Mutual learning: A Comparison between the Dutch and International Utility Surveying Practices

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The collection and depiction of comprehensive and accurate information about subsurface utilities’ locations and attributes—also referred to as utility surveying—has been a priority in the planning, design and monitoring of construction projects for many years. Where internationally comparable utility surveying standards have established (e.g., the British PAS 128, the American ASCE 38-02, the Australian AS 5488, and the Malaysian Standard Guideline for Underground Utility Mapping), this has not occurred in the Netherlands. Given the lack of a utility surveying standard, this study examines how the Dutch utility surveying practice is arranged, specifically looking at the localization of utilities prior to excavation works. Our findings show that the Netherlands primarily benefits from utility plans, verified trough trial trenches, while seemingly neglecting the commissioning of geophysical methods. This practice mainly originates from the availability of a regulated central utility data-exchange platform and the obligation by law to precisely determine the location of utilities prior to excavation. After qualitatively comparing the Dutch utility surveying practice with the practices as outlined by the international utility surveying standards, we argue that two fundamental differences may provide lessons for both the Dutch and international surveying practices. In specific, Dutch practice may learn from international practices that geophysical detection methods provide a complementary means to reduce excavation risk besides utility plans and trial trenches, whereas the international context, in turn, may learn that having a regulated central utility data-exchange platform helps to enhance the availability of utility plans.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020
EventUESI Pipelines 2020 Conference - Online, San Antonio, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 202013 Aug 2020


ConferenceUESI Pipelines 2020 Conference
Abbreviated titlePipelines 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio
Internet address


  • Utility surveying
  • Trial trenches
  • Geophysics
  • Detection methods
  • Practice


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