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Subsurface Utility Engineering


Having an inaccurate or incomplete picture of subsurface utilities within a defined project area can lead to costly delays, utility damage and liabilities. Often, data that is provided to project managers, engineers and designers is outdated, inaccurate or incomplete. As such, the practice of Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is becoming an integral part of the planning process for construction projects across the country and abroad. A study by Purdue University that investigated 71 construction projects across the U.S. found that for every dollar spent on SUE, an average of $4.62 was saved.

What is SUE?

SUE provides a system to classify the quality of data associated with existing subsurface utilities which dramatically improves information reliability.  It applies four quality levels prescribed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Standard 38-02. 

The process involves collecting existing utility records, applying surface geophysical methods to determine the presence of subsurface utilities and then leveraging techniques such as vacuum excavation and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to verify their horizontal and vertical position. Even non-toneable underground assets including PVC or concrete pipes can be accurately located.
Once captured, information is digitally mapped and delivered alongside a utility conflict matrix that makes it easy to evaluate and compare collected utility information with proposed plans.

When should SUE be applied?

SUE can be applied anytime information regarding underground utilities is required and the scope can vary greatly. It is an integral part of the engineering design phase for capital works projects, allowing stakeholders to avoid unexpected conflicts later on in the process. SUE is also leveraged to assist with asset management, supplying accurate information to project owners with outdated or missing information on their underground assets. 

By incorporating

 SUE into your project, you can:

  • Reduce delays and costs associated with utility relocation or project redesign
  • Enhance safety and reduce risk
  • Avoid damaging utilities
  • Effectively design around existing utilities as necessary
  • Decrease service disruptions
  • Comply with best practice standards including ASCE 38-02 and British Standards Institution PAS 128
subsurface utility engineering

multiVIEW Service Advantages

  • multiVIEW maintains unparalleled experience in the application of subsurface imaging techniques to assist with geotechnical, engineering and environmental projects. Each of our investigations is completed by extensively trained and experienced professionals and is fully documented by comprehensive reports
  • Our services are highly scalable and we’re prepared to tackle projects of any size or level of complexity
  • We’re a true partner in your success: whether its coordinating public utility record searches, securing permits or managing subcontractors, we have you covered
  • We abide by ASCE 38-02 processes and guidelines and operate according to industry best practices
  • We’ll mobilize our experienced, highly trained crews quickly and efficiently
  • We’ll continue to support you even once a project is complete

Contact us for more information or to request an estimate.