we’ll be with your project at every stage of its development. We’ll provide you with a rendering that promotes transparency between all project stakeholders. Get in touch today and let us help you start your project on the right footing. 

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.

Any site that you’re about to develop on will almost certainly need an ecological survey. The ecology survey is designed to highlight the level of impact projects are going to have on the biodiversity of the site they are situated on.

Developers need to be made aware of any ecological issues or constraints during the pre start phase of the project and will have to put measures in place to minimise impact on the natural environment. 

The ecology survey process will begin long before planning permission is granted. This is simply due to the fact that if evidence of impact is found, a BAP (biodiversity action plan) will be drawn up. The BAP will be added to the proposed planning permission to prove that your project is taking appropriate action to protect the environment and the species living within it. 

Different stages of the ecological survey

The different stages of the survey will take place before, during and after your project to monitor what action needs to be done and if it is in fact being carried out effectively.  

You’ll want to align your project with a trusted and experienced surveyor from the get-go to lower any contingency spends on biodiversity fixes. Midland Survey will guide you through your survey from start to finish with clarity and precision. Get in touch for a quote today.  

Starting with the preliminary ecological appraisal 

The first survey carried out is called the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA). It can also be known as Phase 1 Habitat Survey. This is a ‘rapid survey, an initial desktop survey as well as a walkover survey. 

The survey is designed to pinpoint any ecological constraints at the start of the project. As well as identifying the negative impact of the project, the survey is used to identify new opportunities for wildlife and habitats on the site. 

A badger moving through long grass.

What species does the ecology survey take into consideration?

Flora and fauna in general but more specifically;

  • Bats
  • Badgers
  • Birds
  • Otters
  • Bees
  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Flowers
  • Newts
  • Deer
  • Freshwater fish 

Bearing in mind the results of your survey will prioritise the most endangered species to be protected and restored in your project’s BAP first. You can see the full list of protected and searched for species here.

Next is the ecological impact assessment

This assessment also known as the EcIA is the second stage of the ecology survey. In this detailed report, the surveyor is able to identify the potential impact of the project on species habitat based on the data findings from the preliminary appraisal. The ecology report will be presented alongside the planning permission when it is time to submit.  

With this in mind, you can see why it is essential to have a comprehensive report drawn up to aid your success with planning permission.

Types of project that require an ecological survey 

Here are some of the types of projects that would require a thorough ecological survey.

  • A small/domestic residential domestic 
  • A new build or refurb project 
  • A commercial site
  • An addition to an existing development
Industrial looking building on the waterside.

What happens if you don’t carry out ecological surveys?

Legal proceedings 

It is punishable by law if you do not carry out an ecological survey on your project. You must show willingness to protect and restore the habitats your project imposes a threat to.

Costly setbacks during a project build 

By choosing a highly experienced surveyor you safeguard your project against any major setbacks in the planning process. Working with an expert service like Midland Survey will ensure your time frames are kept from the outset.

Irreversible damage to an existing ecosystem 

Habitats and species could be further threatened and endangered without the precision of the ecological survey. Furthermore, your stakeholders and investor reputation stand to take a hit if this survey is overlooked which will affect future projects and your reputation in the industry. 

BREEAM assessments 

Building research establishment environmental assessment method assessments require an ecologist to produce a calculation of the change in the ecological value of a site or project. It also determines how to enhance the site’s value. This is incredibly attractive to investors and stakeholders alike. 

Government’s biodiversity bill 

Under the Environment Bill the biodiversity value of a development must exceed the pre-development biodiversity value of the onsite habitat by at least 10%.  Whether you’re looking at a project pre start or pre completion, the emphasis on boosting the biodiversity of the project is imperative. 

Get in touch with our highly skilled team at Midland Survey and explore our services in ecological surveys. We offer a variety of ecological surveys, designed to accurately identify the species that call your site home. Contact us for a quick quote today.

The accuracy of a ground penetrating radar survey is second to none when identifying metallic and nonmetallic utilities and structures without disturbing or digging into the ground. 

Considering the sophistication of the radar technology, what is the actual cost of having a GPR survey carried out? 

What is a GPR survey?

Ground penetrating radar surveys are ideal for avoiding solid and ground disturbance. Using radio waves this geophysical locating technique pin points matter and objects under the surface of the soil. 

Surveyors can use a GPR survey to determine the change in soil profile, pockets of air, the layout of underground pipelines, groundwater tables, rocks, drained water pockets which commonly cause sinkholes and other geological features. 

How much does a ground penetrating radar survey cost in the UK?

If you’ve chosen to have your GPR survey conducted by industry experts in surveying you’ll be looking at spending £500-£10,000 a day

An average price of a complete GPR survey can vary depending on the size and complexity of the site. A simple site such as an open playing field could cost around £500 – £700 whereas a more complex site such as a large industrial site could range up to £10,000. A complicated example would be something like a hospital site where there is likely to be a vast network of services and plenty of anomalies in the ground to discover.

