Case Study

QE2 Bridge – Dartford Crossing

Surveyors carrying out a precise level and engineering survey on the  QE2 bridge

Please click HERE to download a detailed PDF.

EnginQE2 Bridge

As a part of the ongoing maintenance program at the Queen Elizabeth II (QE2) Bridge, our Client instructed us to plan, specify and undertake a precise level and engineering survey of the carriageway adjacent to the 4 main expansion joints on the bridge.

When completed in 1991, the QE2 Bridge was the largest cable-supported bridge in Europe at 137m high and 812m long. It stands beside the Dartford Tunnel and carries the busy London orbital M25 Motorway across the Thames River in the South East of England.

Detailed planning for both safety and traffic management was a key element of the survey program and it was necessary for the site survey work to be completed overnight whilst the Bridge was closed for maintenance. As it is only possible to divert the motorway traffic for short periods, our Surveyors just had a window of 4 hours for 2 nights over a weekend to complete all their measurements.

We deployed 3 survey teams using Leica Geosystems TS15i total station survey instruments combined with mini prisms operating at short range to achieve 3d accuracies of <1mm. At each location we measured spot levels at a grid interval of 0.5m for 2m from the expansion joint and then at 2m grid interval for a further 25m. We also completed a detailed topographical survey of the site area.

Our Surveyors worked overnight in temperatures of -4°c to successfully complete the Engineering Survey in the timescale available and to the Clients specifications.

Case Study

Superstore Surveys

detail of a Topographical land survey for a supermarket.

Please click HERE to download a detailed PDF.

supermarket carpark

A large part of Survey Solutions work is for the retail sector, providing land and measured building surveys ranging from small shop units to major out of town retail park developments. Our Clients include all the major superstores and many high street chains along with independent retailers. We often provide detailed measured building surveys or accurate dimensional floor plans for fit-outs, redevelopment or refurbishment of new and existing stores.

One recent instruction, from a major supermarket chain, was to provide detailed topographical surveys for nearly 30 existing superstores across the UK to enable the access and car parking to be assessed and redesigned. The survey specification required that the topographical surveys needed to be undertaken whilst the stores and car parks were fully operational and must completed within a short and fixed timescale. The surveys were all successfully issued within time and in budget to the satisfaction of the Client and their design team.

Case Study

Tedworth House

Tedworth House - Help for Heroes - floor plan survey

Please click HERE to download a detailed PDF.

Tedworth house

Help for Heroes are renovating and refurbishing Tedworth House in Wiltshire to be a Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centre (PRAC) and commissioned Survey Solutions to provide a full detailed measured building survey as part of the project.

The building is listed and has been owned by the Army since 1897, being used as an officer’s mess. Help for Heroes has been leased the building and are carrying out a £17m renovation project that saw the first group of personnel using it in July 2011 and by September 2012, it will be operating at full capacity.

As a PRAC, it will provide the facilities to support the two key parts of the recovery process; the holistic life skills course and the activities to get the wounded, sick and injured back out doing what they enjoy the most.

www.helpforheroes.org.uk
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12507958

Case Study

New community in Scotland

Detailed land survey of a new 2119 acre housing development in Scotland

A £1 billion development of over 4000 new homes and related facilities is planned as the first stage of a major new community in Scotland. Included in the plans is a new academy, up to four new primary schools and a business development area along with parkland and leisure facilities for the residents.

The vision is to create a people-friendly urban neighbourhood designed to meet the requirement for new homes in the region.

Survey Solutions are appointed to advise on topographical and mapping issues for the project which has included installing and maintain the primary survey control and complete detailed land surveys of the site.

Site area: 857 ha / 2119 acres

Case Study

Essex Hospital Survey

Topographical survey of an Essex Hospital site

Survey Solutions were instructed to provide a topographical, measured building and underground utilities survey of the major existing Hospital site in Colchester.

The entire project had to be completed whilst the hospital was fully operational and without interrupting the running of the facility. This meant our surveyors had to work around patients and staff, days and nights in the wards, operating theatres and even the morgue.

Case Study

Surveying Luxury in Monaco

View of Monaco Harbour. We recently completed a full detailed measured floor plan survey for one of the most expensive apartments in the world.

