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standard procedures for pre-construction survey?

standard procedures for pre-construction survey?

standard procedures for pre-construction survey?

Does anyone know of any standard procedures for conducting a pre-construction survey?  The goal of the survey is to document the condition (existing damage) of buildings and property in the vicinity of an upcoming construction project.

If there are no written standards, does anyone have any suggestions that I should consider?

Thank You,

RE: standard procedures for pre-construction survey?

I assume you mean the building will be demolished or at least renovated. Here is a link to the OSHA requirements for a engineering survey prior to demolition operations


if you go to any search engine and search for demolition engineering survey you should come across some standard forms you can use.  

Damon Kozul, PE,CHMM

RE: standard procedures for pre-construction survey?

Thank you.  Actually, the properties to be surveyed are not the ones to be renovated.  They are located near the proposed construction area.  The goal of the survey is to provide a baseline to determine if any damage occured as a result of the construction.

RE: standard procedures for pre-construction survey?

It sounds very much like a structural "condition survey".  I assume that the upcoming construction activity is going to involve various levels of vibration, either from activities such as pile driving, or normal vibration due to moving equipment.  

When we perform such "condition surveys", we try to give an overall assessment of the state of the building's structural elements and facades, both interior and exterior.  Of utmost importance is to document existing items of distress, such as cracked beams, columns, masonry walls, plaster or sheetrock walls, structural slabs, slabs-on-grade, and items which appear out of plumb, such as door frames, windows, posts, etc., before the construction begins.  If there is currently no such distress, that should be documented as well.  If the buildings have existing structural drawings, we review them before we go to the site, and list any items which are not as shown on the drawings or have had later modifications.  Building maintenance men and even tenants can sometimes be of help, if you have a chance to interview them.  Try to be as thorough as possible, because if something shows up cracked later as a result of the construction activity, someone will be held accountable.

As usual, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Bring a digital camera, and take plenty of photos, keeping a map of location and direction of the shots. Date the photos for "before and after" comparisons.

We are usually asked to submit a report of our findings for such a survey.  In it, we list a short statement of purpose for the report, any drawings (architectural or structural) which we reviewed, a thorough list of items we observed, a thorough list of items which showed any distress, and, if required, suggestions for future work, such as proposed repairs.  (In your case, you probably wouldn't list repairs, unless it was required later if damage was done by the construction activity).  Finally, in an appendix, we would include some or all of our photos, either showing that the building is in good condition, or if there was existing damage prior to construction, the extent of the damage for each of the types and locations.

Since many times, structural members are covered by finishes, we are not able to observe everything behind the walls or ceilings or roof materials.  We always include a disclaimer to that effect, so we aren't held responsible for seeing something which is currently hidden.

I've babbled enough...I hope this helps.  Good luck!

RE: standard procedures for pre-construction survey?

The Rhode Island DOT has a special provision for this. It may be posted on their website; if not respond and I'll see if I have an electronic copy that I can send (it may be a pdf file).

RE: standard procedures for pre-construction survey?

The Florida DOT also has a procedure.  I believe it is on their website.

Most pre-demolition surveys like this require videotaping.  Make sure the video is well done and shows detail.  Use the same technique and sequence for both before and after.

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