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The importance of monitoring surveys in construction projects

Lucion GroupLucion Group

Lucion Group

1st June, 2024

Monitoring Survey plays an important role in construction projects. They help detect the early signs of movement, which is important for the health and safety of people using the structure or those near it.

They can also help inform long-term decisions about a structure and make sure people aren’t liable for any shifts. Construction regulations will often require a monitoring survey are often used when taking out insurance to understand if the construction project will disrupt any nearby objects.

Let’s explore the process for carrying out monitoring surveys and why they are so important in construction projects.

What is a monitoring survey?

A monitoring survey measures the movement of a structure or object over time. This is done to detect any changes in the structure’s position, shape, or dimensions.

The time between each measurement depends on the project and could be days, weeks, months, or even years.

They are usually required for the following reasons:

  • Structures built on unstable ground.
  • The structure is old and deteriorated.
  • The structure is undergoing construction or close to construction work.
  • Exposed structures.

The benefits of carrying out monitoring surveys

Monitoring surveys are important for a range of reasons. From saving money to peace of mind, boundary surveys are a crucial part of any development project.

Early detection of risks

Identify problems with a structure early on before major damage by carrying out a monitoring survey.

Enhanced risk management and safety

Monitoring surveys allow you to monitor potential risks such as ground movement or foundation instability, allowing for proactive measures to mitigate them.

Early detection of potential hazards can help prevent accidents and injuries on the construction site and nearby.

Save money

Save money on maintenance and repair costs when you spot problems early on. Catching problems early saves money on maintenance by allowing for smaller, cheaper fixes, preventing minor issues from snowballing into expensive repairs, and ensuring parts are readily available.

Improved decision making

Stakeholders can gain valuable data on the movement and behaviour of a structure over time, informing decisions about repairs, renovations, or future construction projects.

Compliance and regulation

Construction regulations often require monitoring surveys for specific projects. These surveys act as a crucial safety net, ensuring the project adheres to strict engineering standards and minimises potential hazards.

What monitoring surveys do we offer?

We offer a range of monitoring surveys to help your construction project; these include:

Structural monitoringThis is one of our most popular types of monitoring surveys, where we record the movement or deformation of a structure. We can work on a variety of buildings, from new build developments to listed buildings.

  • Environmental monitoring: Midland Surveys’ sister company, Lucion Services, can offer these services.
  • Asset Condition surveys: Used to evaluate the impact of construction projects on the wider environment.
  • Vibration monitoring: Sensors measure the vibrations of buildings, which can detect issues such as loose foundations and overloaded beams.
  • Corrosion monitoring: Issues with rust or erosion are identified by sensors.
  • Temperature monitoring: Sensors detect structural problems such as heat stress and thermal expansion.

How Midland Survey Conducts Monitoring Surveys

At Midland Survey, our expert team uses the latest technology to produce reliable results and get the report to you as quickly as possible.

The monitoring survey will record horizontal and vertical position changes of any size in real-time (all measurements on the same day) or annually.

Our specialists choose the most suitable technique based on your project type:

  • Laser scanning: Creates a 3D point cloud of the entire structure, allowing for movement detection over time.
  • Fixed position monitoring: Utilises a network of targets attached to the structure and external control points. Measurements with a total station track movement compared to previous readings.
  • Tilt sensor monitoring: Sensors attached to the building measure angles at regular intervals, triggering alarms if they exceed a set tilt limit.
  • Crack monitoring: Crack gauges and studs monitor the movement and growth of cracks in brickwork, pointing, or gable ends.
  • Traditional methods: Total stations or precise levels can also be used, depending on the project’s needs.

Comparisons with previous readings provide insights into movement and its rate of change.

Once the survey is complete, you will receive a report containing the following information:

  • Coordinate changes over time.
  • Heat map showing any movement
  • Point clouds

Monitoring survey success

We have carried out monitoring surveys for a range of construction projects, including structural health monitoring, environmental monitoring, mining, and civil engineering.

We have been working closely with Wolverhampton City Council to monitor some of their building stock. This involved monthly visits over six months to provide a report on how their buildings are moving.

We also provided a monitoring survey for a large theme park to provide measurements on how the various rope bridge supports behaved and to provide reassurance that they were safe to use.

Does your construction project require a monitoring survey?

Monitoring surveys are vital to any construction project to ensure safety and compliance. If you are looking for a monitoring survey, get in touch with us today for a free quote, and our expert team of surveyors will help you.


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