Survey Solutions recently completed a full detailed measured floor plan survey for possibly one of the most expensive apartments in the world.

The property, which overlooks Monaco Harbour, was surveyed for one of our many high profile Clients and is part of their worldwide portfolio of properties.

Case Study

Historic Survey

Historical naval base in suffolk.
Historical naval base survey.

HMS Ganges is a former Naval Base in Suffolk situated on a peninsula where the River Stour and the River Orwell meet. The site has a long history stretching back to the Napoleonic wars when the fortifications were improved to house large guns that could fire at ships approaching nearby Harwich Harbour. Since then the site has had many uses including being a naval base, military hospital, submarine base and an infamous naval training camp for boys. More recently it was used as a Police training school until the late 1990s when it closed.

The now abandoned site consists of many buildings of architectural and historic interest including two Grade I Listed Martello Towers, an underground Fort and the iconic former ships mast which still stands.

Survey Solutions have undertaken a wide variety of mapping tasks and measured surveys over the years while a use for this unusual site has been discussed. Originally we completed a topographical survey of the area followed by several boundary demarcations and setting-out for projects including detailed environmental studied. Also measured building surveys to show floor plans and elevation and used Ground Penetrating Radar GPR to locate the inaccessible underground Fort.

Case Study

Sporting Events

Surveying a swimming pool with a Leica Geosystems TCRP1205 total station to ensure Amateur Swimming Association approval.
ASA logo ASA logo

Pictured: Greg Norman

An important swimming competition was hosted at Newmarket Sports and Leisure Centre where it was widely expected a new record time would be achieved in a key qualifying race and it was therefore necessary that the true pool length was correctly checked, verified and approved, to a recognised standard of accuracy, before the event could be held.

Survey Solutions were called upon to precisely measure the true distance of the competition pool and certify that the dimensions of each racing lane agreed to specific tolerances set by the controlling body, the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA).

There are detailed guidelines for the accuracy of the measurements and how they must be measured and recorded, requiring distances to be calculated for the true lane lengths above and below the waterline from each end wall as well as considering the dimensions of the computerised timing touch panels located at the end of the lane.

The projects surveyor, Greg Norman, used a Leica Geosystems TCRP1205 total station to measure to retro-reflective targets as fixed control stations and then took reflectorless detail points above the water line along with accurate observations to a glass prism, on a specially adapted survey detail pole, for measurements below the water. Repeat rounds of measurement observation were taken from two inter-connected instrument setups and averaged for increased reliability and accuracy.

As professional surveyors we have gained a great deal of experience of measuring sporting venues having surveyed, set-out and certified many sporting events including; track and field venues, rowing and watercourses, athletic tracks and several major PGA golf courses.

Case Study

Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme, London

Detail of survey for Barclays cycle hire scheme in London.

Please click HERE to download a detailed PDF.

Barclays cycle hire bikes.

The popular Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme in London, also known as ‘Boris Bikes’ after the London Mayor who introduced the project, is planned to expand eastwards in reach of the Olympic park site.

Transport for London (TfL) is responsible for running the scheme which currently has self-service bike docking stations in the centre of London where you can take a cycle and ride it anywhere before returning it for the next person.

As part of the detailed design stage for the planned expansion each proposed new site for the docking stations needed a topographical survey and a detailed underground utility investigation completed and Survey Solutions were instructed to provide this information at nearly 400 separate sites.

They surveyed each location using Leica Geosystems TS15i total stations for the Land Survey and a combination of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Electromagnetic Detection instruments to map the utilities and features below the surface.

Whilst each site was relatively small in area they could still have a large amount of detail to measure and record as below the pavements of London there is the full range of public utilities, pipes, services, cables and drainage along with possible structures, voids and cellars.

James Cooper, Managing Director at Survey Solutions said “Our surveyors worked in often very busy and challenging locations around London, contending with large volumes of traffic and pedestrians to complete the surveys on time.”

Survey Solutions have also recently provided mapping for other cycling projects such as a Mountain Bike event and the Barclays Cycle Superhighways in London.

For more info on the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme or Barclays Cycle Superhighways visit the Transport for London (TfL) website at www.tfl.gov.uk

Case Study

Shopping Centre, Coventry

Detail of survey for Barclays cycle hire scheme in London.

