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Dial Before You Dig (UK)
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Dudleys Consulting Engineers
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National One Call

Dial Before You Dig is a service provided by National One Call


InSite Services  /  Fusion/Surveys

National One Call offers a range of services for those jobs that require more accurate and detailed information about the site when planning, or can provide you with services such as site investigation, excavation, plant hire etc when undertaking works. These services are provided by specialist members of our InSite Network who we contract with to supply these to you.

Members of our InSite Network are themselves users of our Dial Before You Dig service, using our service daily to get utility plans for their own needs and clients. Those that have specialist services that other enquirers need - surveying, CAD capabilities etc - make these available to other National One Call members, often at a preferable rate.

Prices for InSite services vary according to the size and type of each site therefore we quote per requirement. Other factors that are taken into account include the availability of the site (e.g. a school sports ground that is in use during a school week) and any special arrangements that have to be made (e.g. traffic / pedestrian management if the survey is on a public street).

The limits of using Utility Plans alone

Utility plans are provided in good faith but every plan carries a warning about the information being provided, a disclaimer of responsibility for any inaccuracies and a warning that if you damage their services you will be held responsible under all circumstances, even if their plans prove to be inaccurate.

Even 'Not Affected' statements that are received from utilities state that there are no known services at the site but that is not guaranteed - it is not uncommon to find services that have not been included in the plans of the utility.

There are many reasons that plans should be regarded as indicative only, the main ones being:

Your National One Call Enquiry can result in over 40 such plans and responses being received, a compound of possible errors and omissions that add up to a considerable risk to your people and your business, even though you are armed with all available plans and responses.

A Fusion Plan integrates all the plans received in response to your enquiry, giving your information about how the utilities see your site which is great for general planning but does nothing to diminish the risk to your people and your business if you rely on the Fusion Plan alone to undertake works or to plan developments.

Our InSite Survey Services massively reduce that risk by finding out precisely what you are dealing with on that your site and because we have a range of services you can choose the one that best suits the requirement you have per site, e.g. you may require a Mark-up for a small site that you are starting work on next week, but require a Complete 3D for a very large site that you are in the planning stages of.

InSite Service Best for.. Result
Fusion Plan Reviewing all the utility plans from your Enquiry in one drawing. CAD and PDF drawings showing all utility drawings on an Ordnance Survey map.
Mark-up Survey Sites that you are about to start work on or need to see physical information on the ground. Services are marked out on your site showing the location / direction of each service.
Services Survey Sites where you require accurate information to plan installations, or for contractor plans. CAD and PDF drawings showing actual locations of services, on Ordnance Survey map.
Services with 3D A Services Survey with a 3D computer model of the site with services drawn at their depth, allowing you to view the site from different angles or in sections.
Complete Survey Combines a Services survey data with site details of buildings / trees / pathways etc. CAD and PDF drawings showing actual locations of services on actual terrain details.
Complete with 3D A Complete Survey with a 3D model of the site allowing you to view the site from different angles or in sections.

Fusion Plans

A desktop survey showing the big picture as the Asset Owners see it.

An Enquiry on our Retriever Service can result in over 40 plans from utilities, pipeline owners and authorities being delivered for your site. It can then take you several days of valuable and expensive time to work out what they are telling you, and if you need to give information to others - e.g. your contractor - you have to supply them with either copies of all the plans, or the original set of plans themselves. And as plans vary greatly in media, format, scales, legibility and content it is very difficult for anyone to see the big picture, and it is quite possible that something will be missed as you flit from plan to plan trying to work out your best options.

A Fusion Plan from National One Call takes all the plans provided and integrates them into a single plan that shows the entire site in one document for use in your own GIS system. Fusion plans are layered at 1 asset owner per layer, allowing you to see any combination of who has what and where it is. Sometimes known as a 'Desktop Survey', a Fusion Plan really does show you what you are dealing with. A PDF format version of the plan is also supplied so you can distribute the plan to your staff and contractors that may not have CAD facilities.

Fusion Plans are produced by National One Call Partners who specialise in CAD / GIS services. They take the plans that are returned for your enquiry and integrate them into a single drawing. Prices for Fusion Plans vary according to the nature / size of site and the number of plans to be integrated.

How do I request a Fusion Plan?

When you make your Retriever Enquiry you simply add Fusion Plan to your enquiry requirements and you will receive an instant quotation. Note: Enquiries with a Fusion Plan can add up to 5 working days to the normal delivery time of 12 to 15 working days. Armed with the plans supplied by the asset owners as well as a Fusion Plan you can be confident that you have the best information available about the site. Fusion plans are arranged to have one layer per asset owner and are supplied on a disc with both CAD and PDF files.

Limitations of Fusion Plans

A Fusion Plan is useful at the planning stage of any job or to provide an indicative plan of the services at the site, but you must remember that it is only as accurate as the plans that were provided by the asset owners. Asset owner plans are provided in good faith but each one may have flaws, e.g. there can be several metres of a difference between where the plan says a cable or pipe is and its actual position. This can be caused by inaccuracy of the plan, repositioning or additions that were not recorded, or even movement of the ground.

