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  • Emma Chetwynd Jarvis

The benefits of utility surveys at the construction phase

What are Utility Surveys?

Utility surveying is an essential step in any construction project, from new build housing developments to civil refurbishment works.

Utility surveying allows contractors to accurately plan construction or excavation works, by providing detailed reports of both the area and depth of buried infrastructure, including service networks, cables, and pipes, as well as the routes of services.

Why are Utility Surveys needed at Construction Phase?

When surveys aren’t carried out properly, the consequences can be severe. Contractors and workers are placed in unnecessary danger if utilities aren’t identified and marked out correctly, particularly with electrical and gas works.

Aside from the jeopardy to people, damage to underground infrastructure, be it commercial electrical works or council utility networks, can be very time-consuming to fix, causing delays to construction works and often requiring specialist professionals.

The cost of utility strikes can be enormous. In the case of a personal injury to workers, not only can you be sued by the workers, but you may also be fined by regulatory bodies, including the HSE.

Safety of workers should be of paramount importance on a construction site, as negligence can result in serious injury or in rare cases, even death. What’s more, down-time to projects is also very costly to businesses and the damage to your reputation after a utility strike can be monumental.

In 2016, Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at University of Birmingham Dr Nicole Metje published her findings on the direct cost of utility strikes, ranging from £300 for a watermains strike to £2,800 for hitting fibre-optic cables.

What are the benefits?

By taking the time to carry out utility surveys before commencing any construction project, you can determine the location, size and depth of underground utility services, including electrical and gas works and drainage and waterworks.

With a professionally carried out utility survey, you can save time, cost and resource, whilst preventing unnecessary on-site incidents, increasing the safety of workers.

How can Rock Surveying help?

Rock Surveying is experienced in providing accurate underground utility surveys in high risk, urban and rural locations. Our team of Surveyors guarantee accurate results through a variety of different methods, including ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic location (EML).

To learn more about the importance of utility surveying or to speak to one of our professional surveyors, contact us today at or call 01905 456 384.


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