We often receive calls from clients asking for an “architectural survey”, thinking that they need a building survey. When people hear “architectural” they often assume this refers to the building itself. What they actually need is a LAND SURVEY, also referred to as a Property Survey, Boundary Survey or Architectural Survey.
A land survey is a legal document which describes the physical limits of a property or a plot of land, and includes a simple footprint of any buildings or structures erected on the property.
At a minimum a land survey will show (to scale) the property lines and any physical structures on the property. It may also contain information about the public streets, sidewalks, adjacent properties, public utilities like gas, sewer and water, and topographical information describing the rise and fall of the property in relation to sea level.
A land survey is also a vital legal document used to verify the size and extent of a property for purchase or sale.
A land survey usually DOES NOT contain any information about the interior of a building.
The BUILDING SURVEY Corp. does NOT perform land survey work.
If you need detailed information about an existing building you need a Building Survey.
A building survey describes the physical characteristics of a given building or structure in plan, section and elevation, as well as 3D models.
The purpose of a building survey is to document the building itself. Building surveys are used by industry professionals for many reasons including design, marketing, sales, planning and rent/loss calculations.
Usually when we speak of a Building Survey, we’re referring to a set of Plans showing the existing conditions (or as-built conditions) of the building at each level. Quite often a client will also require Exterior Elevations, Building Sections and other “Survey Drawings” to more clearly understand the conditions and details within the building.
Building Survey drawings can include:
- Exterior Elevations
- Building Sections
- Reflected Ceiling Plan
- Telephone/Electric Plans
- Interior Elevations
- 3D Revit or BIM Model
A Building Surveyor will focus on the building itself, including minor details and conditions within the building like piping, duct work, equipment, devices, appliances and fixtures.
A Land Surveyor will focus on the property or the LAND itself, while the buildings on the property will be indicated with a simple “Perimeter” or “Footprint”.