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Land Surveying Costing Guide Australia 2021

At Avian Australia, our primary focus is to help engineers, building managers and architects get accurate data driven insights about their project to make informed business decisions. 

And one of the most common questions I get from clients is – how much does aerial surveying services cost? 

Contrary to popular belief, aerial surveying is not all that expensive. In fact, according to a government report, using drones in construction actually saves you a lot of money in the long run!

Combining drone surveying with digital imaging, 3d laser scanning and other technologies can further help you significantly cut down or avoid project costs. 

Here is a detailed costing guide that we follow at Avian. Alternatively, you can set up a meeting with us to get your project quote today.

Table of Contents

What are your unique requirements?

Every project has a unique set of requirements. Some of our clients need drones for aerial surveying and mapping. Others require 3D laser scanners to survey the building and accurately replicate the dimensions in 3D models for design purposes.

When you book an appointment with our team, we will ask you a few fundamental questions pertaining to your project that help us to establish your project requirements.

  • Why do you need this service?
  • What are you specifically looking to do? 
  • Where are the sites located?
  • Have you done this type of service/work before?
  • What are your timeframes?
  • What are the next steps once we deliver our work?

The Laws

There are a number of Acts of Parliament and State based legislation relevant to land ownership and development and surveyors must have an in depth knowledge of these Acts and regulations as they relate to land ownership. Below is a list of the Acts relating to land surveying in Victoria.

  • Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Property Law Act 1958
  • Subdivision Act 1988
  • Subdivision (Procedures) Regulations 2011
  • Subdivision (Registrar’s Requirements) Regulations 2011
  • Surveying Act 2004
  • Surveying (Cadastral Surveys) Regulations 2015
  • Survey Co-ordination Act 1958
  • Survey Co-ordination Regulations 2014
  • Transfer of Land Act 1958.

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What are the Different Types of Land Surveys?

There are dozens of subtle distinctions in land surveying techniques and different types of surveying for different project needs. Below we have listed a few common types of surveys that you may consider, depending on your unique project needs.

Cadastral Survey

Cadastral surveys are used to determine the location of boundary lines of your site. Also known as Boundary or Title surveys, this survey is conducted under the provisions and regulations governed by The Surveyor General Victoria and both State ‘Statute law’ and ‘common law’.

Boundary surveys in Australia must be performed or supervised by a practicing licensed surveyor and must comply with the regulations and guidelines for performing and preparing the drawings, plans and survey documents.

Boundary surveys capture the perimeters of the property, and give insight on the neighbouring estates that are connected with your site.  This type of survey is primarily concerned with the ownership of land and the definition of property boundaries.

A boundary survey would cost in the range of $1,400 to $7,500 in Victoria depending on the size of the land parcel and complexity of the survey. Some parcels of land are difficult to access and traverse due to vegetation, trees or uneven terrain. Some blocks have not been cleared and it is difficult to access the natural surface (ground) to establish property boundaries, hence it will take a surveyor a longer amount of time to complete the survey.

Subdivision Survey

Subdividing can be a complex as you need to consider placement of boundaries and services such as gas, water and sewage lines when dividing a plot of land. 

A subdivision survey helps ensure that the pipelines, gas and water connections are properly placed within the property. These surveys adhere to the local property planning and land development regulations. 

A subdivision survey can cost in the range of $3,000 to $6,500  in Victoria depending on the size of the land parcel and complexity of the sub-division.

Feature and Level

A feature survey, also known as a detail survey, is a survey to locate all the site features including adjoining property details. This includes establishing the levels on the property and features on or near the site including trees, fences, roofs, windows, gutters, kerbs and street details. 

This type of survey gives architects, developers and designers an understanding of the existing features on a property to comply with town planning regulations.

A feature and level survey can cost in the range of $2,300 to $6,500  in Victoria depending on the size of the land parcel and complexity of the sub-division.

