What to ask for in a survey - Part 3 - Which format suits the project

Following use and type, what format of survey is best?

Do the end-users of the survey use CAD software? Do they perhaps use 3D software like sketchup or Revit?

If you ask for a survey, you’re likely to get a quote for 2-dimensional drawings of the floor plans, elevations and perhaps a section or two. This is the most accessible type of survey for users with only 2D software, but many architects, engineers and interior designers have switched to 3D software and will then have to take the 2D drawings and spend many hours (or even days) converting these into 3D.

Ultimately this could cost you more in time and fees, and so it can save time and money asking for a 3D survey ahead of the default 2D options. 3D surveys do cost slightly more but offer undeniable overall savings.

On large commercial and government projects, BIM is now a requirement and having a 3D BIM model, to begin with, is hugely beneficial. Do you have specific BIM requirements?

Often on large BIM works, it is important to schedule a site meeting and go over specific requirements, datum location, and software versions.

2D plans can be extracted from 3D data, not the other way around, and 3D models can offer visual representations that can aid you to understand designs and spaces better.

If you require PDF’s to scale or a digital copy of the survey for your own records, do let your surveyor know. It is also important to establish the chain of information:

– Do you want the drawings sent directly to your architect?
– Is your architect project-managing and taking care of correspondence?
– Who does the bill go to?

All these small admin requirements may seem tedious at the time, but they give the project the best start.

In the final instalment, we will cover the information required for a survey.

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