A topographical survey, or land survey, is a site assessment with accurate measurements and a record of any physical features. It includes the levels and contours across the survey area, and also the features within it.

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Wharton Tree Surveys

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Wharton offer a wide-range of topographical & measured building surveys

Greenfield sites are undeveloped pastures of land in a city or rural area, either used for agriculture, landscape design, or left to evolve naturally and potentially being considered for urban development. This can be a contentious issue, particularly in the UK, where the development of land is split between greenfield and brownfield sites.

It becomes contentious and political due to a limited amount of physical space available, competing with an expanding population that needs housing. Wharton can undertake topographic land surveys, underground utility surveys, tree and ecology reports, which are a key component to the design and feasibility study during planning applications.

In the UK, a brownfield site is defined as “previously developed land” that has the potential for being redeveloped. It is often (but not always) land that has been used for industrial and commercial purposes and is now derelict and possibly contaminated.

The lack of available green spaces for development purposes has resulted in brownfield sites becoming increasingly popular in recent years, especially in places where demand for residential and commercial property is high.

Wharton can undertake topographic land surveys, underground utility surveys, tree and ecology reports, which are a key component to the design and feasibility study during planning applications.

Wharton carry out ‘As-Built’ surveys for many of the UK’s popular house builders. They are needed to record variations from the original architectural master and engineering plans, to what has actually been built. As-Built surveys are required by many agencies, such as local authorities, in order for them to adopt the proven location of buildings, road networks and services for the maintenance and future development of site.

As-Built surveys can also aid engineers to establish what has actually been built and to make sure it was constructed within applicable tolerances. The accuracy of the built locations are important. Wharton have equipment and the experience necessary to locate and gather the information for the client. Our crews are equipped with the latest surveying technology to efficiently and accurately meet the needs of our clients.

Measured building surveys are an accurate representation of the building’s layout, structural elements and architectural features A typical survey would show all structural features, including windows, doors, walls, beams, floor and ceiling heights.

Onto this we can then add fixtures and fittings such as electric points, light switches and fittings, radiators and furniture. They are used for conversion and renovation projects, spatial management analysis and lease/land registry compliant plans.

Wharton are able to produce detailed topographic land surveys tailored to the landscape architecture and garden design sector.

Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, public spaces and structures to help achieve environmental, social behavioural or aesthetic outcomes. Landscape architecture is a multi-disciplinary practice, incorporating aspects of botany, horticulture, the fine arts, architecture, industrial design, soil sciences, environmental psychology, geography, ecology, and civil engineering.

Even though our standard surveys provide a high level of detail, this type of survey would take into account extra features such as existing planting, shrubbery, window and door positions and heights, along with internal floor levels and threshold levels to support the design stage.

This type of survey will also benefit:

External elevations refers to an orthographic projection of the exterior (or sometimes the interior) of faces of a building or structure. This is a two-dimensional drawing of the building’s façades. As not all buildings are simple rectangular shapes in plan, an elevation drawing is a first angle projection that shows all parts of the building as seen from a particular direction. Generally, elevations are produced for four directional views for example: north, south, east and west. These can then be imported into software such as SketchUp and Revit to create complex and accurate 3D models and visualisations. Our team at Wharton captures this data utilising our 3D laser scanners to ensure the best quality deliverables for our clients.

Typical features to be shown on an elevation drawing are:

At Wharton we are very proud of the high quality and diverse array of floor plans we produce for our wide range of clients. Some of our previous work comprises of schools, commercial and agricultural buildings, offices, portal framed structures, healthcare centres, listed buildings, domestic dwellings, heritage sites, churches, castles and many more.

We carry out all of our measured building surveys using Leica disto laser measurers coupled with site laptops running MBS Floor Plan software. The software shows the misclosure on site in real-time, enabling our surveyors to immediately see where control measurements are needed to meet the accuracy requirements of the project.

A wide variety of measurement methods can be chosen, depending on the particular building being surveyed. Intelligent data is collected at the same time as the measurements and attached in the form of attributes to allow for detailed analysis back in the office. In addition, we utilise our Leica total stations internally to traverse through the building, ensuring our surveys are measured to the highest level of accuracy.