Topographic Survey

Topographic surveys provide insight on the terrain, soil type and other topographical features. This would include the elevation of landforms, the height, depth and size of buildings etc. 

Topographical surveys are typically conducted for creating 3D maps and models of the property. At Avian Australia, we usually use 3D LiDAR scanners for these surveys or drones and photogrammetry methods.

 These surveys help determine the environmental conditions in and around the site such as soil type, ground measurements, land depressions etc. 

A topographic survey would cost in the range of $1,800 to $2,500 depending on the size of the land parcel and complexity of the survey.

What types of post job processing and production services are required?

Once the onsite work is completed and all observations and measurements have been recorded and cross checked. The RAW data needs to be converted into meaningful plans, maps, models or drawings for various uses. Below are some common types of post production services we offer in the fields of surveying, mapping and laser scanning.

Drafting and Design

Our in-house drafting team converts the surveying data into title plans, elevations, views and for planning applications, architectural work or land registry offices submissions.

Point Cloud / 3D Modelling

From our laser scan or photogrammetric point clouds our 3D team converts into a 3D model or drafts CAD/BIM drawings for use in industry standard software applications. Our team creates all types of drawings: level, section, plan or elevation views of the terrain, building or interior.

Renders and Visualisations

We help architects with 3D digital visualisation solutions wherein we use drones and 3D scanning techniques to draft project blueprints, concept models and prototypes.

Image retouching 

Our subsidiary, Avian Creative utilises professional image editing techniques to add text, logos, adjust colours, remove objects, replace skies and generally touch up images. Our team are experts at 360 panorama stitching and editing as well as incorporating graphic design elements within your images.

Video editing 

Our post-production team have over 10 years experience in professional editing and can create impressive and engaging video content for your project, business or sales and marketing campaigns. These are great for attracting investors to your project, winning new business and generally promoting your business or experience. Many clients don’t think of adding video to their projects until later but its best to plan and incorporate filming into the project pipeline so we can capture time-lapse, events, progress and build the story along with the building itself!

Check out this project profile video we did for TZ Constructions. This is a great way to easily share and present your success and capability to new and existing clients. 

Factors that affect land surveying costs

Accessibility

Our team conducts a physical site inspection wherein we figure out how accessible the property is. 

Using this information, we can decide what drone equipment would best suit your project. 

The initial inspection process also provides insight on the site measurements, boundaries, site location. You might need special permission to fly drones over sites near a residential property or military base.

Existing Materials

Existing materials such as fences, trees, stones etc. help us set target landmarks. This makes the land surveying easier and saves the drone pilot a lot of time. 

We also encourage clients to share any existing topographical maps or terrain models that they have of the site.

Terrain

It is more complicated to inspect a rocky terrain than a flat surface. Therefore the cost might vary if the landscape is uneven, difficult to access or has a lot of elevations and dips. 

Vegetation

Thick vegetation in and around the site can make our job more difficult. This is because it is difficult to see through vegetation using drones or to access underneath trees, foliage and grass to get a measurement of the natural surface i.e. the ground. 

Property Dimensions

The property dimensions determine the kind of equipment needed to survey the land. The larger the property, the more it will cost due to the time, effort and size of the dataset that is captured from the site. 

However, if you have a smaller rectangular section of land, then expect a lower survey cost. 

Thanks to emerging drones, surveying and other geo-spatial technologies, modern day site surveying is far more evolved, efficient and accurate than traditional methods. 

Today you can easily cover hundreds of acres within a day using a combination of surveying tools and techniques. The AEC industries are evolving and expect more from surveying companies with drones, laser scanning, 360 photography, 360 video, virtual reality and Augmented Reality to capture and record site information to provide project teams, stakeholders, clients and customers new and informative experiences with real-time site data and information.

Avian Australia is a digital visualisation and surveying company well versed with such visualisation technologies and techniques to give your project a competitive edge at competitive rates.

Contact us today to learn more about surveying, terrain mapping, laser scanning and digital visualisation solutions for your project.

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