Set Out Surveys

Is a construction survey the same as a setout survey?

While the terms “setout survey” and “construction survey” are related and often used interchangeably, there can be some subtle differences in their scope and focus. In general, both types of surveys are part of the construction process and involve the precise measurement and marking of positions on a construction site. However, the specific activities they encompass may vary based on local practices and terminology. Here’s a general distinction:

  1. Setout Survey:
    • A setout survey typically refers to the initial surveying activities at the beginning of a construction project.
    • Its primary purpose is to translate the design plans into the physical environment by precisely marking the positions of key elements such as foundations, walls, columns, and boundaries.
    • The emphasis is on setting out the exact locations and alignments as per the design specifications.
  2. Construction Survey:
    • A construction survey is a broader term that can encompass various surveying activities throughout the construction process.
    • In addition to the initial setout survey, a construction survey may include ongoing measurements and monitoring during the construction phases.
    • Construction surveys may involve checking and verifying dimensions, alignments, elevations, and other aspects at different stages of the project.

In practice, the distinction between setout surveys and construction surveys may not always be clear-cut, and the terminology can vary. The important aspect is that both types of surveys contribute to the overall accuracy and quality of construction projects by ensuring that the built structures align with the intended design.

What is a setout survey?

A setout survey, also known as a site layout or setting out survey, is a type of survey that involves the precise measurement and marking of the positions of buildings, structures, boundaries, and other features on a construction site. The purpose of a setout survey is to translate the design plans from paper into the physical environment, ensuring that construction elements are positioned accurately according to the specified coordinates, dimensions, and alignment.

Key activities involved in a setout survey include:

  1. Marking Foundations: The surveyors mark the exact locations where the foundations of buildings or structures should be laid, based on the design plans.
  2. Positioning Structures: The surveyors establish the correct positions for walls, columns, and other structural elements, ensuring they align with the design specifications.
  3. Establishing Boundaries: Setout surveys also involve marking property boundaries and ensuring that the construction activities are within the designated area.
  4. Aligning Features: Surveyors may use the survey to ensure that various components of a project align with each other, promoting consistency and accuracy in construction.
  5. Verifying Levels and Heights: The survey may include measurements to verify that structures are at the correct elevations and heights as per the design.

Setout surveys are crucial in the construction process to avoid errors, discrepancies, and misalignments that could lead to costly rework or structural issues. These surveys are typically conducted by licensed surveyors.

Why do I need a set out survey?

You will need a set out survey to accurately mark the any new building you are proposing to build on your site. Council will require this set out to be certified by a licensed cadastral surveyor.