Preparation is key to any project and there are a number of different surveys that can be conducted on your build project to save you both time and money. A topographical survey is a great place to start. Also known as a land survey, it gives an accurate representation of the surface of the ground whilst also highlighting all natural and manmade objects, including any existing structures, boundary details, grid levels, ground surfaces, tree positions and drainage.
Information for a topographical survey is gathered by using a total station, or electronic theodolite, which measures distances and angles between points on the ground. All information is gathered on site and can be adjusted to the individual project.
Topographic surveys can be split into different areas of interest. If you have a particularly large area of land that needs to be removed and then levelled, a volumetric survey may be more suitable to your project. This is still a type of topographical survey and is a quick and cost effective way of working out how much land and material needs be moved. In the past, this sort of information would have been worked out by hand by measuring an area and calculating the slope. Now, the information is gathered using the total station and is normally displayed in a 3D format.
The use of a volumetric survey will allow you to plan the costs and time spent on your build. The accurate drawings allow you to calculate the amount of ‘muck away’ that can then be redistributed around the site to level the ground. This will reduce your costs and it can also reduce the amount of material taken to landfill sites. Making sure the land is level on site will not only reduce your costs at the beginning of the project but it will also benefit your build in the long run as it can help reduce things such as flooding and sloping or movement in the building once its settled.
To further your knowledge on your build site, you could also invest in having a GPS (Global Positioning System) survey conducted. GPS surveys support topographical surveys, delivering continuous, real-time, centimetre-level accuracy. With the development of technology, GPS surveys have come a long way, enabling highly accurate and rapid data capture, giving you an instant result. A professional surveying company should be able to carry out all the surveys you require.
Making sure the land is level on site will benefit your build in the long run. It can help reduce the risk of flooding and sloping, or movement in the building once it has settled.