Civil Engineering

Everything about Construction survey

Surveyors assist construction companies with measuring, securing, and investigating their sites. Surveyors can do thorough structural testing, ground investigations, and topographic surveys using technology like 3D laser scanning.

One of the biggest industries in the world is constructed. Any building project requires extensive use of surveying. There are various types of construction surveying. The positioning and alignment of roads, bridges, structures, pipes, and other man-made items are established using it. An “as-built” survey is conducted to identify any alterations that were made to the blueprints during construction after large-scale projects are finished. Well, In this article will be answering questions that are related to construction surveying

The survey of construction aims to reduce the earth’s hauling distances. Mass diagrams are used to do this. The height and slope of the various subgrades, foundation materials, and top coat materials are eventually laid out by surveyors. The final alignment allows for safe public transportation and features smooth transitions between straight and curved sections.

The majority of projects “setting out” or “staking” out the emphasis on construction surveying. Markers and reference points must be set out on the construction site to help the builders know where to start building the new structure.

Everything about Construction survey

Well, in this comprehensive article, I’ll be discussing about construction survey as the following questions will be answered:

  • What is construction surveying?
  • What are the types of construction surveys?
  • What is the coordinate system in the construction survey?
  • What are the elements of construction surveys?
  • What are the equipment and techniques used in survey construction?
  • How long has the construction survey been around?
  • What is the Importance of surveying in construction?

Let’s begin!


What is a construction survey

Construction surveying mostly focuses on the “setting out” or “staking” out of a project. In order to advise the builders where to begin construction of the new structure, markers and reference points must be staked out on the construction site.

Construction surveying is necessary to identify the key surface features of the ground that may have an impact on the impending construction when building highways, roads, bridges, buildings, and other construction projects. The procedure seeks to establish computed survey points on the building site as a reference for site enhancements resulting from designs created by design experts.

To find any alterations made during construction, a survey is conducted. “As-built” surveys are carried out to pinpoint the precise location of points on a site as they have been erected and gauge the progress made to that point.

Read more: Understanding surveying

What are the types of construction surveys?

The types of construction surveys are:

  • Structural
  • Geophysical Survey
  • Utility Survey
  • As-Built Surveys
  • Deal Structuring Survey


the kind of construction survey used to map out the contours of different things. Prior to starting the project, topographic maps are typically gathered, and a detailed drawing of the location is made.

Other aspects of these surveys could be perimeter measures and calculations for retaining walls, foundations, and other things required to keep buildings in excellent shape.

Buildings will be built in the wrong places thanks to the ensuing construction designs, which provide no room for error.

Geophysical Survey

Ground-penetrating methods are used in a survey called a geophysical survey to pinpoint the sites of numerous buildings.

They include electromagnetic methods for analyzing soil structure, water distribution, and aquifer movement, as well as geophysical methods for detecting the presence of things underground.

Government structures, utilities, industrial sites, and structures that may contain radioactive materials are the main targets of geophysical studies.

Utility Survey

In this kind of construction survey, the lengths and locations of subsurface utilities are measured. These comprise cables, telecommunications tunnels and lines, storm drains, sewers, gas and water mains, and other similar constructions.

These surveys are carried out before construction starts so that work sites can be set up with the least amount of harm to the underground infrastructure.

As-Built Surveys

These are tests to see if the building plans and requirements have been followed exactly. The surveyor is typically in charge of this; he or she will look through the design of the construction and contrast it with what has actually been constructed. There can be inconsistencies in this case that need to be fixed.

Deal Structuring Survey

This kind of construction study helps businesses decide how to react when negotiating a project contract when there are large risks involved.

This entails assessing risks and deciding on the best course of action. In order to make the project more financially appealing and ensure its viability after completion, the response can include rejecting, minimizing, sharing, and restricting risk.

Read more: Easy tips on how to design your office for greater productivity.

What is the coordinate system in the construction survey

Firstly, a reference system for describing points in space or on a specific surface using distances from or angles with respect to predetermined axes, planes, or surfaces is known as a coordinate system.

Geodesic coordinates are commonly used in land surveys and surveys of existing situations. Nonetheless, a more appropriate coordinate system will frequently be utilized for construction-related objectives. The surveyor will frequently have to convert from geodesic coordinates to the project’s coordinate system while doing construction surveying.

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What are the elements of construction surveys

  • wherever possible, do a survey of the site’s current conditions, including the terrain, existing structures and infrastructure, and subsurface infrastructure (for example, measuring invert elevations and diameters of sewers at manholes)
  • Place stakes at the corners of the lot, the work’s maximum scope, and the construction trailer’s location (clear of all excavation and construction)
  • Set up landmarks and references that will serve as a guide for the development of new structures.
  • Check the position of structures while they are being built
  • Control the horizontal plane on various floors
  • Perform an as-built survey to ensure that the work allowed was finished in accordance with the specifications specified in the plans.
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What are the equipment and techniques used in survey construction

The following are the primary surveying tools in use around the globe:

  • Compasses and Clinometers
  • Chains and Tapes
  • Levels
  • Transits and Theodolites
  • Magnetic Locators
  • Prisms and Reflectors
  • Safety Gear
  • Poles, Tripods, and Mounts

Compasses and Clinometers

Compasses and Clinometers

When surveying uncharted terrain, the backwoods, or even merely locating your position on a map, a compass is a necessary piece of equipment. While clinometers are intended to measure the angle or elevation of slopes, compasses can be used to determine the distance between two places.

