The new As-Built survey


As-Built Surveys have drastically evolved in the last decade. The speed and accuracy at which field survey data is collected has increased productivity and efficiency, but often As-built Surveys are compiled the same way as decades ago, onto a paper survey plat. Now, 3D digital collection and aerial drones can capture a final construction site to compile in one As-Built digital file. These digital files give the modern surveyor the platform to analyze, compile, and deliver field survey data in a more accurate and understandable format, providing the end client a more useable product. The methods of modern as-built survey collection and the new ways to provide survey information can be delivered digitally to give the client accurate and quality information like no other.



As-Built survey or design survey


The purpose of the 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.




Construction As-Builts are used to show the finished condition of the work as it was actually constructed and accepted. The as-builting task is a usual and important requirement of construction contracts and contract language puts this work upon the contractor. The process requires that any change that modifies the original design be incorporated by drafting the change upon one set of contract documents earmarked just for that purpose. Generally, changes are recognized or authorized within contract-related documents that are prepared during the course of work. Change documentation may include incorporation of a contractor’s Notices of Change that are acknowledged as having merit by the CM, change orders, field orders and non-conforming work that was accepted “as-is” or mitigated by other means. It would also include value engineering agreements, certain T&M authorizations and, sometimes, responses to RFIs. Documentation may also include the incorporation of addenda that were issued during the bid cycle, when conformed drawings were not issued by the owner. To be complete, As-Built Drawings would also require that the contractor record a change for which no authorizing document exists. Obviously, that is more theoretical than actually practiced, as no contractor would necessarily want to show a change he was not allowed to make in the first place – especially as he might be penalized for it. As-Built Drawings serve four important roles. Each role is discussed in the order of its use. 



Building measurements


Building owners and landlords need accurate measurements and area calculations to negotiate and prepare commercial office leases. An important use for building area and square foot cost data is in the development of preliminary cost estimates. Building area is also employed—usually with higher levels of detail and accuracy—for detailed cost estimates and development of construction bids. In facility management, building areas are used to track occupancy by department and type of space. This information is used for strategic planning, expense recovery, and cost allocation. Beyond the uses and applications just mentioned, the calculation of building area can be performed as a stand-alone service. In this case, measurements and calculations are made to determine various factors used in analyzing and developing commercial building leases for which floor area is a primary consideration. This topic discusses the basics of offering building measurement services for these purposes.

Office rents in the United States and Canada are based on a hypothetical unit of measurement known as the rentable square foot (RSF). The RSF is not an actual measurement. Rather, it is a calculation that factors an actual square footage with one or more variables that change from floor to floor or building to building. The concept of rentable area was developed to give owners a means of recovering the area lost to common corridors, toilet rooms, and mechanical spaces on multiple tenant floors. Eventually, the same rationale was applied to recapture the area of the main building lobby, utility rooms, and mechanical penthouses. Sometime during this evolution, it also became clear that rentable area could be used as a marketing tool. By controlling its dimensions, landlords are able to adjust both the numerator and denominator of their pro forma rental rates ($/RSF). 


3d laser scanning in the as-built industry


Using highly accurate 3D scan data generated with 3D scanning you are able to view as-built documentation in a virtual world. The point cloud data can also be surfaced to generate a CAD model which can be used for comparison or reconstruction. The size of the specimen being scanned is no longer limited to the directional travel of a machine, or the reach of an arm. Scans can be taken anywhere, at virtually any time. The raw output of terrestrial scanning is “point-cloud” data, which we can use as reference to create a fully parametric file in your design software.

3D imaging is a relatively new development for architects, though it has been a valuable tool for engineers, surveyors and cartographers for the past decade. As scanner prices have declined and CAD software packags evolved to accept scan data, 3D laser scanners have finally reached architects and design professionals, improving dimensional accuracy and hastening as-built documentation, leaving more time for creativity and innovation.





In the Real Estate market, timing is everything. Those who have better and faster information win. This is what inspired LNE Surveys to develop laser measuring technology and software to quickly document existing as-built conditons. Many projects begin with an existing space needing a build out for a new tenant. Field Measurements must be taken to document the existing as-built floor plans of the current space for owners to use these and evaluate tenant requirements, determine rental rates, and create design plans. Traditional methods of field measuring are slow, inaccurate, and inefficient. In contrast, LNE Surveys Laser Measuring to BIM technology provides a better way to connect the dots from prospect to leasing tenant.

Producing as-built documents rapidly and accurately allows property managers, building owners and brokers to more efficiently submit sites for approval to the tenants corporate design team. LNE Surveys can produce 2D drawings and 3D models with as much information, or as little detail, as needed. Some clients may only need a simple PDF of the floor plan with walls, windows and doors. The workflow typically allows drawings to be created on site in hours as compared to the days traditional methods took. Because we can generate as-built documentation so rapidly, it expedites the rest of the process for our clients.