What Surveys Do I Need for a New Home on my Land?

Taking on any type of building project can feel like a daunting task. You may be questioning how to hire an architect, or whether your house could achieve whole life zero carbon. One question at the top of any prospective client’s list is what type of surveys might I need?

The below outlines some of the common types of surveys you might need when building a new home. For a list of surveys you might need for working with an existing building, see our separate article.

What Surveys Do I Need for a New Home on my Land?



Early Stages


Measured / Topographical Survey
Estate agent plans can be inaccurate and to ensure that a design can be developed accurately and to scale, we recommend a full measured survey of any surrounding grounds relevant to the project.


Drainage utilities search
A desktop search should identify which pipes are owned by the water company and to what extent, and indicate whether or not a build-over agreement may be required.




Mid Stages


Trial pits / ground condition survey
Typically instructed by the structural engineer in order to design foundations suited to the specific ground conditions of a site.


Ecological appraisal
This appraisal can help understand if there are any sensitive ecological factors to the site, and help inform a design response.


Arboricultural (tree) survey
This will look at the condition, ecological value and root protection areas of existing trees on site.


Phase 1 contamination survey
This desktop-based study is used to identify whether land contamination is likely to be an issue on site.





Airtightness test
For a passivhaus project, a mid-build test is needed prior to final fix and finishes. More typically an air leakage test is conducted at the conclusion of construction.




More information

Studio Bark create high quality, sensitive designs that raise awareness and inspires change. Our pioneering approach improves the life of people, the community and our relationship with the planet.


Take a look at our detailed paragraph 80 research, previous paragraph 80 projects and our ecological credentials here.

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