What Is Surveying in Construction?

February 10, 2024

A construction surveyor performs a variety of tasks on-site, including staking out reference points for the build process. This can include property boundaries, building corners, or utility locations. It also includes determining and marking elevation changes, as well as calculating mass diagrams that determine how much material must be added or removed from a site to achieve the desired grade.

Throughout the staking and layout process, it is important for surveyors to keep good notes on the project. This information can help ensure that all field calculations are made correctly. Additionally, it is helpful to note the color-coding system used on survey stakes, as each colored flag may represent a different aspect of the build, such as property boundaries, utilities, or grading limits.

Another important part of construction surveying is completing a topographic survey, which can be done in various ways depending on the location and complexity of the project. For example, a highway alignment survey will typically use photogrammetric methods to create a base map, while a building construction survey will focus on the placement of footings, foundations, and piers.

A final aspect of construction surveying is completing "as built" surveys, which are conducted once the project is completed to verify that all work was done as described on the drawings and designs.

Construction surveyors should always be prepared to learn new skills, as the field is constantly evolving and becoming more complex. It is helpful to subscribe to industry newsletters or publications, and follow influencers in the construction industry on social media to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and technology.

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