Site Investigation at Grangegorman

Site Investigation at Grangegorman

About This Project

The Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) is a statutory agency established in 2006 by the Irish Government to redevelop the St. Brendan’s Hospital grounds in Dublin city centre. The multi-phased development will include new health care facilities for the Health Services Executive (HSE); a new urban campus for Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT); new arts, cultural, recreational and public spaces to serve the community; a new primary school and public library; and children’s play areas.
GDA contracted Murphy Surveys to carry out a non-invasive site investigation survey to map existing underground utility services, which may have required relocation or protection for future construction works. A topographic survey of the area and adjacent areas was also required, and as-built surveys of existing buildings and structures in the area. The data acquired was used as the basis for the award winning design of the development, and for the estimation of quantities for the construction project.


Facilities such as the hospital on the grounds were in use during the surveying. Murphy Surveys used sophisticated technologies and applied experience working at similar sites to minimise disruption during the surveying process. Murphy Surveys also implemented a traffic management plan, obtained work permits form DCC, and liaised with an Garda Siochana and utility providers.

Underground Utility Mapping

Various techniques were employed to meet the underground utility mapping objectives including sonde surveys, radio detection surveys and ground penetrating radar surveys, as well as referencing existing records. The solution included the following:
– Investigation and mapping of all surface and sub-surface utilities and utility apparatus, using non-destructive, non-invasive methods, including within buildings.
– Preparation of digital survey drawings and a utilities database.

Topographic and As Built Surveys

As per the survey specification, horizontal and vertical control was established and processed throughout the area, in conjunction with orthometric levelling. A combination of GPS and total station methods produced an accurate topographic survey. 3D laser scanning methods were employed to achieve high accuracy detail on roads and structures in the area remotely and non-intrusively.
The project was delivered within the required project time frame with all deliverables meeting the project specification in terms of accuracy, completeness and client expectation.


In 2012 plans for the development received international Honour awards from the Society for College and University Planning, and The American Institute of Architects. Other awards received to date include: Chicago Athenaeum/Europe American Architecture Award 2010; American Institute of Architects California Council Awards 2009 – Merit Award for Urban Design; World Architecture Festival 2009 – Masterplanning Future Projects; and International Design Competition 2007.


Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA)

Survey Type

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Underground Utility
As Built
3D Laser Scanning


3 Months


70 Acres


Leica 1200 Series Total Station
Trimble R6 GPS
IDS RIS MF Ground Penetrating Radar System
RD4000 Radio Detection Locators
AutoCAD, and more


Case Studies, Laser Scanning & BIM, Subsurface Engineering, Surveying & UAV
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