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.

In the UK, we take pride in protecting historic buildings, whether they are residential homes, commercial spaces, or belong to a heritage conservation organisation like the National Trust. On the National Heritage List for England alone, there are a total of 400,000 listed buildings. When it comes to making renovations and significant changes to historic buildings, you will need a robust measured building survey before going any further. Lead with precaution, after all, the structures of historic buildings can be fragile. 

At Midland Survey, we are one of the UK’s most trusted surveying companies. We provide highly precise measured building surveys for historic buildings, including FARO scanners for external work and smaller handheld 3D scanners for any internal work. Here we delve a bit more into how measured building surveys can be used on historic buildings. 

Image of a medieval English historic building home.

Detailed measurements of historical structures of historic buildings 

Thick strong beams, pitched roofs, and slanting floors and some of the structures you may encounter when surveying historic buildings. At Midland Survey, we understand the importance of using modern technology in our surveying work and embrace it. We manage to capture detailed data on historical buildings using 3D laser scanning that we then use to create floor plans, elevations, cross-sections, and as-built drawings.

At Midland Survey, we leave no stone unturned when providing detailed measurements for measured surveys of historic buildings.

How do measured building surveys contribute to restoration and conservation projects? 

Health and safety are everything when you are restoring, conserving, or renovating a historic building. Without an in-depth measured building survey being carried out beforehand, a project may not be able to go ahead safely. 

Want to renovate an original Tudor property for instance? Not having a measured building survey would be illogical, and moving one beam could cause the whole structure of the building to cave in. 

Historians find our survey drawings extremely useful, not only because they can be used as a base plan for their own information but they can reveal the evolving development of the building over hundreds of years. For example in a church you may see the thick stone walls from the early building, then as other additions were added at a later date, the construction may appear slightly different, perhaps from better structural understanding or with the benefit of using ‘modern’ materials and techniques.

If the historic building is listed, remember you will have to ask permission from your local planning authority to make any changes to the building fabric. Our drawings will illustrate what is present and help with your proposals.

Keeping in line with the original design

One of the primary goals of surveys for historic buildings is to ensure restoration or renovation changes will align well with the original design. Proving that any proposed changes will fit in nicely with the original layout through measured surveys could be the deciding factor in whether you get planning permission or not for a historic building.

On top of measured surveys, we can also provide the following surveying services for historic buildings

Do you have a historic building that is in need of a measured building survey? If so, get in contact with Midland Survey by calling us on 01926 810811 or sending an email to mail@midlandsurvey.co.uk. We have local offices in Southam, Stroud, Leeds, Horsham and Milton Keynes.

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. 

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.