For newly built structures, this plan can be engendered at the design stage, with provision made for a maintenance schedule, for example. Having a digital plan of the building from its inception can help it be better managed from the outset and ensure that all aspects of its construction remain in optimum condition. Such forward planning can be very important to large organisations such as the NHS or schools and universities, which rely a great deal on budget and the limits that are imposed on them. They are also often dealing with ageing or degrading housing stock. A well-thought-out estate strategy is essential for the provision of safe, secure, high-quality buildings capable of supporting current and future services and needs. When you’re developing an estate strategy, it can’t be developed in isolation – rather, it should be an integral part of service planning as a whole. 

The role of the Geospatial Surveyors in Estate Planning

Geospatial surveyors should be an integral part of the process, as they can provide a great deal of digital data on buildings. As part of the estate strategy process, property should be appraised and evaluated in its current state with 2D or 3D drawings or 3D models and utility services plans of all built assets. Every stakeholder will have to be engaged in the process, so that all aspects of the assets are examined, assessed and established.

To create an estate strategy, you need to have an up-to-date existing estate appraisal. This includes such aspects as a property schedule and value, occupancy costs, physical condition, functional suitability, space utilisation and environmental impact assessment. As part of this process, it’s also useful to make sure that your records are kept updated, so that the most up-to-date information is available. A good is example of this is the need for topographical and measured building surveys along with utility services plans.

Making regular digital updates to your records, both above and below ground, ensures that if any issues arise – structural damage for example, or flooding, you have a reliable record of the present condition of the building. Underground utilities surveys are especially useful for identifying any hidden encroachments, such as cabling and services. This can be useful if you have a long-term plan for the site, where land over time may be developed. These updates can then be incorporated into the overall data for the site. Measured building surveys too can be ideal for collating current data on the dimensions and condition of buildings, including floor plans, building sections as well as internal and external elevations.

The data from the topographical, measured building and underground utilities surveys can be used to develop a digital twin. This allows for a building’s entire lifecycle to be modelled and simulated. A digital twin of an actual building can be used in real time and regularly synchronised with the corresponding physical system, to log the building’s sustainable or environmental credentials, assess the impacts of changes in the building’s facilities services and plan maintenance, upgrades and amends.

If you think we can help you formulate a digital estate strategy, then get in touch with us today.