What Are Construction Surveys?
Construction surveys in NYC are sometimes referred to as building surveys or taking surveys. They may also be called property or construction staking, a layout survey, or just called "setting out." These terms refer to the same type of survey, which is necessary for any commercial project in NYS, such as buildings or roads.
Stakes are used in this kind of survey to establish reference points and act as markers to guide construction. Stakes are laid out at suitable coordinates by a surveyor based on the specifics of the project and take into consideration pre-existing structures and also the landscape. They are quite complicated, and it is important that they are completed by an experienced, knowledgeable professional.
The History of Construction Surveys
Construction surveying has a very long history that is believed to have begun with the building of the Great Pyramids in Egypt around 2700 BC. The bases of every pyramid is a nearly a perfect square with a north-south orientation. Egyptians obviously had an excellent understanding of surveying to accomplish this. There is no way that the massive structures could have been so expertly built without first surveying the land and planning their construction.
Stonehenge is also believed to have been set out using peg and rope geometry, which is a common practice in modern surveying. Modern surveying today also incorporates a lot of modern equipment and makes use of the latest technology to accuracy such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), which are used in conjunction with staking. NYC Construction surveyors also use radar and radio frequencies to assess things like land contours, elevation, and subterranean structures.
The profession of construction surveying as we know it today began fairly recently. It got its start in the 1970s in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, there are some countries around the world that do not yet recognize it as a profession, even countries that recognize other types of surveying. Construction surveying can be a separate profession from other types of land surveying, and the requirements for licensure are slightly different, but most surveyors in NY are licensed for construction surveying along with the other types of land surveying. Some general surveyors specialize in construction surveying, and this is their primary focus.
The Parts of a Construction Survey
Construction surveys are one of the more complex types of land surveys because they are required for any commercial project in the state of New York. Most commercial projects are quite large and more is involved than with a private project. NYC construction surveyors will begin by surveying the existing conditions of the property, such as topography, other buildings and even underground for things like sewer lines. They then stake out the corners of the property and references points to guide the new structures or buildings.
During construction, the surveyor remains on the site to verify the locations of construction and provide horizontal control, especially for buildings that will have multiple floors. At the end of the project, they conduct another survey called an as-built survey that again verifies the construction based on the specifications established in the initial construction survey, making sure everything is as close to the original plans as possible.
Types of Staking
Two types of staking occur in construction surveys in NYC. One or both may be used, depending upon the project. Rough grade staking is used a lot for parking lots, roadways, and anything that has a slope or there is a lot of sloping on the parcel. This type of staking defines structure location based on the final elevation and does not consider structures below the ground. Site layout staking is used for buildings.
Existing underground features like sewer, drain, water and electrical lines are surveyed and reviewed. Locations of new underground features are also included in the staking, so that they can be installed by sub-contractors. Building corners are also staked along with other onsite items like curbs, drains, ditches that are planned. Site layout staking is much more extensive because more work goes into the construction of buildings.
Why Surveying Is Important For Construction
To complete any large project a great deal of planning is involved if you want the project to turn out the best that it possibly can. You cannot construct a road or build a building anywhere, even if the land belongs to you. Complying with applicable codes and laws is even more important for commercial projects, which are often more large-scale.
NYC construction surveyors interpret the proposed building plans created by an architect or engineer and ensure that they will work in reality on the proposed piece of land. The staking they do guides the entire construction process to complete the project on time and on a budget as well as correctly for legal and safety purposes. Without the help of a skilled construction surveyor, the sub-contractors would be working blindly when creating structures and would be unaware of anything under the ground that may impact their job.
Empire State Layout is a leading construction surveyor serving the NYC and Long Island areas. Learn more about all of their services by visiting their website.
- Construction Surveying - Wikipedia