Collecting Site Data


What Factors Will Influence Development?

iStock_000008776463XSmall.jpgWhen you have an idea in mind, there are many steps needed to promote its implementation. GeoInsight’s civil engineers help you identify what physical, regulatory, environmental, financial, and cultural considerations might influence your planned development. Based upon your objectives, we pursue the appropriate level of research needed to frame the design approach. When needed, we collect site information (such as mapping topography, identifying wetlands and sensitive receptors, and defining existing storm water characteristics) to support the design efforts—minimizing costly surprises along the way. 


"If written directions alone would suffice, libraries wouldn't need to have the rest of the universities attached." - Judith Martin

During our initial meeting we define your preliminary objectives, documenting existing conditions, characterizing the physical (and legal/regulatory) attributes of the land or structure, and determining whether proposed changes to the site are warranted and/or possible.


Our planning and design experience guides our research and information collection needs so that project development can begin without data gaps.

A key factor in planning for any design is identifying design constraints and requirements. While most constraints will be physical, such as grade limitations, depth to bedrock, and property size, regulatory constraints must also be accommodated. GeoInsight has a thorough knowledge of:

  • the International Building Code and a wide variety of other federal regulatory programs
  • state Building Codes
  • state Highway Design Manuals and standards
  • state regulations and guidelines pertaining to new development, redevelopment, or infrastructure, and
  • local zoning, building, planning, conservation, roadway, and engineering ordinances and rules.



These requirements are then synthesized into the planning and design process to establish criteria and restrictions, carefully considering which constraints may be negotiated or modified through requests for variances.

As a complimentary function to the code review process, our engineers are familiar with a variety of databases that can provide information associated with a site and/or system’s existing conditions. Our researchers continually work with records from county registries and municipal agencies, including:

  • Assessing, zoning, planning, engineering, highway, building, and utility departments
  • Conservation commissions
  • Historic commissions, and
  • Other special groups.


We also have excellent working relationships with state agencies, including those representing:

  • Wetlands
  • Alteration of terrain
  • Water supply
  • Environmental services, and
  • Solid waste.


Based upon our knowledge of applicable regulations and ordinances, we can identify conditions that may need to be addressed during the design, communicating these conditions on plans, figures, and existing condition reports.

 We have a great deal of appreciation for an accurate and informative site plan. Based upon the objectives of our clients, we conduct specific measurements, surveys, and evaluations to depict existing conditions. These activities can include:

  • Cataloging locations, sizes, and elevations of utilities
  • Performing aerial or on-land topographic elevation surveys of properties
  • Mapping surface conditions
  • Creating photographic records of existing structural features
  • Conducting dye or smoke tests of pipe connections, and
  • Observing surface water flow pathways.



We incorporate a range of plan formats to prepare new drawings and have theodolite and global positioning satellite instruments to facilitate data collection that translates efficiently into a working drawing.

Ask an Expert

Let us provide you with an expert answer or opinion to your project questions.

Ask your question »