Please click HERE to download a detailed PDF.

Coventry shopping centre.

Many projects can present difficult challenges for our Surveyors and a recent measured building survey in Coventry had more than its fair share. Detailed plans of the unusually shaped West Orchard Shopping Centre were required by our Client who needed accurate details of all of the internal elements including over 40 retail outlets, a food court and a warren of warehouse storage. The multi-storey structure also had a vast domed glass roof (pictured) which needed to be surveyed along with 650 parking spaces, a central bank of escalators and several glass lifts which all needed to be measured whilst the centre was open to the public.

The Surveyors used a combination of survey instruments including 3d laser scanners and Leica TS15 total stations along with conventional surveying techniques to map the store and provide the customer a full digital model of the project.

Case Study

Horse Racing – TV Graphics

Horse racing.

One of the more unusual projects where Survey Solutions have been asked to provide measured data, was for a Client who designs software used in the TV industry to show visual imagery for sporting events. They were developing a new system of graphics to show the position of each horse at the closing stages of a race for use by the production team and commentators in a similar way to those used on TV for other sporting events like football and rugby.

To be able to correctly superimpose the digital imagery onto the graphics it is necessary to have accurate 3d coordinates for each of the TV camera positions as well as specific detail covering the finishing line and areas along the racecourse.

Working closely with the Client and their development team, Survey Solutions provided precise 3d data for all of the key elements in a format suitable for the software designers. Using Leica TS15 instruments in reflectorless mode, the information could be collected remotely at each location.

In total there are around 25 horse racing venues throughout the UK where Survey Solutions have provided digital measured data including; Cheltenham, Newbury, Ascot, and Aintree Racecourses.

Case Study

Automated Monitoring, London

Leica automated survbeying equipment.

During the critical construction phase for a refurbishment of an unusual building development in the heart of London our Client needed an automated monitoring system capable of measuring small degrees of movement in 3d within the structure, continuously over several months.

The survey project was unusual for several reasons; the main being that the site was extremely confined with only one external access point. The structure was a self-contained three storey building with two of the floors below ground level and a mainline railway concourse above the roof element. This made conventional monitoring survey methods challenging as neither the instruments nor control points could be positioned outside the area of influence.

The monitoring system was designed and installed using Leica TS15 robotic instruments on wall mounted brackets observing mini glass prisms located throughout the structure. The survey network was self-checking with sufficient redundant data to enable true movement to be identified. The monitoring system was connected via the mobile phone network to survey software off-site which calculated any changes and published the movement data in near real-time to a webpage which the Client and his team could access remotely. In addition a series of text and email alerts could automatically be activated if any of the points exceeded a predetermined margin of movement.

Case Study

Royal National Theatre, London

Meausered building survey of the National Theatre, London.

One of our Surveyors recently had the chance to tread the boards at the prestigious Royal National Theatre on the South Bank in London. Fortunately, it was not for a show but to provide an accurate measured building survey as part of a modernisation project.

A key element of the task was to produce a very detailed 3D model of the 'fly-tower' to millimetre accuracy. The tower, which is several storeys high and located above the stage, houses the rigging and cranes that move the scenery, props and curtains up and down during the performance.

In order to carry the planned improvements to the vast array of rigging it was first necessary for the designers to have a detailed 3D digital model of the existing elements within this very busy and confined structure.

Due to the high degree of accuracy needed and the very limited space available 3D Laser Scanning was not appropriate, so our Surveyor had to use a reflectorless Total Station and direct measurements to the physical features to meet the Clients demanding specification. The survey was made more difficult as everything within the fly-tower is painted black to conceal it from the audience plus the theatre and stage was in constant use throughout the project timescale.

Our performance was such a success with the Client and the specialist design team that we are already looking at a number of other similar survey projects for them in the UK and Europe.

Case Study

3D Laser Scanning

3D laser scanning
3D laser scanner

Advances in 3D laser scanning technology for the surveying profession have meant that a far greater amount of detail can be measured and recorded than ever before, giving our Surveyors the ability to provide a level of detail not easily achieved previously.