Your project budget is incredibly important to us. That’s why we will always provide you with the right level of survey for your site. 

Get in touch today to receive a GPR survey quote. With Midland Survey you’ll receive prime accuracy with your survey reading which is carried out by a highly experienced surveyor.

How does a GPR survey work? 

By sending high-frequency (50-1500MHz) electromagnetic pulses into the ground, the GPR machine can assess the matter below and create images based on the waves bouncing between the changing materials. 

There are two key elements of the GPR which enable it to give effective and accurate results.

  1. The transmitter  – Responsible for actually transmitting the radar signals into the ground. The transmitter of the GPR is physically held close to the ground when sending the signals.
  2. The antenna  – Responsible for receiving the radar signals back from the ground and configuring the information.

The transmitter and the antenna work alongside each other as they are passed over the site area. The radar signals which are collected through the antenna are then processed through a graphic recorder. 

As the ground is being surveyed, the graphic recorder will generate a 3D cross-section image of the earth showing the inconsistencies of soil and change of density. 

What are the benefits of a GPR survey? 

Our ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys can aid in identifying previously invisible plastic water and gas pipes, fibre optics and drainage pipes. Here are some additional benefits as to why we use a GPR survey on every site we visit at no extra cost. 

  • Provides a clean sectional view of the earth’s subsurface.
  • Can capture images of concrete, plastic, metal, natural materials. 
  • Is self-contained.
  • Is non-hazardous to the environment or employees.
  • Is quiet and does not disturb workflow.

In addition, it will detect the depth and give an indication of location of the identified items. 

Can a GPR survey work on concrete? 

Yes, a GPR does work on concrete. Construction companies commonly use the system on concrete. A GPR can even be used on reinforced concrete. The purpose of surveying concrete in this precise way is to detect any rebar which may affect any further works.  

How reliable is ground penetrating radar?

Readings can be up to 90% accurate with a highly skilled operator and surveyor. Midland Survey provides an expert team of underground utility surveyors. 

We believe that radio detection equipment and GPR should always be used to give you the most accurate results. For this reason, GPR is used on every site when you choose to have a survey with us. We are also proud to be a part of the European GPR Association.

How can I get a quote on a GPR survey?

Understanding the depth of survey you’ll need requires expert advice and will ultimately affect the cost. Make sure you’re putting your budget to good use and seek the help of experienced industry professionals.

At Midland Survey we are ready to give a quick quote whenever you are. If you have an upcoming project in mind, get in touch. We can advise you on the type of survey you need and execute it with complete precision.

Thinking of getting a GPS survey done for your upcoming project? If you’re an architect, engineer, planner or developer, get a GPS survey with detail that is unparalleled.

At the touch of a button, the GPS survey will collect data and geometrical calculation by using satellites sending signals to receivers on the ground. 

No matter what industry you work in, the GPS survey will be able to help you with noninvasive and accurate measuring. 

So let’s get your project started on the right foot and see how a GPS survey works.

What is a GPS survey? 

The GPS, also known as the Global Positioning System is a satellite-based navigation system which enables surveying professionals across multiple industries to collect reliable and accurate coordinates of latitudes and longitudes without the need for measuring distances and angles between points. 

How does a GPS survey work? 

It’s actually more simple than you might think. The global positioning system uses a network of satellites to transmit data to and from the ground or receivers. 

Receivers on the ground communicate with the satellites to gain accuracy of longitude and latitude of the point on the ground. 

As the receiver begins to communicate with a satellite, four surrounding satellites will transmit data measuring the satellite’s precise location, time of the reading and the distance to the height of the receiver. 

Did you know…?

This satellite-based navigation system was initially developed for military use in the 1970’s but GPS became fully operational in 1993 and later commercialised for industries such as surveying. 

Work men in high vis jackets and hard hats reading over surveying plans.

What are the benefits of a GPS survey?

There are some strong benefits to investing in a GPS survey before the development of any construction plans. 

  • Not weather dependent: No matter the weather conditions or time GPS can triangulate the signal and provide a location.
  • Accuracy: Provides accurate geographic measurements. 
  • Mobility: Easily transferred or transported to different locations.
  • Convenience: Can be used on any given site at the touch of a button 

Want to know more about the benefits of a GPS survey? Get in touch with Midland Survey today for a quick quote

How is a GPS Survey done?

We’ll take you through the three primary methods of GPS measurement that surveyors use. They are Static GPS Baseline, Real-Time Kinematic Observations and Continuously Operating Reference Stations. 

Man wearing an orange high vis jacket and hard hat is carrying out a GPS survey.

