Measured Building Surveys vs. Topographical Surveys: Understanding the Differences

Measured Building Surveys vs. Topographical Surveys: Understanding the Differences

3D laser scanning technology has truly made its mark in the construction and engineering industry. Over the years, different innovations in these sectors have led to the improvement of processes such as gathering comprehensive data through 3D laser scanning and measured building survey services.

Contrary to doing traditional survey that takes a lot of time, resources and manpower, this modern survey, topographical surveying, method yields accurate data that can easily be converted into excellent representations of a building or landscape.

If you’ve been involved in these industries, you’ve probably heard about topographical survey. Both these strategies play a relevant role in making construction processes more efficient, but they are also different in their own ways.

What is a measured building survey?

A measured building survey is basically the process of laser scanning and gathering detailed measurements of a building or site in order to produce accurate as-built 2D drawings or 3D BIM models that will allow for better planning, execution and evaluation of a construction project.

Measured building surveys commonly utilise 3D laser scanning that’s capable of gathering very accurate measurements of any space at half the time it takes to do it using traditional surveying methods.
A laser scanning survey is beneficial in most types of projects, especially because it can scan beyond the obvious surfaces. Here are some of the benefits of using a measured building survey in Bristol for your construction project:
  • You cut down surveying costs significantly. Measured building surveys depend a lot on 3D laser scanners and don’t require a lot of people to complete a survey. This cuts your costs significantly and also saves you a lot of time while ensuring that you still get the most accurate data for your project.
  • It helps you understand your building better. One of the biggest benefits to using 3D laser scanning technology is the opportunity to get a full perspective of a building or site. You’ll be able to see not only your floor plans but also the building’s elevations and cross sections that will allow you to plan, design and execute your projects more efficiently.
  • You get to work smoothly with your team. Any construction project requires a lot of collaboration among team members and more often than not, the lack of accurate and consistent data can easily cause conflicts. But with the help of 3D laser scanning, you’ll have one consistent data to share with all team members to ensure proper collaboration.

What is a topographical survey?

Topographical surveys, on the other hand, are basically land surveys that focus on measuring topographies, determining different natural features and setting boundaries, which are required for large scale land development projects.

The data gathered from these surveys are then translated into topographical survey drawings that can be used by architects, engineers, contractors and developers in developing huge pieces of land.

These days, a modern topographical survey involves using technologies such as 3D laser scanners, total stations or GPS. Surveyors usually choose the right instrument depending on the scope of the land, its terrain features and the coordinate system that’s required by the client.

Topo drawings are then generated to be used before, during and after land development.

What is the main difference between the two?

Both measured building survey and topographical survey offer accuracy in data gathering and representation for building and land development projects. The main difference between the two is the subject that they cover. Measured building surveys are usually conducted to analyse a building while topographical surveys scan piece of land for development.

Both of these methods take advantage of 3D laser scanning technology, but they produce different results—measured surveys create as-built 2D drawings of a structure while topographical surveys produce comprehensive topo drawings.

The bottomline

These methods may have slight differences, but they are all geared towards one common goal—to offer efficiency, time savings and accuracy in surveying pieces of land or structures before a construction project can be conducted. Using innovative 3D laser scanning, these methods have definitely elevated the way construction and industrial projects are conducted these days.

So, if you haven’t tried embracing these technologies, this is the perfect time to learn all about these measured building surveys and topographical surveys. Bristol Measured Surveys offers accurate and reliable topographical surveying services for your project, so ensure you enquire today and receive a no-obligation quote.