Construction Surveying & Layout

Before anything can be built on a piece of land or property, construction surveying is generally required. Construction surveying, also known as site layout surveying, is a process of staking out location points which will direct the construction project and specifying the site on which the new structures will be built. This type of land surveying is performed to ensure that the engineering design plans are correctly being followed in the course of the construction project. Construction surveying provides the guiding principles to make certain that the project is being carried out according to plan, finished on the targeted schedule, and within the budget.

Generally, there are seven types of construction projects:

Agricultural – improvements and construction of buildings and other structures for agricultural purposes (barns, storage towers, animal sheds, ditches, drains, etc.).
Commercial – construction ventures for the purposes of private trade and commerce (banks, offices, shopping malls, resorts, theatres, condominiums, hotels, etc.).
Environmental – construction projects for the improvement of the environment (air pollution control, solid waste management, water treatment plants, sewers, etc.).
Heavy Civil – construction of transportation utilities (railroads, airports, tunnels, bridges, military facilities, etc.).
Industrial – construction of buildings and structures for production and storage of products (oil refineries, manufacturing factories, steel mills, chemical and power plants, docks, etc.).
Institutional – construction projects that provides the needs of public organizations and the government (hospitals, government buildings, fire/police stations, research facilities, museums, libraries, etc.).
Residential – construction that mainly involves building of houses, apartments, etc.

A crucial action that will ensure the success of a construction project is accurate and correct construction staking done by a skilled and certified construction surveyor. Construction surveyors make sure that the results they provide are precise and dependable. They review and analyze the architect’s or engineer’s design plans and accordingly lays out or “stakes” the exact location to direct the construction workers and sub-contractors to the correct location where to construct buildings, roads, utilities, etc.

Construction surveying includes:

Rough Grade Staking – used for mapping the location of improvements like parking lots, slopes, or roadways at a site.
Site layout Staking – applied during the actual construction project and its different stages.

Construction surveying and layout job in today’s advanced technology make use of sophisticated surveying equipment and tools designed to help surveyors with their jobs. Several of these surveying instruments and tools are: 3-D laser scanners, data collectors, digital levels, GPS surveying instruments, Gyrotheodolite, laser levels, robotic total station, small laser levels, theodolite, total stations, and supplementary surveying tools such as:

Digging tools
Hammers (to place markers on various surfaces and structures)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Portable radios for long distance communication
Staves and beacons for sighting
Tripods and other instruments stands/support
Vegetation clearing tools


Construction surveying is a science as well as a profession that involves establishing three-dimensional positions of points in addition to the distances and angles between these points. This type of land surveying plays a significant role in providing precise data and information to ensure the successful accomplishment of any construction project. Construction surveyors are the professionals in this field of land surveying.

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