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.