The Ultimate Guide to Measured Building Surveying

Ultimate Guide to Measured Building Surveys

The Ultimate Guide to Measured Building Surveying

Employing a combination of traditional surveying practices, the latest in 3D laser scanning equipment and aerial drone technology, Pinpoint Mapping measured building surveyors can skilfully measure up a building, both externally and internally, with precision.

Incorporating aerial drone imagery and generated 3D point clouds obtained from our on-site 3D laser scanning, highly precise elevations, floor plans and cross-sections of any existing property or built structure can all be created to a specified scale and supplied as detailed 2D drawings in both digital CAD and hard-copy formats. Read below to learn more.

What Are Measured Building Surveys?

measured building survey is defined as an accurate representation of a building that highlights both its external and internal structural features and architectural elements, in addition to marking up its measured dimensions. Measured building surveys can be carried out on all types of building irrespective of their size or their location. Structures can vary greatly and can include residential properties, offices, factories, warehouses and historic buildings etc. Measured building surveys generally consist of elevations, floor plans and sections with the option of roof plans and ceiling plans.


In the construction sector the term ‘elevation’ refers to a projection of a building’s facade. Elevations make up a significant part of measured building surveys and provide a scaled two-dimensional view of a three dimensional property. Elevations are drawn with a flattened perspective and generally reflect four compass positions, e.g. North, East, South and West.

Most survey projects typically require external elevations, however large civic heritage buildings for example Bath Assembly Rooms, can sometimes require internal elevations due to the complexity and detail of their historical interior fabric. Elevation drawings are used to showcase the building outline plus indicate openings such as windows and doors, roofing (including eaves and drainpipes), level datums and dimensions such as wall lengths and heights.

Floor Plans

Floor plans present a detailed two dimensional layout of a property’s internal floors with each drawn plan derived from an overhead perspective. All structural elements, including walls, columns and beams are drawn together with door and window positions. Extra information is added such as floor levels and height dimensions in addition to descriptive notes to ensure a greater understanding of the layout of the floor.

Floor plans can be prepared for whole buildings, multiple floors, a single floor or just a single room. The greater the level of detail featured within the floor plan (in terms of layout, fittings, dimensions etc.) the more beneficial it will be for the project. Where buildings contain multiple floors these can all be represented as individual floorplans and subsequently placed over one another in AutoCAD to visualise how each floor fits and links itself together. Depending on the real world size of the building, floor plans are usually drawn at scales between 1:50 and 1:200.

Cross Section

A cross-section drawing delivers a view of a building’s structure as if it has been sliced open in half between two points at either end of an imaginary vertical axis and opened up. This ‘slice’ or section can be effective as it provides a view through the structure that can ultimately determine the relationship between different areas of the building that may not be immediately apparent within the floorplan drawings.

Roof Plans

A roof plan showcases the structure that forms the upper external fabric of a building. Most roof plans for residential developments can be generated from terrestrial 3D laser scanning. However, where there is limited visibility from the ground, or where elements of the building obscure the view of the roof structure, then an aerial drone can be deployed and flown to capture views of the roof from overhead. Roofs may have skylights or windows set within them to permit light into the building, in addition to other openings providing ventilation and access. Roof plans also frequently include other architectural features such as chimneys, drainage, lighting and tv/satellite infrastructure. 

Ceiling Plans

Reflective ceiling plans help to accurately visualise a ceiling’s layout, for example featuring the position and detail of heritage artefacts, vents, pipes and lighting. A ceiling plan can also be used to map any timber beams, concrete slabs and coving contributing towards the make up of the roof structure if visible from the floor.

When Would You Require A Measured Building Survey?

Whenever a property, be it residential, commercial or historic, is subject to significant redevelopment plans, such as renovation or an extension, then its acknowledged as good practice to have a measured building survey commissioned. Measured surveys can provide the homeowner, project manager or architect with detailed information that can assist with taking the project forward, for example: submitting design and development plans to their Local Government Planning Office.

How Much Can A Measured Building Survey Cost?

Each property redevelopment project is always uniquely different based on the size and scale of the building, its location and the level of detail necessary to be featured in the completed plan drawings.

Here at Pinpoint Mapping we specialise in Measured Building Surveys and we offer all clients a no-obligation Quotation service.

Please contact us by email or phone to discuss, or alternatively click on the Get A Quote button at the top of this website, and provide us with as much information as you can. From that we will be in touch to provide you with a competitive quote.