As one of the country’s leading survey companies Survey Solutions are at the forefront of 3D laser scanning and have gained a reputation of delivering high quality detailed surveys from 3D scan data.

We were recently commissioned to survey a derelict manor house of historic importance and provide the client’s team with sufficient data for the Architect to design the refurbishment and the Structural Engineer to understand the integrity of the structure in more detail.

The Surveyor used Leica ScanStation P15 3D laser scanning systems to observe the building on site and create a digital image of the structure as a point cloud. This data was then used to produce very detailed 2D AutoCAD drawings of the floor plans, sections and building elevations.

The image shown is part of the 3D digital model created by the Surveyor using the 3D laser scanner and shows that the scan data gives not only the main elements of the derelict structure but also records individual stonework and architectural features along with any cracks or faults associated with the subsidence which can be seen in the end tower.

A large section of our workload is measured building surveys and using 3D laser scanners alongside traditional survey instruments such as total stations, means we can give our clients more information in less time in the format they need.

Case Study

High Precision Monitoring

3D laser scanning

Please click HERE to download a detailed PDF.

basement parking survey

Survey Solutions were instructed to provide surveying services to a Structural Engineering Consultancy which was investigating a number of issues on a newly completed waterside development.

The main building was a high-rise residential block adjacent to the water, with two levels of parking below ground. There were two main issues with the building; firstly, the waterproofing had failed and water was getting into the basement parking and secondly, either the supporting columns or the concrete floors appeared to be moving.

The Engineers needed to be able to monitor movement of the floors and columns daily for several weeks, independently of the structure, to a tolerance of less than +/- 1mm. To add to the constraints of the survey project the floor to ceiling height was only 1.8m (less than a conventional precise levelling staff) and the survey area is below ground with the only external access via a spiral vehicle ramp.

It was agreed that a 1m x 1m level grid would be established across the floor surface along with a series of survey targets mounted around the walls and columns. These were observed and referenced to independent fixed survey control above ground away from the area of influence.

The monitoring system used a Leica TS30 total station, with 0.5” angular tolerance and measuring distances accurate to 0.6mm + 1ppm, with high performance prisms and targets. This was combined with a Leica DNA03 0.3mm precise digital level for the vertical control and height datum.

The survey data was presented in spreadsheet format along with 3d digital models showing contours at 1mm intervals (see plan; lower floor) plus level differences compared with previous survey observations.

The survey results provided the Structural Engineer with a clear understanding of the movement within the structure over time related to the external environment, including tidal effect caused from the location of this high-rise waterfront development.

Case Study

Historic London Docks

Royal Dock Management Authority survey

Please click HERE to view a detailed image.

Royal Dock logo

London's Royal Docks are to the east of the capital on the northern side of the Thames and comprise of a collection of historic docks built in the mid 19th century. This marvel of Victorian engineering includes Royal Victoria Dock, Royal Albert Dock and King George V Dock and extends to 4km, is 13m deep, and covers an area the size of central London.

The water and surrounding area is owned, managed and maintained by The Royal Docks Management Authority (RoDMA) who are responsible for the site, dock walls, locks and infrastructure as well as leasing parcel of land for a large range of activities and uses. There are areas for business, education and waterside living and some of the larger tenants include City Airport, Excel Centre and University of East London.

RoDMA identified that they needed to better understand various boundary issues and legal tenancy demarcations for parcels of land within their control and were recommended to approach Survey Solutions for assistance. It was clear that the collection of paper plans and graphical records covering the docks needed updating and moving over to a digital format to manage the site more effectively and accurately for the future.

Using the Ordnance Survey (OS) digital mapping as a base plan and infilling or updating with field survey where necessary, Survey Solutions created a master plan covering the full extent of RoDMA controlled property. Then came the task of collating several boxes of legal documents, agreements and lease plans to redefine critical boundaries, identify key areas and establish land parcels, all required for the immediate and ongoing management of the estate.

Now complete, RoDMA has a full and up-to-date geographical record of their entire estate which can be used to manage, plan and develop future growth of this historic an important area of London.

Case Study

Scanning to the Rescue

Building scan

When we were initially approached to provide a detailed survey of an old Fire Station in the centre of London we thought it was going to be a straightforward enough job, but when the client said he needed drawings for every elevation, inside and out, we had second thoughts.

