Five surveying services you probably need to know about
Richard Glenn, New Services & Innovation Director – June 28, 2023
As one of the UK’s largest engineering surveyors, we confidently claim that expertise, experience and exceeding expectations are three ways that we set ourselves apart from other companies in our field. But there are other ways too, including the range and types of surveying services we offer, many of which utilise some of the very latest technologies and innovations on the market.
This blog introduces some of the more specialist services that we provide – some of which you may not be so familiar with, or that you may assume are quite niche, but actually have wide-ranging applications.
Multispectral imaging is the process of detecting and analysing the specific wavelengths of light which are not visible to the human eye. How is this useful for surveying purposes? Traditional single-wavelength systems are good at revealing where things are on the ground, but less useful if you want to determine what those things are. Multispectral imaging is an aerial surveying method that provides an in-depth analysis of ground or water conditions.
We’re seeing it increasingly used for precision agriculture, environmental surveys and forestry, as well as to monitor organic content in water. But we’ve also recently completed a survey at a golf course, to allow a client to make informed decisions around their course maintenance. Like I said, the applications are wide-ranging!
Here are just a few other examples of how it’s been used: identifying tree species and fire risk; identifying drainage problems and irrigation issues; identifying disease or invasive species; or to monitor the health of crops, calculate expected yields, and optimise sowing and harvesting processes.
The data can provide important insights into specific areas of concern, allowing for accurate spot spraying or fertiliser application and removing the need for blanket coverage, which can save precious time, money and resources. And because it utilises UAV aerial photography, it’s completely non-invasive and makes it possible to carry out inventories on very large expanses of land or water.
Asset tagging is becoming increasingly popular, and I’m not surprised. It’s an incredibly powerful and versatile tool and service. At a very basic level it involves a Bluetooth enabled plastic tag being securely attached to an asset. Data relating to that asset is uploaded to a secure portal. The data can then be accessed by scanning the Bluetooth tag using an app downloaded onto any device.
So who is using asset tagging and how? When you consider that the asset that’s tagged can be just about anything and so too can the types of data file stored and accessible via the app e.g. GPS location, pdfs, photos, videos, audio etc, then the applications, again, are numerous!
We’ve seen it applied to commercial property and smart buildings to store information relating to the building, including building maintenance data, health and safety data, as well as induction and training videos. It becomes even more powerful when it’s combined with a digital twin of the building and becomes fully 3D interactive.
Not only does asset tagging allow you to maintain records and access them from one place, but it also allows you access to information without having to physically investigate – such as seeing what’s within a manhole or inspection chamber without having to open it. Another example would be being able to access the health and safety induction for a substation, without having to physically enter it. Asset tags can also be applied to moveable assets, such as rental or bike share schemes, shopping trolleys, tools within manufacturing facilities or vehicles on farms or country estates.
Water Level & Environmental Monitoring
We offer a wide range of remote monitoring services, including water level and environmental monitoring. Water level monitoring is ideal for flood alerts, storm water monitoring, irrigation and hydrological research. Our environmental monitoring services include monitoring vibration, dust particulates, humidity, temperature and carbon dioxide, amongst others.
Our monitoring solutions combine the very latest in monitoring technologies with secure cloud based hosting, reporting and alert systems. When it comes to monitoring devices and technology there are lots of options, from prisms that can be attached to structures via adhesive, magnet, or bolts to non-intrusive laser scanning, as well as electronic crack gauges, tilt-sensors and vibrometers. Of course, we will always design a solution using the most appropriate technology for your particular project.
The data from the monitoring devices and sensors can help determine whether there are any potential issues that require remedial action. Alerts via email and SMS are issued when any predefined triggers, levels, parameters or tolerances are breached.
When it comes to environmental monitoring, traditionally this has been used on construction sites, but we are seeing an increasing number of commercial applications, where our sensors and data are linked to smart building and HVAC technology, to ensure the comfort of workers and to optimise building systems.
To help you understand how a typical monitoring project is conducted we’ve broken it down into five steps. Read more about the five steps to a successful monitoring project.
CCTV surveillance may not typically fall under a surveyor’s role, but it’s an essential part of many of our projects. It will often accompany a structural, water level or environmental monitoring project. And it’s something we pride ourselves in offering, as it means our clients don’t have to employ the services of another third party to achieve the level of surveillance detail and results they require.
When it comes to CCTV, we’ve got you covered. We can set up an appropriate CCTV surveillance system to provide, not just security for your project, but important visual detail including real time and historic footage. The footage can be used to help explain what has caused a particular alert or issue – for example, lorries or delivery vehicles causing spikes in dust or vibrations. Your footage can be viewed via a secure portal and from any device with authorised access.
Digital twins have revolutionised surveying, construction, architecture and building maintenance. We can’t get enough of them and neither can our clients. So what is a digital twin? It’s a digital replica of a physical asset, product, service, system or physical process, which is created using sensors and software to collect and analyse data from the physical world. That data is used to create a scaled, virtual, interactive 3D model.
We utilise this pairing of physical and virtual worlds to simulate physical assets, allowing them to be analysed and understood in order to gain insights and information into many different areas including performance, potential problems and areas of improvement.
One of the biggest advantages of having a 3D interactive model of an asset is that you can visit that asset and deep dive for more information, whether that’s data stored about the asset, or virtual imagery, from the comfort of your desk. We use it a lot for building and cladding inspections, but the applications are mind bogglingly extensive – think maintenance of buildings and assets across whole school or university campuses and council buildings.
Read more about the benefits of digital twins for asset management.
Keen to know more?
Of course, harnessing the very latest surveying technology is an integral part of our services, but at the end of the day, it’s our team of specialists who are at the heart of what we do. If you’d like to discuss any of the services we offer, then please complete the enquiry form below and a member of our team will be in touch.