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Need a Utility Survey?

Use RenKap

Need a utility survey? Simply upload your site on the RenKap platform to:

  • Reduce your management time by 90%
  • Instantly receive a minimum of 3 quotes from our vetted suppliers
  • Receive one digital dashboard with survey recommendations
  • Quality reports every time guaranteed
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Need a Utility Survey?

Use RenKap

Need a utility survey? Simply upload your site on the RenKap platform to:

  • Reduce your management time by 90%
  • Instantly receive a minimum of 3 quotes from our vetted suppliers
  • Receive one digital dashboard with survey recommendations
  • Quality reports every time guaranteed
Site Investigation Checklist

The only site investigation checklist you need

Download our site investigation checklist, which covers the 13 site investigation surveys you need to complete on every site. This includes a rundown of why you need each of them and at what stage throughout the project lifecycle.

The only site investigation checklist you need

What is a utility survey?

It is an important step in your site investigation process. Their purpose is to accurately detect, verify and locate active, abandoned, redundant or unknown utilities on and in the proximity of a given site. This information will be compiled on digital drawings (CAD or BIM) for use by the client and the project team.

What does a utility survey include?

Utility investigation services include searching for and mapping existing underground utilities such as water pipes, electric cables, fiber optics, oil and gas pipes, drainage and sewage pipelines.

When is a utility survey required?

These surveys are required on all development projects. However the type of utility survey required will depend on the stage and purpose of the development.

How long does this survey take to complete?

A utility type D survey can be completed remotely and will usually be completed within 2 weeks. A utility type B survey can be conducted on a site within a day (depending on the size of the site) and usually the report will be available within 2 weeks.

What are the different types of utility surveys?

The survey guidance is defined by BS PAS 128 Specification for Underground Utility Detection, Verification and Location. This guide highlights 4 different types of utility surveys:

  • Type A – Verification
  • Type B – Detection
  • Type C – Site Reconnaissance
  • Type D – Desktop Utility Records Search
The below diagram demonstrates how each of the utility types interact with each other. You can also see their quality level (QL) more on this later.
Utility Survey

What is a utility survey type A?

A utility type A survey incorporates a visual inspection of the utilities on any given site. This can be done either via access points such as a manhole or via careful excavation and exposure.

 

This stage will typically be done by the contractor when they are on site at RIBA stage 5.

What us a utility survey type B?

The type B survey is an on site non-penetrative survey of the utilities on a site. There are many methods which can be used and the most common is via a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). The surveyor will use the Type D survey as reference and will then use GPR techniques to locate the actual services on any given site.

 

This survey is much more accurate than the utility type D survey but errors can still occur. The only way to identify the exact location of surveys is via a utility type A survey.

 

This survey should be undertaken at RIBA stage 2 or 3.

What is a utility survey type C?

A utility type C survey is essentially a utility type D survey but with a site walkover. The purpose of the walkover is to locate any visible utility features such as manholes and substations and validate the accuracy or inaccuracy of the records from the utility providers.

 

The surveyor will provide the collated drawings with annotations of what they saw on site.

 

At RenKap we typically recommend that after the type D survey you go straight to a type B survey instead as that will define the positions and provide a more accurate portrayal of the surveys than they type D survey.

What is a utility survey type D?

A utility type D survey is a desk based assessment where the surveyor will contact all the known utility providers within the site area and request their utility plans. For example they would contact the local electricity provider, the local water provider and so on. Once they have all the individual records they will then collate all of these reports onto one map where you will see all the historical records for surveys on the site.

 

This is a great start however we can not rely on just these records to start work on site as they may be out of date.

 

This survey should be undertaken at RIBA stage 1 or 2.

What type of utility survey should you complete?

At the early stages of a development we always recommend that our clients complete both the utility type D and utility type B surveys. We do not recommend a utility type C survey because it’s not needed as you will receive more accurate data via the utility type B survey.

 

The utility type D survey will always be required in order to complete the utility type B survey because the surveyor will need to have the historic utility data. The utility type A survey will always need to be done but this will be done by the contractor once they are on site.

 

No intrusive ground works should be done on the untill at least the utility type D and utility type B surveys are completed otherwise you will put your operatives in danger and may face a criminal prosecution.

What are utility quality levels (QL's)?

The different survey categories translate to different Quality Levels (QL), with QL-D being assigned to information giving the lowest confidence, and QL-A being assigned to information offering the highest confidence. The quality levels can be seen in the below table:

Utility survey

How long does a utility survey take to complete?

A utility type D survey can be completed remotely and will usually be completed within 2 weeks. A utility type B survey can be conducted on a site within a day (depending on the size of the site) and usually the report will be available within 2 weeks.

How much does a utility survey cost in the UK?

The cost will vary depending on the scale of the project, length of survey and location. At RenKap, we have defined our own set of scope of services for our suppliers to adhere to. This allows our clients to receive multiple quotes which are instantly comparable because all the suppliers have priced based on the same scope.

What is the risk of not completing utility type D and Type B surveys on a development?

Without knowing what is in the ground you could cause a death or very expensive damage. These surveys are a must do on every development as otherwise you risk a criminal prosecution by endangering your operatives.

What are the key pieces of information that surveyors need from a client to complete their survey?

The key pieces of information would include:

  • Site location
  • Site access instructions (for the type B)
  • Unencumbered access to the site (for the type B)
  • Redline boundary (the perimeter of the site boundary)
  • Development proposals
  • A scope of survey (i.e. a brief of exactly what they need to include)

What are the key items that would affect the cost?

The key factors that affect the price are the size of the site and how accessible the site is. For example an open parking site is much easier than a site with vegetation, debris or other.

How to identify competent surveyors?

As a minimum they should:

  • Abide by the construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)
  • Abide by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Have an appropriate level of professional indemnity insurance (Ideally more than £5m)
  • Have an internal quality assurance procedure
  • Have suitably trained and quality staff

 

The RenKap platform has already pre-vetted the best UK suppliers so you don’t have to. If you would like to learn more and check out our pricing plans click here.

Site Investigation Checklist

The only site investigation checklist you need

Download our site investigation checklist, which covers the 13 site investigation surveys you need to complete on every site. This includes a rundown of why you need each of them and at what stage throughout the project lifecycle.

The only site investigation checklist you need