Construction: Understanding As-Built Surveys

What is an As-Built survey?

An As-Built Survey – also commonly called a Physical Survey – is to show the property “as it is built” at a particular point in time. While a pre-construction survey is performed to document conditions prior to construction work being performed, the As-Built survey is conducted to show the current state of the site at various stages throughout the duration of a project. It also serves as a close-out document to verify that the work authorized was completed to plans and in compliance with all relevant standards and regulations.

An As-built survey builds upon the base map of a project and includes research at local agencies, ground-level topography data, and the documentation of visible site improvements. The advantage of this survey is that the new Base Map can be updated to show the current conditions of the site.

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As-Built Surveys: What are they for?

surveyThere are all different kinds of land surveys. Some are performed for residential projects, while others are performed for commercial construction. Most are done before actual building begins, but most projects will require construction as-built surveys at some point. These are needed for many different reasons by many different people, including banks, state and local authorities, engineers and general construction contractors. These are surveys done in the middle of and after the completion of construction. These surveys are unique in when they are performed and in the information they provide, and they are typically very useful for all involved.

Construction as-built surveys may be required at varying points during the construction process to monitor the construction as it is occurring. These can provide valuable information including whether the job is being done properly, what level of completion the project has reached, and if the construction that was authorized is actually what is taking place. Workers can use this information to extend deadlines, and when violations are found it can be used in remediation procedures.

Note:  It is imperative to have a licensed surveyor who does land surveying as a profession to complete this kind of work, as mistakes can be costly and embarrassing.

Generally construction as-built surveys are required after construction is completed in order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. At the end of a new project this verifies completion of all requirements. However, as-built surveys can be used when purchasing an existing building to verify what is being purchased and the land lines indicated in the purchase agreement. Again, even if the job seems simple, it is necessary to have a qualified land surveyor complete the job.

 

Keep in mind…

Given all that is at stake, accuracy is critical when performing as-built surveys. For this reason, you should only hire a licensed land surveyor you can trust to get the job done right. Regulations for as-built surveys will vary from city to city depending on the local rules and ordinances. Be sure to contact your local land-surveying experts to find out the standards in your community.

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