In some cases, a response is received from an asset owner stating that there are buried services but no plans are available. This is often the case for authority records of street lighting, drainage and gullies, traffic lights and sensors, and private plant such as cable laid by citizens to provide power to an outbuilding. Obviously this information cannot be put onto your Fusion Plan. As each asset owner plan may contain inaccuracies - your Fusion Plan can contain over 40 such plans - and it is possible that some services are present that are not recorded you must regard a Fusion Plan to be indicative only.

If you need to know exactly what services are onsite and where they are you must consider having a site survey undertaken through our InSite service. Click here to see the range of surveys offered by National One Call through our Partner Network.


Reducing risk, increasing safety.

InSite surveys use the information from your National One Call Enquiry as a starting point for determining what services ought to be on your site and approximately where they should be. Armed with that information they can determine who the owner of a service is, but unlike a Fusion Plan which tells you where asset owners think their services should be an InSite service shows you where the services actually are.

How are InSite surveys done?

Our InSite survey partners use a range of methods and techniques to locate buried services at your site - simple manual techniques such as lifting of covers to identify services, moving on to tracing each service using tone generators and detectors, and even surveying deep into the site using ground penetrating radar (GPR) and sonar.

It is not uncommon to find old and abandoned services and even considerable obstructions such as large rocks using these techniques, none of which could be picked up from asset owner plans alone, yet each of which could prove very expensive due to extra contractor time, re-planning time and even compensation for damaging an unknown service.

They also detect services that were known to be present from the Enquiry plans and responses but no plans were available, e.g. where an asset owner stated that 'services are present but no plans are available' which is often the case with authorities for street-lighting, traffic lights and detectors, drainage and gullies etc, and detect services that are not noted on any asset owner plans, e.g. a privately placed power cable to feed outbuildings.

A Mark-up survey detects each service and traces where it actually runs throughout the site, marking up the ground with environmentally friendly paints using a different colour per service type. This service is only really useful if you are about to start works and need to see the layout of services and plan where to excavate - or not!

A Services survey collects the survey information to produce a conventional 2 dimensional drawing (X and Y) of the site and the services it contains with information about the depth of the service shown on the drawing. Services surveys are placed onto an Ordnance Survey background map, using one layer per asset owner or in some cases one layer per utility type (gas, electricity etc). You receive a CAD file and PDF file as well as a printed version.

Services 3D delivers you the Services survey but includes a 3 dimensional CAD model (X, Y and Z) of the site that allows you to view the site from different angles and take virtual sections of the site. This is particularly useful where there appears to be a concentration of services, letting you evaluate route options for example.

A Complete Survey is a Services Survey combined with terrain survey (also known as a 'Topographical Survey') that captures information about the site itself, e.g. contours of the ground / proximity of buildings / trees / walls etc, and uses this information as the background map as opposed to the Ordnance Survey maps. This provides the greatest possible accuracy about your site. You receive a CAD file and PDF file as well as a printed version.

Complete 3D gives you a Complete Survey with an additional 3 dimensional CAD model of the site.

Coming soon - Beyond Planning

InSite will soon be adding site investigation (trial-pits / bore-holes etc), excavation specialists, project managers, plant hire etc to the InSite Service. If you can offer these services join National One Call now and be ready for opportunity.

How do I request a quote for an InSite Service?

When you make your Dial Before You Dig Enquiry you can select which InSite services if any that you require and we get to work obtaining the best quotation from the InSite Network. We may have to contact you to clarify some details of your requirement but generally you will receive a quotation within 3 working days of submitting your enquiry. If you wish to proceed we simply add the InSite services you select to your Enquiry order, giving you a true one-stop shop with the best suppliers at the best prices.

No longer do you need to get plans from one place, drawings from another and surveys from someone else. We get the right partner at the best price, make all the arrangements with you and the InSite Network partners, we make sure they are able to deliver, take up any references necessary, arrange contracts, schedule the work and deal with all the administration.

We even give you a single bill.

Prices and Delivery Times for InSite Services?

The size, type, availability of your site and of course your own timescales determine the price and delivery time for your InSite Services. We take care of all planning and preparation for your InSite Services from scheduling an onsite meeting with you all the way through to arranging road closure permits and traffic management (if working on a public street for example).

If you are not yet registered with National One Call, click here to register for free and begin to make your enquiries for utility plans and InSite services. And if you are able to supply services to other clients you can also apply to join the InSite Network to receive quotation requests.

Can you provide these services to our members?

If you are already registered with National One Call and can supply these services to other members you can apply to join the InSite Network to receive and respond to quotation requests. If your quote is accepted you are offered a contract with us for that work and we take care of the rest, including administration, billing, scheduling, etc. You will receive feedback on every quotation you make and the client is asked to provide a review of the work that you do for you, we and others to see.

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