Building the Future: As-Built Surveys Explained

In civil engineering, there are various types of surveys that provide critical data that guide construction projects and property transactions, such as boundary surveys, topographic surveys, construction stake-outs, etc. Another important survey is the as-built survey, which is conducted during and after construction to capture the progression of a project and provide an accurate as-built record after its completion.

Why is an as-built survey necessary if other surveys may already exist? Because of the dynamic nature of construction projects. No matter the type of project, from roads, commercial complexes, and municipal utilities to warehouses, building renovations, and residential subdivisions, changes are a near certainty during the construction process. For example, cost adjustments and value engineering may result in changes to where, what, and how things are installed. Requests for information (RFIs) may identify problems that result in adjustments, such as underground obstructions, unmarked utilities, environmental issues, human error, and other unforeseen circumstances. All of this data must be collected and accurately recorded as part of the as-built survey.

As-built surveys are required on most municipal, state, and federal projects and many private projects call for them as well. They enhance safety by providing precise locations of things like electrical duct banks, domestic water lines, natural gas lines, sanitary sewers, and fiber optic cables. Accurate as-built records are crucial for utility and other mark-outs when drilling, digging, or excavating will occur. They also serve as a valuable reference for future construction projects, emergency repairs, equipment replacements, and renovations. As-builts can also avert potential legal complications during property transfers. In essence, an as-built survey is not just a snapshot of the presence but a safeguard for the future.

Finelli Consulting Engineers, a Division of UTRS, provides expert as-built surveys for both private and public clients. Please contact FCE at 908-835-9500 for more information.


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