Construction staking for commercial projects is a critical step in the building process that can directly influence whether a project finishes on time, on budget, and free from errors. It is in the best interests of the construction company or developer to utilize the skills of a qualified registered land surveyor to perform the staking. A good surveyor will interpret the plans and layout the project to best fit the site as the designer, engineer, or architect intended. By having someone with the skills and knowledge of a professional registered land surveyor, the builder can be certain of the accuracy and reliability of the results.
Commercial construction staking is needed for a variety of different projects, including subdivisions, streets, utilities, and more complex, multi-story building sites. Construction staking is, at its most basic, the laying out of survey points on the ground to act as a guide for constructing site improvements. In many ways, construction staking can be seen as the opposite of the as-built survey. The as-built assesses a building or project after completion to ensure that was was built according to the plans. Construction staking is performed at the beginning of the project to make sure that the project is built according to plan. Good construction staking will lead to a good as-built survey.
Construction staking, especially in a commercial application, calls upon all the skills that a land surveyor possesses. They are required to complete a boundary and topographic survey to ensure that the property matched the site plan and engineering design. They must also perform field staking for mass grading, building offsets for construction, utilities (sanitary sewers, water mains and storm sewers), as well as any parking lots, streets, curbs, or gutters. These are all done before the surveyor even begins to address the proposed buildings on the property.
Once a surveyor moves on to staking the proposed structures, it provides the location and grade stakes for building foundations, walls, and column lines. This is a critical step in the process. If the buildings foundations are not staked properly, it can be a very costly mistake for the construction crew that could have the potential to ruin the job altogether. A knowledgeable land surveyor is a builder's best tool to avoid foundation problems further on in the process. A good surveyor will establish a coordinate network with horizontal and vertical controls from the beginning of the property and use it to calculate and determine the exact corners and levels of proposed structures.
While construction staking is seen by many to be a simple step at the beginning of a project, it can have very dire ramifications for the rest of the project if not completed correctly. In commercial projects, the importance of a well-performed construction staking is magnified, given the larger structures and vast amounts of money the construction staking effects. It is money and time well spent to make sure that a qualified individual with the proper surveying knowledge and experience is conducting your construction staking survey.