Chains and Tapes

Chains and Tapes

One of the most critical jobs a land surveyor must do is taking precise measurements. Measurement can be done with a variety of tools, including chains, tape measures, rulers, and laser measuring equipment. While measuring wheels, nylon-coated steel tapes (Nyclad tapes), and fiberglass tape measures can be used for longer distances, pocket tapes are best for small-scale measurements.




To read an elevation and calculate elevation differences between two sites, use a level. These instruments, which can be portable, optical, or digital, are frequently used with tripods or leveling rods.

Transits and Theodolites

Transits and Theodolites

Both horizontal and vertical angles are measured with the use of these instruments. Although the theodolite is typically regarded as the more accurate of the two, measuring angles to an accuracy of one-tenth of a second angle, both tools have a minimum precision of one minute of angle.

Magnetic Locators

Magnetic Locators

The location of specific elements, such as manhole and utility covers, steel and iron pipes, underground tanks, and survey corner markers, must be noted when conducting a land survey. Iron, steel, and rebar are examples of ferrous materials that may be quickly and precisely located with magnetic locators.

Prisms and Reflectors

Prisms and Reflectors

Control points are secured with prism systems at a convenient and reachable height for pinpoint accuracy. For greater accuracy, these tools can be used in conjunction with electronic distance measurement (EDM) sensors and installed on surveying poles.

Safety Gear

Safety Gear

Although working in a variety of environments and climates, land surveyors always prioritize safety. For all outdoor work groups, high-visibility clothing and safety headgear are necessities.

Poles, Tripods, and Mounts

Poles, Tripods, and Mounts

An unsteady mount has the potential to destabilize even the most accurate surveying equipment. Surveyors need poles, tripods, and other mounting devices to provide accurate, stable readings. Prisms, lasers, and levels can all be mounted on these supports for use with various surveying tools.

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How long has the construction survey been around?

Construction surveying is one of the oldest professions on the planet, and it has been practiced for centuries. Consider the Great Pyramid of Giza, which was constructed around 2700 BC. Its gracefully sloping sides and precise alignment with the horizon attest to the Egyptians’ exceptional surveying skills.

Closer to home, the Stonehenge monument is positioned at an angle that, according to academics, was only possible with the use of ancient measurement methods. You might anticipate that technology will alter significantly as these fields advance and modernize. Nonetheless, we continue to employ essentially the same geometric measurement techniques as our forebears.

Even though we can now verify the precision of our measurements using lasers and satellite communications like GPS, we still rely on simple technology for construction surveys like spirit levels and marking out areas with pegs and string.

Read more: Understanding building construction

What is the importance of surveying in construction?

  • No matter how big or little the construction project, surveying is essential. It may have a direct impact on a project’s deadline, design elements, spending plan, and resource allocation. There is no space for error as a result. The calculations necessary for the precise placement of alignments, map projections, coordinate systems, and geodetic principles are performed using modern technology. Construction equipment is now real-time aligned and positioned thanks to GPS technology.
  • By ensuring that safety procedures are taken when building, construction surveying is most useful for maintaining a construction site’s safety.
  • A competent surveyor can assess a project’s financial viability and the contractor’s adherence to the correct construction methods.
  • Read more: Most essential types of measuring tools and their uses

Construction survey FAQs

What are the 5 types of surveys in construction?

  • ALTA/ACSM Survey.
  • Boundary Survey.
  • Construction Survey.
  • Location Survey.
  • Site Planning Survey.
  • Subdivision Survey.
  • Topographic Survey.

What is the importance of surveys in construction?

Together with the certificate of occupancy, a land survey is an important document proving land ownership. Also, it assists in ensuring that the land is being developed in the appropriate manner. It assists in determining the land’s terrain, which therefore facilitates the design of drainage systems.

What is survey construction mean?

There are various types of construction surveying. The positioning and alignment of roads, bridges, structures, pipes, and other man-made items are established using it. An “as-built” survey is conducted to identify any alterations that were made to the blueprints during construction after large-scale projects are finished.

What are the different types of surveys in construction?

The following items could be included in site surveys: (valuation, measured surveys, structural surveys, structural investigations, condition surveys, and demolition surveys). geotechnical and geological. topographic surveys, maybe utilizing photogrammetry, Lidar, or laser scanning.

How to differentiate between a survey and a construction survey?

The desired outcome of the survey is the main distinction between construction surveys and land surveys. A building surveyor’s primary responsibility is to make sure that constructions are erected on stable ground.

What is the job of a surveyor in construction?

Based on reference points, surveyors gauge the depth and contour of land features. To confirm the accuracy of the data from on-site surveys, they look up old land records. Together with creating maps and reports, surveyors also convey their findings to clients.

What does a construction survey include?

To maintain and establish the essential vertical and horizontal control required for a construction project, a construction survey is performed. It entails taking measurements to determine amounts and recording those measurements in paperwork to support the contractor’s final payments.

What is the theory of career construction?

Simply put, according to career-building theory, people create their careers by giving meaning to their occupational conduct. A person’s behavior and developmental stages are reflected in their personality types and transitions.

That’s all for this article where the answers to these questions were discussed

  • What is construction surveying
  • What are the types of construction survey
  • What is the coordinate system in the construction survey
  • What are the elements of construction surveys
  • What are the equipment and techniques used in survey construction
  • How long has construction survey been around for
  • What is the Importance of surveying in construction

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