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How A Surveyor Can Help With Your BIM & Construction Process

surveying equipment

The use of BIM (building information modelling) is becoming commonplace within the construction industry. By digitally modelling a project, you can better manage it through the planning, construction, and maintenance phases. 

But while BIM is a useful tool, with the assistance of a surveyor early on you can identify and fix problems before they reach the construction phase.

Why Bring A Surveyor Early Into Your BIM 

With years of experience on the ground, a land surveyor can help you identify both geographical and positional challenges early on into a project. Before you break any new ground you can already start to mitigate costs. Using high precision land surveying equipment, surveyors can collect ongoing, reliable and accurate data that can help kick-start the project and identify any issues that would have otherwise slowed you down. 

robotic total station

Unfortunately, in most cases, surveyors are often not called in until halfway through the BIM life cycle – usually the construction phase. Any flaws present in the planning, and design stage have already become engrained into the project. By this stage of the project it is too expensive to start a redesign and extra costs will have to be incurred. By bringing in a surveyor early on into the project you can avoid more problems down the line.

How A Surveyor Can Help With Your BIM Process 

The best way to commence your BIM is to get a surveyor early in order to get the best results from the beginning. Here are some of the many ways in which a surveyor can help you from start to finish with your project in order to ensure the maximum efficiency and cost savings benefits.  

1- Developing the Strategy 

During the initial stages of a project, a surveyor can utilize their robotic total stations, and other equipment such as their GNSS receivers to obtain a full overview of the project and provide important initial position data. At the beginning of the project a surveyor’s most important role is to provide project critical information to the builders and stakeholders about where potential issues and even potential savings can be found. Collecting this data and establishing these critical facts early on can lead to cost saving down the line, and the avoidance of otherwise costly tangents. 

2- Providing a Brief 

As the brief of the project starts to develop, the surveyor can conduct studies to see just how feasible the project is. To determine whether the investment and the accompanying work is truly worth it. A surveyor can provide critical information through airborne and terrestrial surveys.  

3- The Concept Plan

The concept plan is an essential part of the BIM process, and the use of a surveyor during this period cannot be ignored. They will overlook the concept from all angles, including the structure, building service systems, specifications and cost information. The concept can be redesigned at any time during this point, as the surveyor will make sure the plan aligns with the initial brief. 

4- Development the Technical Design

A technical design is then prepared in accordance with the project’s architectural, structural, building services information, and specialist subcontractor designs. The surveyor will confirm that the technical data provided is performable within the projects time frame. This allows for a continuous “as-built view” to be developed. As the construction begins, site control can be managed, maintained, and design changes can be verified before problems arise. 

5- The Construction Phase 

As with any project, underlying problems may not be discovered until the actual construction of the project. At this point changes must be quickly before they have a chance to compound and cause further delays in construction. It’s at this junction that surveyors can provide useful information to manage and maintain site control and supervise management to ensure everything is on schedule. With a robotic total station on hand, the surveyor can provide updates on the site progress and suggest any changes that are needed. 

6- Handing off the Finished Construction 

When the construction is finished, the surveyor can still play a major role in the handoff to the facility manager. They can re-establish suitable control points, and provide information on any shortcomings that might have developed during the construction. 

When it comes to you BIM, make sure that you maximize the talents and skills of a surveyor. With their surveying equipment, they can make a positive impact on the development of your building. 

Bench Mark Equipment & Supplies is your team to trust with all your surveying equipment needs. We have been providing high-quality surveying equipment to land surveyors, engineers, construction, airborne and resources professionals since 2002, establishing ourselves as the go-to team in Calgary, Canada, and the USA. We provide a wide selection of equipment, including global navigation satellite systems, RTK GPS equipment, GNSS receivers, data collector systems, and more. Speak to one of our team today, by calling us on 888-286-3204 or emailing us at [email protected].    

About the Author

Nolan has been working in the surveying field since 2017, starting as a part-time student at Bench-Mark while attending the University of Calgary. He now works in technical support and sales helping customers find the right product for them.

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