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Civil Engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment. In general, civil engineering is concerned with the overall interface of human created fixed projects with the greater world.

General civil engineers work closely with surveyors and specialized civil engineers to fit and serve fixed projects within their given site, community and terrain by designing site layout, grading, drainage, pavement, water supply, sewer service, electric and communications supply, and land divisions.

General engineers spend much of their time visiting project sites, developing community consensus, and preparing construction plans. General civil engineering is also referred to as site engineering, a branch of civil engineering that primarily focuses on converting a tract of land from one usage to another. Civil engineers typically apply the principles of geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering and construction engineering to residential, commercial, industrial and public works projects of all sizes and levels of construction.

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Structural Engineering is concerned with the structural design and structural analysis of buildings, bridges, towers, flyovers (overpasses), tunnels, off shore structures like oil and gas fields in the sea, aerostructure and other structures. This involves identifying the loads which act upon a structure and the forces and stresses which arise within that structure due to those loads, and then designing the structure to successfully support and resist those loads. The loads can be the self weight of the structures, other dead load, live loads, moving (wheel) load, wind load, earthquake load, load from temperature change etc. The structural engineer must design structures to be safe for their users and to successfully fulfill the function they are designed for (to be serviceable).

Design considerations will include strength, stiffness, and stability of the structure when subjected to loads which may be static (e.g. self-weight) or dynamic (e.g. wind, seismic, crowd or vehicle loads) or transitory (e.g. temporary construction loads or impact). Other considerations include cost, constructability, safety, aesthetics and sustainability.

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Surveying is the process by which a surveyor measures certain dimensions that generally occur on the surface of the Earth. Surveying equipment, such as levels and theodolites, are used for accurate measurement of angular deviation, horizontal, vertical and slope distances.

With computerization, electronic distance measurement (EDM), total stations, GPS surveying and laser scanning have supplemented (and to a large extent supplanted) the traditional optical instruments. This information is crucial to convert the data into a graphical representation of the Earth’s surface, in the form of a map.

This information is then used by civil engineers, contractors and even realtors to design from, build on, and trade, respectively. Elements of a building or structure must be correctly sized and positioned in relation to each other and to site boundaries and adjacent structures.

The services of a licensed land surveyor are generally required for boundary surveys and subdivision plans, both of which are generally referred to as cadastral surveying.

Elements of a survey may include:

  • Survey existing conditions of the future work site, including topography, existing buildings and infrastructure, and even including underground infrastructure whenever possible;

  • A stake out of reference points and markers to guide construction of new structures such as roads or buildings

  • A Verify the location of structures during construction;

  • Conducting an As-Built survey which is a survey performed at the end of the construction project to verify that the work authorized was completed to the specifications set on plans.

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Scanning in construction application utilizes a high density (HD) 3D scanner device that analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly appearance (i.e. color). The collected data can then be used to construct digital three-dimensional models.

Collected HD 3D data is useful for a wide variety of applications. The purpose of a HD 3D scanner is usually to create a point cloud of geometric samples on the surface of the subject. These points can then be used to extrapolate the shape of the subject (a process called “reconstruction”). This reconstruction can be used to affirm survey and add more details, identify structures within structures, to establish and set details of hidden or covered elements of a structure, including but not limited to conduits, cables, rebar, ductwork, electrical/cable cords, etc.

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