MODULE TITLE                  Building Site Surveying and Set Out 1


Nominal duration                   45-50 hours


Module codes

            DETAFE(SA)             CDAP

            National                      ABC083


Discipline code                       1004104


Module purpose                     To provide the student with the knowledge, skills and practical experience necessary to set out residential projects using basic measuring and levelling equipment.


Relationship to competency standards

                                                No Competency Standards are currently available


Prerequisites                          None


Summary of content               Site identification and the use of survey plans.

Basic set out and site surveying, the use of string lines, offsets and 3.4.5 triangles and grid lines.

Basic measuring techniques and applications to building site requirements, including determination of areas and volumes.

The use and application of automatic levels and lasers, including testing for adjustment, reduction of fieldwork and determination of RL's.

The use of levels and levelling techniques to determine contours, pipeline gradients and longitudinal sections.


Delivery                                  This module contains learning outcomes that will require both theory and practical instruction. The "practical" sessions will require a reasonably flat area of open space of sufficient size to accommodate the necessary field instruction/assessment.


Assessment method               Written answers

Calculation problems

Practical field day set out


Conditions of assessment      It is assumed that most of the training related to this module will be off the job.

Learners will be required to demonstrate safe work practices.

Learners will be provided with a list of possible sources of information and references.

During assessment students shall have access to permitted references.


Learning outcomes                On completion of this module the learner will be able to:


Learning outcome 1               Carry out basic setting out techniques and associated calculations.


Assessment criteria               1.1 Differentiate between the various methods of domestic set out.

1.2 Solve basic trigonometric and geometric calculations to solve problems commonly associated with 3.4.5. triangles, grid lines and off sets.

1.3 Demonstrate basic set out procedures.


Learning outcome 2               Apply basic measuring techniques to solve problems determine quantities such as area and volumes (cut and fill).


Assessment criteria               2.1 Explain why measured distances can be in error due to site characteristics and measurement methods.

2.2 Calculate areas of regular shaped figures.

2.3 Calculate volumes and determine basic quantities in typical cut and fill examples.


Learning outcome 3               Set up and use an automatic level and reduce observations

for the determination of differences in height and reduced



Assessment criteria               3.1 Demonstrate the use of an automatic level and laser level.

3.2 Determine the error present in a level by the "two peg test" method.

3.3 Reduce a closed level run by the rise and fall method and by the HPC method.

3.4 Calculate the staff reading to enable a specific RL to be set out using the HPC method.


Learning outcome 4               Mark out and determine levels on a grid for contouring and volume calculations.


Assessment criteria               4.1 Set out a grid and level it.

4.2 Prepare a contour plan from grid levels to a specified accuracy and a stated contour interval.

4.3 Determine the volume of a solid, the surface of which has been levelled and contoured.


Learning outcome 5               Construct longitudinal sections and determine associated grades and levels in typical drainage and pipeline situations.


Assessment criteria               5.1 Develop and draw a longitudinal section from reduced levels and running chainages.

5.2 Determine levels and "clearances" from given grades and distances.

5.3 Calculate and express grades in three forms - percentage, rise and run ratio and as an angle.

5.4 Identify and discuss the various terms and definitions used in pipeline excavation and laying and calculate associated levels and distances.

5.5 Calculate "batter" levels from grades and distances.

5.6 Calculate invert level readings and reductions.


Suggested learning resources

Bannister, A, Raymond, S and Baker, R Surveying. Sixth Edition. Longman Scientific and Technical, Harlow England, 1992