So what is a Professional Building Surveyor? In Europe they have degreed programs in Building Surveying and the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) charters professional surveyors. Here in the US, the intent is not to make it all encompassing but rather define it as capturing dimensionally correct space and deliver it in either a 2D CAD Format or BIM Authoring Tool. That is represent reality, digitally so other professions can have faith in the plans and models and build/design on those results. Simple premise and one that is long overdue.
Why overdue? A variety of reasons. Current workflows allow for almost every discipline to verify a building because no one has faith in the earlier results requiring a huge waste of manpower reproducing similar plans. There is a huge need for a trusted source in as-built/existing condition documentation. The majority of construction is done within the existing environment and all these project start with the same thing, documenting the building. That is a multi-trillion dollar industry with no standard in how to document an existing building. Sustainable retrofits have started to really pick up steam and the ability to quickly and accurately capture a building allows for rapid energy modeling and ROI analysis and retrofit options. Condo documentation? What’s needed? Accurate documentation. It goes on but I wanted to interrupt with an anecdote:
I was listening to the radio and a man was telling a story about how we went back to school to train in CAD, I believe he said he stamped metal in Detroit for GM before being laid off, he picked CAD because he thought it was 21st Century profession only to find that a lot of the CAD jobs were going to places like India, the Czech Republic, etc. leaving him more than frustrated. Professional Building Surveying, because of the nature of the work, it is work that cannot be outsourced. Regardless of your view on globalization it’s nice to develop a skill and profession that you know remains local.
Currently, we are at work on curriculum development for a certificate program and the certification requirements to receive a stamp. And its not something that gets to be taken lightly as its serious business. Thousands of hours of drafting/modeling/surveying experience is required to earn a stamp but to get entry into the profession you can start with the certificate program and regardless if you earn your stamp and I’ll need to quote the head of a virtual construction department when I asked her if she would need someone who had the knowledge of current building surveying skills, technologies and CAD/BIM platforms, her answer, ‘I need one tomorrow.’ It’s on.