Technics advises on PAS 128 to set the standard for Utility Mapping

Technics has partnered with industry experts to standardise utility mapping, this will lead to better results for clients who require utility surveys.

 In support of the standardisation of industry practices we volunteered to become part of a technical review panel for the utility survey document as well as helping fund its development. Alongside the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineers, Transport for London and the Highways Agency, we advised on how standardisation should and could be progressed.

What is PAS 128?PAS128_Front_cover

On June 30th 2014, the British Standards Institution (BSI) issued a new Publically Available Specification (PAS) 128, a standard for underground utility detection, verification and location. PAS 128 ensures that the survey a client chooses is being undertaken to the highest professional specification. Under the current practice, utility surveyors can operate to various levels of quality that produce varying levels of detail via a range of processes, potentially leaving results subject to interpretation and inaccuracies.

How does PAS 128 affect you?

The key benefits of PAS 128 are:

  • Consistent, high-quality utility survey data is ensured – protecting your expectations.
  • The ability for a client to investigate infrastructure is bolstered – the standard for survey data will be of the highest quality so more utilities will be located enabling you to plan better for infrastructure/building projects
  • Conflicts with existing infrastructure are more easily identified – more information leads to increased detection of utilities and conflicts.
  • Safety on-site is increased, the chance of striking a utility asset is reduced – the more utilities that are mapped, the more you are able to avoid a strike.
  • The chance of abortive and unnecessary work being conducted is lessened – high quality information will be acquired first time round.

How PAS 128 defines surveys:

All utility types, from active assets to abandoned, redundant and even unknown utilities are covered by PAS 128, along with the entire process of detection, verification and location of utility assets, providing a holistic standard covering every stage of a project.

Adherence to PAS 128 is currently voluntary, however reputable survey providers are expected to adopt it.

The following survey definitions will be used under PAS 128:

Level D – Desktop utility records search

  • Identification of underground utilities via the collation and analysis of existing utility records
  • Both a stand-alone service and a pre-requisite for Levels C, B and A

Level C – Site reconnaissance

  • Supporting and validating existing records via visual inspection of physical evidence observed during a site visit

Level B – Utility detection using EML and GPR

  • Detection and location of underground utilities via geophysical techniques

Level A – Verification via intrusive inspection

  • Observation and location of underground utilities using either a manhole/inspection chamber, or physical excavation and exposure

High quality surveys covering each of the levels listed are available from Technics. We are fully PAS 128 compliant and we are proud to have been part of the team that helped develop the new standard.

PAS 128’s key benefit is in helping you to ensure that the survey provider you choose will deliver a quality service, therefore providing peace of mind for your project.

PAS 128 partners:

Technics worked alongside the following partners to develop PAS 128:

Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

Highways Agency

Institution of Civil Engineers

National Joint Utilities Group

Transport for London

The profile and variety of the contributors to PAS 128 provides relevancy and influence to the standard, ensuring wide adoption throughout relevant industries.

If you would like further advice or content relating to PAS 128 then please click here