Ecological surveys in construction projects are important in moving forward responsibly by understanding the impact of the project on the local environment. This is to ensure construction work can take place safely and compliantly. Moreover, if you neglect to carry out ecological surveys, you might face anything from delays, fines to irreversible damage to species and habitats.

Did you know – scientists estimate that, due to human activity, the UK has lost around half of its biodiversity based on abundance and species richness since the Industrial Revolution? 

Here at Midland Survey, we have been providing sustainable development practices since 1988 and we have cemented our position as one of the UK’s most trusted surveying businesses. Here, we explain the importance of ecological surveys and how we conduct our surveys for sustainable development.

The Importance of Ecological Surveys in Construction Projects

There are various reasons why ecological surveys are so important in construction projects. From compliance, to protecting habitats and wildlife, it is important to implement ecological surveys when carrying out construction work.

Protecting Biodiversity 

Construction projects can disrupt habitats and endanger local wildlife. Before making any progress in the construction process, it is crucial to understand the importance of identifying existing flora and fauna to ensure steps are put in place to avoid disruption to the biodiversity in the area.

Sustainable Development

Ecological surveys play an integral role in informing sustainable construction practices. There are ways you can reduce disruption through habitat preservation or through creating wildlife corridors enabling your construction work to be sustainable.

Regulatory Compliance

Even more importantly, it is important to ensure your construction projects meet legal requirements for environmental protection. If your project isn’t meeting these requirements, the planning permission for the project could be rejected. You may also need specific licenses such as Habitat Destruction Licenses, Species Mitigation Licenses, or Environmental Impact Assessment to carry out your construction work. It is important to apply for these permits or licenses if you decide you need one based on the work carried out in the ecological survey.

How Midland Survey Conducts Ecological Surveys in Construction Work

At Midland Survey, we offer comprehensive ecological surveys. Here we take a look into different types of ecological surveys to preserve your biodiversity and the process of carrying these surveys out.

Preliminary Ecological Surveys

This survey includes an initial site assessment that helps you to understand the ecological challenges of your construction project. This early-stage survey will help inform the potential ecological impacts of your project, making it an essential survey to protect and preserve the biodiversity of your area. 

Ecological Impact Assessment

This survey identifies, assesses, and quantifies the potential impacts of your construction project on the environment, habitats, and ecosystems. It is Phase 1 of the Habitat Survey, as it includes mapping out the main habitats present on the site such as woodland, ponds, trees, and many more. 

Protected Species Assessment 

We provide comprehensive protected species surveys as part of our ecological survey services. These include water vole, owl, bat, badger, bird, newt, and reptile surveys.

Botanical Survey

This survey classifies habitats and protected species. When your project is in the pre-development phase, a botanical survey can help you understand the side effects of your project on the trees or vegetation in the area and take preventative steps to minimise disruption.

At Midland Survey, our ecological surveys accurately identify species that call your site home. Once our ecology consultants have made their appraisal of your site, you will be provided with an easy-to-understand report that can help inform the rest of your construction project.

The Benefits of Working with Midland Survey

We pride ourselves on giving proper consideration to the impact of construction work on the local environment. With our head office in Warwickshire and bases in Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Yorkshire, and Sussex, we work with a large network of surveyors. This provides you with the highest quality of expertise and experience for all your surveying needs.

We provide easy-to-understand and comprehensive reports for you to use as a base of knowledge for your project. We can provide this either physically or digitally depending on your preferences. 

Midland Survey will guide you through your survey from start to finish with clarity and precision. We ensure all of our surveys meet regulatory compliance requirements. Minimising any costly mistakes and allow for smooth project progress.

Carrying out Ecological Surveys in Construction Projects

As we have discussed it is important to carry out ecological surveys for sustainable and responsible construction. Get a quick quote or contact us today for all of your ecological survey needs. We can help advise you on which surveys will be best for your project.

Precise construction and setting out surveys play an important role in ensuring building work is accurate and completed in the correct area and position. Avoid boundary disputes, costly mistakes, or incorrect construction which could result in wasted materials, delays, and safety hazards.

Midland Survey has over 30 years of experience carrying out setting out surveys. By utilising the latest advanced technology to create accurate and high-quality results. We produce detailed drawings for you to use in your construction project. 

We will explore how we utilise advanced surveying techniques and equipment to accurately position structures, utilities, and infrastructure, laying the foundation for seamless construction workflows and precise execution.

What is a Setting Out Survey in Construction?

A setting out survey in construction is the process of transferring architectural plans onto the physical construction site. Construction workers need to use it as a guide for the accurate placement of structures, utilities, and infrastructure.

