Charles Cochran, a Project Manager on the Traffic [...]
Construction staking is essentially the process of putting construction plans and designs on the ground by marking the location of proposed new structures. It’s an important part of the construction process because it ensures that the project is begun according to very specific engineering designs.
The process of staking always begins with reviewing the design files. These files are typically CAD (Computer Aided Design) files that we get at the beginning of a project. Next, we check for any type of points that were provided to us in the design. These points are called controls. Then, prior to breaking ground, the Crew Chief, potentially in conjunction with a contractor, begins staking out the key locations in the project that may serve as reference points for the rest of the construction. These reference points will guide the construction crew and help ensure that the project is completed on time, on budget and on design. They stake these points based on horizontal and vertical placement within the overall design.
There are several different types of construction staking that typically depend on the type of structure being built. For example, you can do staking for roadway construction, bridge construction, or for building construction (as in the construction of commercial properties). No matter what type of staking is taking place, the most important thing to remember is to “check, check and re-check” because the staking sets the precedent for the entire project. It’s very important for it to be done correctly.
Over the years, my team and I have developed our own process and standards for construction staking that stem from that simple “check” rule. We want to make sure that we do the best job that we can for our clients, and we want to support the project by giving the crew the correct points to work from.