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.