Land Surveyors of Professional Topographic Surveys Across the UK
One of the most important tasks for any construction project, a thorough topographic (‘topo’) survey can prevent costly delays by highlighting issues surrounding;
- the difference between a site’s existing ground levels,
- the actual ground levels versus the proposed design levels,
- the accurate positioning of proposed works and
- the ability to check that the physical and legal boundaries of the site match up with current documentation.
When executed at the initial stages of a project, these checks prevent costly delays and help to keep projects on track and within budget.
Our most requested Topographic Survey instructions come from clients requiring a layout or base plan of their land prior to development. These surveys are usually instructed alongside one of our Underground Utilities Surveys so that clients can get the full picture above and below the ground, which can then be passed on to designers and architects in any format. It’s worth noting that we are able to supply all of our surveys in BIM (Building Information Modelling) compatible software formats for the crucial first layer of building design.
There are three different types of topographical survey to suit your specific needs:
1. Topographic Survey, (click here to download our measured survey specification to help you compile your survey request).
2. GPS (Global Positioning Systems) Surveys for surveying large tracts of land on the ground,
4. As-Built Surveys to present an accurate layout of post construction for road and sewer adoption, amongst other things.
Whatever your needs we are happy to chat in detail about how we can best fulfil your requirements as we know that every survey is individual to each of our clients.
The wide range of information that the topographic survey offers makes it highly useful for all professional map users. Below are examples of some of the land surveys that we have produced for our clients:
- Measured survey for urban landscape design – an in depth topographic survey detailing all urban infrastructure
- River section surveys and flood risk surveys – to assist with flood risk assessments (FRA).
- Proposed pipeline surveys – a topographic survey of an area to show the ideal routes for proposed pipelines.
- Highway infrastructure surveys – detailing all permanent features that exist along a highway in order to assist with proposed road amendments or new road alignment.
- Surveys for mixed use development plans – topographic surveys for proposed planning applications or redesign.
- Railway infrastructure surveys – to view what railway infrastructure is in place or for bridge redesign and implementation.
- Site surveys - to accompany commercial or residential planning applications.
- A survey showing the positioning boreholes for geotechnical companies – so that the results of specific boreholes can be accurately related to the site.
- Topographic surveys for environmental impact assessments (EIA) – for uncultivated land projects or rural restructuring projects.
- Pond, lake and coastline surveys – showing erosion of coastlines over time (for comparison) or for size and depth of levels.
- Topographic base plans for tree surveys – giving land owners a clear picture of where the most important trees sit within their property or for Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).
- Topographic surveys for land resale – used for the breakup of large parcels of land or to show a representation of the size of land to be sold.
- Boundary surveys – to determine the exact boundary lines between two neighbours with conflicting plans.
- Surveys for submission to the Land Registry – for boundary demarcation.
As Built Survey
As the name suggests As Built (or As Constructed) surveys are surveys illustrating where buildings, pavements, roads and features have been built. Whilst these surveys are typically completed at the end of the construction process they may also be carried out during the different stages of construction.
During construction As Built surveys are used to demonstrate to the building inspector that the project is conforming to regulations. It can be a useful tool during a large project to show what has been completed and allow for scheduling adjustments to be made. This type of survey could also be used by a contractor to determine payment schedules relating to different aspects of the build, also an As Built survey could confirm that the building process complies with the original plans.
As Constructed surveys are required for a wide range of land projects and can include everything from roads and rail construction to utility improvements and building construction.
Various interested parties may need this information for a number of reasons, for example;
1. The return of retention money may only be released on a building project once it has a completion certificate which relies on an accurate As Built drawing.
2. Drainage authorities may require As Built sewer records before they can adopt a drainage network.
3. An As Built survey will be required by highways authorities prior to the adoption of completed works on new developments.
4. There may be a need to confirm the location of any steel beams or structures.
5. Identification of sewer or storm water drainage.
The team at Powers & Tiltman can carry out as-constructed surveys of any site to determine the positions and levels of new buildings and infrastructure with drainage systems being represented in plan or sectional formats.
Frequently Asked Questions:
(1) What is a Topographical Survey?
The purpose of our topographical surveys is to gather data on the natural and manmade features of the land as well as the contours of the terrain itself. This data is then analysed and interpreted into a three-dimensional (3D), easy to understand, base plan. The detail on your survey can vary from site to site. Examples of features that can be picked up are:
The boundaries to your land,
Existing building positions on or adjacent to your site,
Road and path locations,
Railroads and pipelines,
Changes in ground surface and level and
Individual or groups of trees.
All details are shown in 2D or 3D with levels related to Ordnance Survey datum. Depending on your requirements, our topographic surveys can be undertaken to an industry standard or to your individual specification, using the latest technology. When quoting for your project we will always tell you what features we expect to pick up in the survey, before we start it, so that you know exactly what you’re getting. We can also produce your survey in a range of digital formats from hard copy to DWG or DXF file formats that can easily be sent by e-mail.
All points are shown in 3 dimensions on a scaled drawing in the format of your choice.
(2) What is included in a topographical survey?
A topographical survey can include as little or as much information as our clients require. Just give us your end use requirements and we’ll help you to decide the amount of detail you need to pick up.
(3) Where can I get a quote for a topographical survey?
To obtain a quote just give us a ring to discuss your project or send an e-mail with as much detail about the site as you can including the name of the site, the road and a post code. Quite often there will already be existing plan information which always helps with providing a detailed quote. Once we have this information one of our experienced land surveyors will contact you with a proposed fee, survey scope and timelines for completion.
(4) What is a traverse?
A traverse is a series of stations in a loop or network that reduce errors within a survey. These are generally used on a large scale survey where accurate control stations are essential.
(5) What is a benchmark?
Benchmarks are a series of markers covering the whole of the UK which were established early in the 20th Century and checked at a regular basis over the following years. With the emergence of more reliable and accurate GPS technology these benchmarks are slowly becoming obsolete.