Highway Adoption

Section 38, 228 & 278 Agreements. As Built Surveys are coloured to the local authority standard, supported by Land Transfer Plans, Highway Inventories and Asset Specification Inventories where applicable.

Sewer Adoption

Section 102, 104 & 185 Agreements. As Built Surveys of sewers to be adopted by the local water authority, supported by Manhole & Sewer Record Cards and Deed of Grant / Easements plans where applicable.

Public Open Space

As-laid plans of the public open spaces detailing extent of the planting, new tree planting, footpaths, play areas, etc. All plans are provided to the standard required by the adopting authority, along with area calculations if required. We are also regularly asked to cross reference POS boundaries against those agreed with Land Registry to provide confirmation of the final as-built position.

What our customers say

Topographical Surveys FAQs

Also known as a topographical land survey, a topographical survey is an assessment of a site – including the land, buildings, and boundaries. Its main function is to provide an accurate, scaled, and detailed three-dimensional map of the area to highlight the locations and levels of natural or manmade features.

In turn, the topographical survey can help relevant parties gain an accurate view of the site and its boundaries. The data is often linked to the National Ordnance Survey grid and datum information.

A topographical survey is needed whenever major design decisions are needed before starting work on a site. This could identify opportunities, assess unpredictable elements, and aid the planning processes for entirely new projects or new works on existing sites. It is also needed for planning applications for complex building works.

Ultimately, you may need a topographical land survey if you’re a homeowner, architect, builder, engineer, developer, local government, school, business, or land agent. If you’re unsure whether your site requires an assessment, contact us to find out.

A land and building survey is conducted using the latest on-site scanning equipment. An architectural technician will use highly advanced GPS equipment and Total Station technologies to measure points relative to instrument locations. Meanwhile, the use of CAD software is essential for in-office drawings and plan development.

So, the land survey will be completed by a combination of field architects who will visit the site itself as well as office-based draughtspeople. The end result is an accurate gathering of coordinates and elevation data ready for the next stages of your project.

A topographical survey is essentially split into two aspects; field-based surveys, and office-based computer-aided design (CAD) work. For most standard projects, you can expect to pay £500-£1,000 per day for the former and £300-£500 for the latter. In most residential projects, the work will only require one day of each.

However, no two sites are the same. Naturally, the size and complexity of the project will have a huge influence on the costs, as will as travel times. A full quote can be provided by our experts within 24 hours to provide clear answers before you give the green light.

A topographical survey can be used to accurately detail all natural and man-made features on a site. This includes but is not limited to; area boundary lines, building structures, drainage features, ground heights, surfaces, street furniture, vegetation, water channels, and water levels.

Once the data has been fine-tuned courtesy of the CAD drawings, the topographical survey will leave you with a full depiction of the site. The scaled-down plan will detail every item found on the site, which will give you the clearest image of it to support future decisions.

The topographical land survey is normally delivered as a CAD drawing, although it is possible for a printed paper version to be provided. Using a CAD drawing allows the user to zoom in, scan the area, and switch between 2D and 3D impressions to investigate any issues that may be noted.

Topographical surveys can be used for green field site surveys, brownfield site surveys, measured building surveys, floor plans, elevations, as-built surveys, landscape surveys, and adoption surveys. You can check out our work to see more detail.

A land survey must be completed by a qualified environmental consultant and survey agency. Here at Wharton, our experts have been helping clients like you since 2008. Aside from satisfying regulatory requirements, it is the only way to ensure that the most accurate, detailed, and relevant plans can be generated.

With a specialist like Wharton by your site, the land surveys will be powered by the latest GPS and Total Station technologies to incorporate Ordnance Survey boundary plans, Land registry plans, aerial photographs, and other relevant site features.

Topographical land surveys are a complex type of assessment. However, when completed by a professional team using the latest GPS and Total Station technologies, they can be completed quickly without compromising on accuracy or quality. As long as you provide enough detail, we can have a full quote to you within 24 hours.

Following this, the entire procedure of taking accurate readings and subsequently developing the necessary reports within 3-5 days. With Wharton, all land and building survey reports will meet all industry standards too.