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. 

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.