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What is a Measured Building Survey?

A measured building survey is a detailed and accurate representation of a building’s layout, floor plans, sections, and elevations, including its structural elements and architectural features. This comprehensive survey utilises a combination of traditional surveying methods and the latest technological advancements, such as laser scanning, digital photography, GPS, and various digital formats, including 2D CAD drawings, 3D Revit models, and IFC files.

Measured building surveys are crucial for a variety of purposes, from major building refurbishments and developments to property valuation, quantity surveying, and planning permission applications. These surveys provide the necessary information to make informed decisions and ensure the success of any construction or renovation project.

When is a Measured Building Survey Needed?

Measured building surveys are particularly valuable in the following scenarios:

Major Building Refurbishments or Developments

When planning major changes to a property, such as renovations, extensions, or conversions, a measured building survey is essential. It provides the accurate information required for architects, designers, and engineers to develop their plans and ensure the feasibility of the proposed work.

Property Valuation and Quantity Surveying

Measured building surveys can be used to support property valuation and quantity surveying processes. The detailed information they provide, including accurate measurements of the building’s dimensions and features, is invaluable for these purposes.

Planning Permission Applications

In certain cases, planning permission is required for changes to a property. A measured building survey can be a critical component of the planning application process, as it provides the necessary documentation and evidence to support the proposed alterations.

Listed and Heritage Buildings

For buildings with historical or architectural significance, the additional level of detail included in a measured building survey can be essential. These surveys can capture the intricate features and characteristics of heritage structures, enabling their preservation and appropriate restoration.

What Information is Included in a Measured Building Survey?

Depending on the client’s specific requirements, a measured building survey typically includes the following:

Floor Plans

Detailed and accurate floor plans that depict the layout of the building, including the placement of walls, doors, windows, and other key features.


Cross-sections and longitudinal sections of the building, showcasing the internal structure and the relationship between different floors or levels.


Internal and external elevations that provide a comprehensive representation of the building’s fa├žade and architectural details.

Orthographic Images

High-quality orthographic images, which are essentially flat, undistorted photographs of the building’s surfaces, can be used to complement the survey drawings.

Additional Details

Depending on the project’s requirements, the survey may also include information on structural elements, building services, and other specific features that are relevant to the client’s needs.

How is a Measured Building Survey Conducted?

At Sova Surveys, the measured building survey process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Site Reconnaissance: The survey team visits the site to assess the building’s accessibility, identify any potential challenges, and gather preliminary information.
  2. Data Collection: Using a combination of traditional surveying methods and the latest technology, such as laser scanners and digital photography, the survey team collects detailed measurements and data about the building’s structure and features.
  3. Data Processing: The collected data is then processed, converted, and organised into the desired digital formats, such as 2D CAD drawings, 3D Revit models, or IFC files.
  4. Quality Assurance: The survey team thoroughly checks and verifies the accuracy of the data to ensure the final deliverables meet the client’s requirements and industry standards.
  5. Delivery: The completed survey drawings, models, and any other relevant documentation are provided to the client in the agreed format, accompanied by any necessary instructions or guidance.

Benefits of Utilising Measured Building Surveys

Engaging a professional surveying team to conduct a measured building survey can provide numerous benefits:

  • Accurate and Reliable Data: The use of advanced surveying techniques and equipment ensures that the collected data is highly accurate, providing a reliable foundation for any subsequent design, planning, or construction work.
  • Informed Decision-Making: The detailed information captured in the survey enables clients to make informed decisions about the feasibility and viability of proposed changes or developments to a property.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Measured building surveys can support the planning permission process and ensure that any proposed alterations adhere to relevant building regulations and planning requirements.
  • Cost Savings: By providing accurate measurements and details upfront, a measured building survey can help prevent costly errors or changes during the construction or renovation phase.
  • Time Efficiency: The streamlined survey process and the availability of accurate data can significantly improve project timelines and reduce the need for additional site visits or data collection.
  • Preservation of Heritage: For buildings with historical or architectural significance, measured building surveys play a crucial role in capturing the intricate details required for appropriate restoration and conservation.


In the world of construction, development, and property management, a measured building survey is an invaluable tool. By providing a comprehensive and accurate representation of a building’s structure and features, these surveys empower clients to make informed decisions, ensure compliance with regulations, and ultimately, deliver successful projects that meet their goals.

Whether you’re planning a major refurbishment, seeking to value a property accurately, or looking to preserve a heritage building, engaging the services of a professional surveying team can make all the difference in the success of your endeavour.