New monitoring and instrumentation client guides

James Kavanagh MRICS

MRICS, Director RICS Land Group (RICS)

How many times have you noticed high tech surveying instruments in various urban and underground locations? Whizzing around at set time intervals and measuring to millimetre accuracy any potential ‘movement’? Probably not at all - which is the way it should be.

Market use

Geospatial monitoring (and the use of appropriate instrumentation) is a critical and unseen aspect of large scale infrastructure projects such as CrossRail. Monitoring provides a 24/7 ‘geospatial’ safety net for projects which may have the potential to undermine, destabilise or damage existing buildings and infrastructure and is an expensive, high technology and rapidly growing sector of geospatial surveying practice.

This sector is set to grow further with several large scale projects such as Thames Tideway (already started), CrossRail 2 and HS2 due for construction in the near future.


We've worked alongside our colleagues in the Survey Liaison Group (SLG) which is comprised of ICE, CICES and TSA to help produce and endorse this first geospatial industry client guide on monitoring.

Academia, industry experts and survey instrument and software companies were also instrumental in bringing this important guide to publication. The guide draws on existing geospatial standards from all of the above professional bodies and is a wonderful example of cross industry collaboration.

First edition

This first edition of the Client Guide to Instrumentation and Monitoring has been prepared to assist those associated with the inception, design, management and undertaking of monitoring projects.

It has been compiled by public and private industry experts along with instrument and software manufacturers.


The aim of the guide is to consider the common questions posed by clients, designers and contractors during a monitoring scheme – from the initial inception through to installation.

As with all projects, it is important that a solution is right first time; is cost-effective; sets out to achieve objectives; and adds value to a project.  In a fast-moving world, technological enhancements and innovations offer various solutions for monitoring, but what remains paramount is the fundamental understanding of what you are monitoring and why.

Various questions will be posed within this guide that provoke thought, debate and solutions, as well as raising an industry awareness of the equipment and monitoring systems on offer.


It is hoped that this best practice reference guide will contribute to transparency as well as enhanced collaboration between all parties involved on a project. Individual professionals shall have the responsibility of deciding upon the appropriate final choices and criteria to meet project requirements.

The two documents (available for download on the right hand side of this page) include a one page summary and a more in depth document covering such things as common questions, the benefits, scope of monitoring, a guide to of the types instrumentation available amongst much more.

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