Due to the complexity of this historic five storey grade II listed building, and the sensitive nature of the site, the design team needed every detail mapped and recorded, amounting to nearly 300 separate drawings. By conventional methods, this would have taken weeks on site but by using one of our 3D laser scanners, the site work was completed in just a few days. Scanning means that our surveyors can collect huge amounts of data in a relatively short timescale. The instrument fires a laser at the surface of the building a million times per second and combining this data along with other measurements, we can create what is called a ‘point cloud’, with each point accurate to a few millimetres. This can be supplied to the design team as a cloud, 3D digital model or, as with this project, a series of 2D drawings.

The final survey consisted of a topographical survey, floor plans and elevations for the entire building, allowing the designers to understand the structure, make the most of the existing feature, and retain the historic elements of this interesting and important local landmark.

At this stage, we do not know if the fireman’s pole has been retained as a feature in the new development.

Case Study

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Please click HERE to view a detailed image.

London Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre located in the heart of London, so when Survey Solutions were asked to provide measured survey data for the building and surrounding grounds they knew it was going to be a stand-out project.

The building, built entirely of terracotta to be more resistant to Victorian London's harsh climate, incorporates an incredible series of animal and plant ornaments, statues and relief carvings on the detailed façades and throughout the entire building.  The result is one of Britain’s most striking examples of Romanesque architecture, widely considered a work of art in its own right and one of London's most iconic landmarks.

Using the latest Leica Geosystems laser scanners a full high definition 3D point cloud was created as the base to generate a digital model of the building from which the design team could be supplied any data and drawing they required. In addition, a topographical survey was undertaken along with an underground investigation showing the subsurface features, drainage and utilities.

The results have not only been essential to the design and restoration teams but have also provided a valuable and interesting record of this fascinating building.

Case Study

Use of a Drone to Measure a Dome

Drone surveying the Royal Hospital School - Suffolk
Drone shot of Royal Hospital School in Suffolk

Survey Solutions lived up to their name once again when a client requested an inspection of the iconic dome shaped Nelson House cupola, on top of the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk. Clear detailed images were needed of the entire cupola, including the ornate wind vane but without the expense or disruption of scaffolding being erected.

Survey Solutions provided a cost effective non-intrusive method using one of their drones or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The drone was flown around the otherwise inaccessible structure taking high definition images and video footage which then allowed the client to easily and successfully identify any areas of damage without disturbing the daily running of the school.

In addition to the drone aspect of the project Survey Solutions have also completed a full measured building survey of the school using a combination of traditional survey methods and 3d laser scanning.

Case Study

Maize Maze Mapping

Undley Farm Maize Maze
Surveying a maize maze

We are very lucky to get involved in a large amount of very diverse and varied projects, and one request was a perfect example.

A farm in the beautiful rural Suffolk countryside wanted to create a maze in a maize field, in the form of a witch on a broomstick – why not?

The design had already been completed, so our surveyors set about transferring this into a format that we could then mark-out on site, using survey grade GPS receivers.

On site we sprayed approximately 2,500 reference points and directed the farm team to cut the various paths of the maze.

The maze was a great success attracting visitors throughout the summer and we understand the design for next year is already being planned…

More about the maze at www.undleyfarmevents.co.uk

Case Study

RHS Wisley Surrey

RHS home and gardens in Wisley
RHS logo

Survey Solutions were commissioned to complete a measured building survey and topographical survey at the famous RHS home and gardens in Wisley, Surrey. Built in 1914 the building still serves it original purpose as a base for the RHS scientists and advice team, who answer over 90,000 enquires a year.

Every detail was required of this magificant building, down to individual light switches, then to be shown on internal elevations, all to be completed whilst keeping any disruption to a minimum.

Our surveyors used high definition 3D laser scanners to create a point cloud and digital model of the building from which we then extracted the CAD drawings the client needed.

The survey team involved said it was one of the most beautiful places they had ever worked.