STATIC GPS BASELINE

This method is particularly useful for long range distances and measurements. A static baseline technique is used to detect the accurate distance between two points.

Two receivers are placed at the end of the line to be measured. The two receivers then collect GPS data for a minimum duration of 20 minutes.  

A specially curated software program is then used to calculate the distance between the two receivers.

REAL-TIME KINEMATIC OBSERVATIONS

Unlike the Static GPS Baseline technology, Real-Time Kinematic Observations have one static receiver known as the Base Station and the other receiver on a Rover Station which moves to multiple positions during the measuring process. 

This method is ideal for harvesting data over slightly smaller areas.

CONTINUOUSLY OPERATING REFERENCE STATIONS

The continuously operating reference station or CORS is unique in its data collection because the base station is installed in a known permanent location. This means localised measurements will send signals to this fixed base station. 

You’ll find CORS being used for the purpose of major engineering construction projects that require ongoing surveying over a continuous period of time. 

Typically, surveyors will offer you a 2D version of the data collected. We know the importance of clarity and that’s why we’ll provide you with 3D topographical surveys. 

How to get a GPS survey 

After the data is collected, our team will guide you through the results and help you develop an informed plan of your upcoming project. All of our topographical surveys will leave you with a solid understanding of the surrounding built environment and infrastructure. 
Knowing which GPS survey method is appropriate for your upcoming project is key. Get a quick quote from our team at Midland Survey. Our expert team will guide you through the process and give you the assurance of accuracy from the get go.

When undertaking building work on a property, it’s not enough to simply know what it looks like. You must know the specific dimensions of the building, ideally with a detailed digital model.

This model shows you the layout of the building and the external and internal elevations. This is possible thanks to a measured building survey and a professional building surveyor.

A measured survey provides you with anything from a simple floor plan to an intricate scaled-down virtual version of your building. Doors, windows, staircases, furniture and other features of the property can be duplicated in this map.

Still, there might remain many aspects of a building survey that leave you confused. We’ve prepared this article to answer the questions on the minds of people who’ve wondered ‘What is a measured building survey?’

What can be included in a measured survey?

In a nutshell, a measured survey maps a building literally inside and out. Consequently, all of the property’s architectural elements and structural features are accounted for with a digitised recreation of the building.

We can arrange such a survey in order to present you with an integrated package of survey drawings. Alternatively, we can survey specific elements of the building — like its roof, internal elevations, external elevations, ceilings or sections.

What technology is used in a measured survey?

Traditional measured surveys use paper and pencils alongside measuring tapes. However, technology makes it possible for these surveys to be undertaken with greater ease and accuracy. Our own building surveyors have kept pace with these advances.

The Midland Survey team today combines the strength of traditional survey methods with the latest surveying technology. For example, we use the ultra-modern FARO scanners on external surfaces, take advantage of smaller handheld 3D scanners for capturing interiors and use ‘old-fashioned’ tapes and levelling equipment for when scanners are not ideal.

When would you need a measured building survey?

Basically, when you are looking to redevelop, restore or extend any part of a property. At this stage, you need accurate measurements of the space so that any architects and designers helping you with the project know what they are working with.

A measured survey is useful for recording a home’s internal floor plans and internal and extension elevations, it can also help prepare a fire safety plan.

What could happen if you forgo a building survey?

For one, you could inadvertently record inaccurate measurements. This imprecision is bound to have repercussions later down the line, during the construction phase. For example, it could turn out that you have over- or under-ordered materials, and they don’t fit.

Working to sloppily made drawings could also leave the finished result so far removed from your original plans that you contravene planning restrictions. In an especially dispiriting scenario, the local council may even demand that you reverse the work.

How much does a measured building survey cost? 

We have previously discussed how a measured building survey is costed — and the many different factors at play. Those include the size and nature of the property as well as the extent of detail you request. 

We will also consider the building’s location when estimating the price of a survey. A measured building survey can be pricier in major, metropolitan hubs where living costs tend to be higher and surveyors could face more difficulty in accessing the site.

How long should a measured building survey take?

Generally, the more work that surveying a property needs, the longer the survey will inevitably take. Unsurprisingly, surveying a simple flat would be on the lower end of the scale in terms of the time expended — compared to doing likewise with, say, an ornate mansion.

So, with the former, we may need to spend just three or four hours at the client’s property and then, back at the office, a day generating a CAD drawing of each floor. However, it bears emphasis that this is only an estimate; your mileage may vary, even if your situation is similar.

How to obtain a quote for a measured building survey 

There’s no type of building that Midland Survey can’t measure. So, whether the survey is your home or workplace, a surveyor from our team will soon be with you.

Midland Survey building surveys can produce an intricate digital model of your property to help you plan improvements. Use this enquiry form to get in touch with our building surveyors.