This survey marks out the key points and the guiding markers on the ground so that the construction team can build the structure in the correct position and to the correct measurements. 

The Setting Out Process at Midland Survey

When carrying out a setting out survey, the first thing we need is the architect’s plans of the land to ensure project alignment. The plans will highlight the position, angle, extent, and level of new buildings and their foundations. It is also important to consider the distance between the buildings and other structures and roads before making any plans.

Once we have liaised with the architects, our highly experienced setting-out engineer will visit the site and place physical markers in the areas identified within the plans. These physical markers are usually timber stakes, drill holes, or cut-and-fill notations.

We use a range of advanced technologies such as Total Stations and GPS technology to ensure we produce highly accurate results. This covers you from a legal perspective and can avoid any boundary disputes in the future.

GPS technology uses a network of highly accurate control points across the construction site. These points act as a reference for the total station measurements.

The total station then takes very precise measurements relative to these control points. This allows for highly detailed setting out of specific features like building footprints, utility trenches, etc.

Once all of this is complete and the drawings are made and the construction team can get started on their building work.

Benefits of Precise Setting Out

Carrying out a setting out survey is an integral part of a successful construction project. Whether you are extending a building, building a new building, or building a road or tunnel, there are an array of benefits to carrying out a setting out survey:

  • Reduced Errors: Setting out the structure reduces the chances of the structure being built in the wrong place.
  • Cost Savings: If the structure was built in the wrong place or was the wrong size, it would be costly to rectify this.
  • Streamlined Workflows: Having clear and accurate guidelines enables construction work to also be accurate and finished to a high standard.
  • Project Success: A final approved plan will reduce the risk of disputes between the client, the architect, and the builder.

Case Studies

Midland Survey has years of experience in carrying out setting out surveys across the UK. See below one of our latest projects in Birmingham:

Alfred Gunn House Sandwell

This project consisted of extensive external refurbishment of three 1960s tower blocks. Our senior engineer set out the surrounding houses, the position of new staircases, and steel work in the roof to facilitate a couple more floors.

We provide high-quality setting out surveys to ensure the safety and accuracy of construction projects we work on.

Do You Need a Setting Out Survey Carried Out?

Are you building a new house, extending a building, or building a road or tunnel? Contact us today to get a quote for a setting out survey. Save costs long term and guarantee an accurate and successful project with Midland surveys expertise and experience.

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?

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.

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.

You’ve probably seen and heard that sustainability in construction is becoming increasingly important. As the world looks to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the effects of climate change, you might be wondering ‘how can a survey make my build more sustainable.’

Construction companies have a major role to play in this effort, and one way they can make their builds more sustainable is by conducting an ecological survey.

construction workers looking over plans

What is an ecological survey?

An ecological survey is an assessment of the environmental impact of a proposed construction project. 

The survey will identify any potential risks to wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems in the area where the build will take place. It will also identify opportunities to enhance biodiversity and promote sustainable practices.

Benefits of an ecological survey

There are many benefits to conducting an ecological survey, including:

  • Identifying risks and opportunities: The survey will help construction companies to identify potential risks and opportunities associated with the build, such as the impact on local habitats and wildlife, and opportunities to incorporate sustainable practices.
  • Compliance: An ecological survey is often a requirement for obtaining planning permission for a construction project. Conducting a survey demonstrates a commitment to compliance with environmental regulations and standards.
  • Reputation: Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor in the construction industry. Conducting an ecological survey and incorporating sustainable practices into a build can enhance a construction company’s reputation and demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship.

How to conduct an ecological survey

Unsurprisingly, conducting an ecological survey is an important process in understanding the health and status of the environment. If you’re planning on conducting an ecological survey, there are several steps you should follow to ensure that the survey is accurate and informative.

First, you need to determine the scope of your survey. This includes identifying the area that you want to survey and the species that you want to study. Once you have determined the scope of your survey, you need to select the appropriate survey techniques. These techniques will depend on the species that you are studying and the environment in which you are conducting the survey.

How can a survey make a build more sustainable? 

When conducting the survey, it is important to record all of your observations and data accurately. This can be done using a variety of tools, such as field notebooks, cameras, and GPS devices. After you have collected your data, you should analyse it to identify any patterns or trends.

Get in touch with Midlands Survey today 

Encouragingly, our surveys at Midland Surveys can identify areas where your building can be improved to reduce its impact on the environment. By implementing the recommended changes, you can reduce energy consumption, lower emissions, and save money on bills.

Get in touch with our highly experienced team today and explore your survey options. We are happy to answer any of your questions. 

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.