Case Study

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle being surveyed
Installing reflective targets on the sides of Norwich Castle

Survey Solutions were commissioned to undertake structural monitoring of the external facades of the famous Keep at Norwich Castle. The monitoring forms part of an ambitious project to restore the Keep to its former glory as a medieval palace. The plans include the reinstatement of the Keep’s main Norman floor and great hall with the project expected to be completed by 2020.

The project was summed up by the chief curator at Norfolk Museums Service saying “essentially we have one of the great medieval masterpieces in Norwich Castle, it’s one of the most important castles of the whole of the medieval period in Europe and we are looking to put back the missing elements which have decayed over the years or have been ripped out in earlier phases of the castle’s life, and restore lost elements relating to the original construction.”

Although the majority of the work will be internal alterations, there is a need to monitor the stability of the overall structure externally whilst the work is being undertaken; this is where Survey Solutions expertise becomes invaluable.

In line with the Structural Engineer’s specification, around 30 reflective targets were installed on all four sides of the Keep. This was particularly difficult as the only way to position the targets was to abseil from the top of the Keep. The targets will be precisely measured in x, y and z once a month for the duration of the project using a total station survey instrument. Before every round of monitoring takes place a control network outside the area of influence is precisely levelled and referenced to confirm the stability of the base data. When completed, each round of measurements is compared to previous observations with any changes highlighted.

As part of the ongoing project, Survey Solutions has also undertaken a topographical land survey of the castle and provided various floor plans and sections internally.

Survey Solutions are one of the county’s leading experts in monitoring for movement and can design bespoke solutions to fit even the most challenging environments.

Case Study

St Stephen's Towers, Norwich

St Stephen's Towers
3D Revit model of St Stephen's Towers, Norwich

Survey Solutions were approached by their client for a proposal to undertaking a full measured building survey of two well known office blocks in Norwich. The ambitious multi million pound project aimed at transforming the two former towers in the heart of the city centre into flats for in excess of 700 students. The survey formed an integral part of the scheme and provided the planners and designers with vital information to progress the project.

Each building consisted of eight floors and they were linked by a connecting walkway. The client specification included floor plans, roof plans, elevations, cross sections and a full 3D Revit model.

Although the buildings were of a significant size, in principle the survey should have been relatively straight forward to complete. However the survey had to be undertaken at the same time as the demolition contractor was striping out the inside of the building and Survey Solutions only had access to the individual floors on an ‘ad hoc’ basis as and when the stripping out was complete and not always in a logical order.

Every city centre development comes with logistical difficulties that are not associated with other more rural areas. These difficulties were made worse because the towers were constructed on top of existing third party owned retail units, resulting in a very small site area to work with. As the project progressed the surveyors were met with more and more challenges, these included an array of different contractors working and occupying the site, control datum’s being obscured and/or destroyed and the biggest challenge of all, both towers being encased by scaffolding and wrapped in protective sheeting.

The Project Surveyor responsible for undertaking the work said “the survey was made more complicated than it might have been and could became stressful at times, however it was good to see the Revit model evolve over time and extremely rewarding to see the finished article”.

When each floor became available; before the surveyors could start to capture data with the 3D Laser Scanner a control network of datum’s needed to be established from carefully positioned control points located outside of the towers. The scan data was then registered and a point cloud produced. From the resulting point cloud a 3D Revit model was produced on a floor by floor basis with the model being added to after each visit. The Revit model was produced in accordance with the clients BIM specification and gave them the information they required to redesign the building in line with the customer’s specification.

Case Study

Traffic Survey with a Drone

Survey Solutions have been creating a buzz in Nuneaton - having been asked by Warwickshire County Council to provide traffic count data, Survey Solutions deployed several UAV drones to film rush hour traffic movement at key road junctions as a step towards improving road layouts and hence ease congestion.

This data was traditionally collected at ground level using fixed cameras or people sitting in deckchairs at the side of the road counting individual vehicles which is both unsafe and often inaccurate. With the use of UAV drones and aerial filming the process has become cheaper, more accurate and safer.

Survey Solutions were delighted with feedback from the client:

“…the data is absolutely spot-on - just what we were looking for. It gives us such a different perspective on traffic…much more useful than looking at a limited section of road from ground level. There’s so much information there to absorb it will probably require multiple views to get to grips with it all.”

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