You won’t find anyone in the construction industry who doesn’t agree that the role of a chartered surveyor within any construction project is pivotal. There are a lot of specialisations within the surveying profession though, so we thought a comprehensive list of the types of surveyors and a brief summary of what each kind does would be useful.
A surveyor is a professional who specialises in measuring, analysing and mapping the physical features of a property. A surveyors expertise is pivotal in various fields like construction, property/real estate, development and eco-protection.
A surveyor uses a mix of technical skills and specialised equipment, alongside a comprehensive understanding of the law and local legislations/regulations, to determine and record details about things like land boundaries, property divisions and building structures.
Surveyors play a critical role in planning and executing construction projects, and they help ensure that buildings are built in the right locations and in compliance with local zoning laws and building regulations.
There are a wide range of surveyors specialising in different types of buildings and construction projects, and below we have listed some of the common types of surveyors that you might come across.
Building surveyors are responsible for assessing buildings for structural soundness (and defects) and ensuring that the building they’re looking at complies with relevant building regulations and laws.
A building surveyor’s experience will be especially useful in renovation and restoration projects, since they will provide detailed reports related to the structure and safety of a building which are needed for making important property maintenance and improvements decisions..
A quantity surveyor helps to manage and control some of the financial aspects of a construction project. As the name suggests, their expertise in cost planning, procurement, and financial management helps keep projects on track and within budget.
Quantity surveyors are important in ensuring that construction projects are well thought-out, planned, and budgeted for. They play a vital role in the planning process of any new construction process.
Land surveyors help with the mapping and measuring of land boundaries. They play a fundamental role in construction planning, and provide accurate land measurements which are crucial for legal property documentation (like drawing boundary lines) and ensure that those involved in property-related projects stay compliant with local zoning laws and building codes.
Environmental surveyors play a key role in analysing and assessing the environmental impact of construction projects. An environmental surveyor advises on sustainable practices and ensures that projects comply with relevant environmental laws. Effective conservation is often at the heart of what they do. A good environmental surveyor will help balance development projects and needs with environmental preservation and protection.
Valuation surveyors focus on assessing the value of a property to aid property sales, leases, and investments. Property valuations are critical in the property market, informing purchasing decisions for buyers, sellers, and financials/lending institutions.
Rural surveyors handle tasks related to agricultural lands, estates, and rural business properties. Rural surveyors are involved in land use planning, rural development projects and conservation efforts. They help ensure that rural areas are developed and managed sustainably.
A planning and development survey will be involved in large-scale planning and development projects, working to balance the needs of a developer with the needs of a regulatory body and/or the local council/government.
Hydrographic surveyors specialise in surveying marine and freshwater environments. They are needed for effective coastal construction and dredging projects. A hydrographic surveyor will help marine construction projects be carried out with minimal negative impacts on the environment.
Geomatics surveyors use advanced tools and technology to collect and analyse spatial data. These kinds of surveyors are involved in GIS, remote sensing, and large-scale mapping projects. They provide data and advice required for urban planning, environmental monitoring, and resource management.
Party wall surveyors focus on resolving disputes which fall under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. They also help property owners carry out construction projects in keeping with the Party Wall Act. A party wall surveyor will help prevent, manage and (when needed) resolve disputes between neighbours during a construction project.
As we have shown above, within the surveying pathway there are many areas of specialisation. Each type of surveyor provides valuable expertise and insights into the area of property development that they specialise in. A good surveyor will uphold the highest professional standards and ensure that the building projects that they’re working on are safe, sustainable and compliant with local laws and regulations. If you are looking for a good surveyor, make sure you work with someone who is regulated and in keeping with the standards of organisations like RICS and The Survey Association.