Construction Surveying
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What Is Construction Surveying:

Contractor excavating a trench between survey lath and flagging.

Construction surveying is the translation of a contractor's set of construction plans into a physical represention on the project site. It not only includes surveyors locating and setting physical markers, usually a lathe, pin, or survey stake in a horizontal postion, but also communication to the contractor as to the actual elevation and the required cut or fill necessary to obtain the design elevation. It also includes the checking of improvements and temporary construction items placed to construct those improvements to verify the horizontal and vertical location to the construction plans.

Construction stakes are not set at their actual location. Instead, surveyors set an offset stake with a lathe outside of the construction limits. The lathe includes the necessary information, usually a "grade" and an "offset" that allows the construction workers to build the improvement. This allows the improvement to be constructed without distrubing the stake. The offset is a horizontal distance measured from the construction stake, and the actual improvement being referenced by the lathe. The grade is a measure of the necessary "cut" (lower the existing elevation or remove material) or "fill" (raise the existing elevation or add additional material) between the existing and design elevations. The contractor and the surveyor coordinate the location of the construction stakes so that they will not be disturbed during construction.

More Information:

  • Flatirons Surveying, Inc. maintains a a web site of useful surveying information. Most of the information related to surveying on this site was created while using the Flatirons Surveying, Inc. awebsite s a reference.
Gamba & Associates, Inc.
Consulting Engineers & Land Surveyors

Tel: 970/945-2550 Fax: 970/945-1410 www.gambaengineering.com
113 Ninth Street, Suite 214 P.O. Box 1458 Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81602
Send your questions and comments to gamba@gambaengineering.com.
Last Modification: April 20 2005