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.

If you’ve ever wondered about how we keep our structures safe from natural or man-made changes, you’ve likely stumbled upon the concept of a ‘deformation survey.’ But what exactly is a deformation survey, and what purpose does it serve? Let’s take a closer look.

Building near water Midland Survey

What Is a Deformation Survey?

Simply put, a deformation survey is a specific type of survey designed to measure and record changes in an object’s shape or dimensions. Whether it’s a building, a dam, or a piece of land, a deformation survey can monitor and record any changes over time. These changes could be due to various factors such as weathering, geological activities, or human interventions.

The Critical Role of Deformation Surveys

So why are deformation surveys so crucial? The answer lies in their capacity to provide early warnings for potential problems. Deformation surveys can detect shifts in structures that could lead to significant issues if not addressed promptly. This could be a building starting to lean dangerously, a dam developing small but consequential cracks, or a tunnel beginning to warp.

By identifying these issues early, action can be taken to correct them and prevent more significant problems down the line, such as structural failure that could lead to accidents or even loss of life.

deformation survey UK

Where have deformation surveys been used in the UK?

While Midland Survey takes on an array of different-sized projects, we are always looking at how the industry is utilising surveying as an optimal tool during the building phase. 

Let’s talk about how important deformation surveys are in some of the UK’s biggest projects that have caught our eye. 

Crossrail Project

This is a really big deal for the UK’s infrastructure. During the building phase, these surveys played a big part in making sure the tunnels were safe and sturdy. They also helped us spot any problems with the structure or the land around the works, which was super useful.

Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station in Somerset. 

This new power station used deformation surveys a lot during construction. They helped keep an eye on any shifting in the land and made sure everything was structurally sound.

High Speed 2 (HS2) project. 

This is a major high-speed rail network that will connect London with cities up north. During the build, deformation surveys were used to check on structures, hills, and cuttings to make sure everything was stable and good to go.

The Shard in London

During its build, deformation surveys were used to watch for any movement in the structure and to see how it affected the buildings around it. It’s all about making sure everything is safe and sound.

How a deformation survey can work for your project

Through the use of advanced technologies such as GPS and total stations, surveyors at Midland Survey can monitor and measure even the smallest changes in a structure’s position. This information can then be used to create detailed maps and models that clearly highlight any deformation that has occurred.

How to plan your project’s deformation survey

Unsurprisingly, it is an essential tool for maintaining the safety and integrity of our built and natural environments. Whether it’s the Midland Survey team monitoring changes or you making adjustments to your project because of the data shown, the use of deformation surveys is critical in keeping us and our structures safe.
Get in touch with us at Midland Survey to explore your options in arranging a deformation survey. Our highly experienced team are ready to help you with any sized project. We specialise in taking on varied and challenging projects that need expert surveying advice. Let’s start today.

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.

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.