Enabling works are preparations to make a building site ready for construction.

It covers activities from site preparation, creation of access routes, and the installation of facilities like security fencing, ramps, and placing of signs.

The result is a site that enables not only construction teams and materials to enter and begin work safely and efficiently, but neighbouring buildings and infrastructure to keep functioning safely and without impediment.

Who Does Them?

Enabling works are usually carried out by civil engineering and construction contractors, and sometimes demolition contractors.

Demolition contractors are particularly involved when there is an obvious continuum between site clearance work and site preparation, for example with the retention of facades of previous buildings, or with bulk excavation work during the removal of structures.

Land surveying and engineering surveying form part of a range of services required for enabling works, and are provided either as a package by the contractors, or one-off provisions. Others include:

  • Logistics
  • Hazardous material removal
  • Archaeological and heritage investigations
  • Environmental approvals
  • Utilities isolations
  • Security

The Role of Surveyors

Surveyors are obviously an essential part of any enabling works, performing land surveys of the site and then engineering and construction surveying. To properly plan the enabling works for future construction, a surveyor may even be involved from the demolition of the previous building. Some typical roles of surveyors in enabling works are:

  • Topographic surveys
  • Building and boundary control
  • Grid setouts for earthworks eg. retaining walls
  • Grid setouts for access works eg. ramps, hard-stand areas
  • Building facade surveys

The surveyor’s role is also to consider other important aspects of the project such as:

  • Preserving heritage and property values of the site, of retained buildings and of neighbouring sites
  • Environmental values of the same
  • Sustainability issues such as material reclamation, re-use and safe disposal of site materials, and the minimisation of land-fill and waste
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