Elevation Certificates

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Elevation Certificate (EC) is an administrative tool of the NFIP that is used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, or to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). The Elevation Certificate is required in order to properly rate Post-FIRM buildings, which are buildings constructed after publication of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The Elevation Certificate is not required for Pre-FIRM buildings unless the building is being rated under the optional Post-FIRM flood insurance rules.

As part of the agreement for making flood insurance available in a community, the NFIP requires the community to adopt floodplain management regulations that specify minimum requirements for reducing flood losses. One such requirement is for the community to obtain the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved buildings, and maintain a record of such information. The Elevation Certificate provides a way for a community to document compliance with the community's floodplain management ordinance. Use of this certificate does not provide a waiver of the flood insurance purchase requirement. Only a LOMA or LOMR-F from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can amend the FIRM and remove the Federal mandate for a lending institution to require the purchase of flood insurance.

However, the lending institution has the option of requiring flood insurance even if a LOMA/LOMR-F has been issued by FEMA. This certificate is used only to certify building elevations. A separate certificate is required for flood proofing. Under the NFIP, non-residential buildings can be flood proofed up to or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). A flood proofed building is a building that has been designed and constructed to be watertight (substantially impermeable to floodwaters) below the BFE. Flood proofing of residential buildings is not permitted under the NFIP unless FEMA has granted the community an exception for residential flood proofed basements. The community must adopt standards for design and construction of flood proofed basements before FEMA will grant a basement exception. For both flood proofed non-residential buildings and residential flood proofed basements in communities that have been granted an exception by FEMA, a flood proofing certificate is required.

Engineering Surveys

Engineering Surveys show horizontal and vertical data of existing site condition for use by planners and engineers. This includes surface elevation, natural and man-made features, above ground and underground utilities. The results from engineering surveys are generally topographic maps, utility models and/or a digital terrain model (DTM).

Mortgage Survey

Closing/Mortgage Surveys are used by mortgage and title companies to determine which major buildings are on your land, such as a garage, house or shed. They also note whether your property is free of encroachments on a neighbor's property; a neighbor encroaching on your property; or an encroachment into a recorded easements and required building setbacks. A mortgage survey includes a review of the current deed description, field measurements during which monuments found are assumed to be correct, as opposed to a boundary survey which determines the correct location of the monuments, and the preparation of a plat of the parcel conforming to state, county, city, or town requirements.

Boundary Surveys

A boundary survey determines the property lines of a parcel of land described in a deed. It will also indicate the extent of any easements or encroachments and may show the limitations imposed on the property by state or local regulations. A survey is strongly recommended before buying, subdividing, improving or building on land. Surveying the parcel prior to these activities ensures that frustration and expense of defending a lawsuit, moving a building, or resolving a boundary dispute can be avoided.

A clear title means that the parcel is free from any encumbrances, burdens or other limitation; it is the proof of ownership. It does not identify the property on the face of the earth nor does it guarantee the correct acreage. Surveys entail the examination of the historical records relating to the parcel in question and often all lands surrounding it. In addition to the Registry of Deeds, this research may include: the Registry of Probate, county commissioners' offices, town offices, historical associations and the Department of Transportation.

Field work begins after the research is completed and involves the search for and location of existing monuments and other evidence of the boundaries. Although this portion of a survey is the most visible phase, it usually represents only a third of the entire project. The results of the field work are then compared with the research and the surveyor reconciles all the information to arrive at a final conclusion about the boundaries. A second trip is then needed to set any new monuments. The final result will be a plat of the parcel conforming to state, county, city, or town requirements.


An ALTA/NSPS land survey is prepared for the purpose of issuing title or mortgage insurance. The American Land Title Association, National Society of Professional Land Surveyors specify the data to be shown on the survey, and this includes boundary lines, the location of the main building including improvements, location of ancillary buildings, the identification of easements (access rights by service companies such as water, gas, telephone, railways and other utilities).

3D Laser Scanning

3D laser scanning, also called high definition surveying (HDS), is a method of high-accuracy mapping or reality capture that uses laser beams to quickly capture complete detail of the entire project.

At RP & Associates Land Surveying and Drafting, LLC we specialize in 3D laser scanning for AEC applications. We use state-of-the-art LIDAR scanners capable of astonishing accuracy and detail. Every scan measures millions of discrete points. Collectively, these points constitute a three dimensional "point cloud" that can be navigated, drafted, and modeled in popular CAD and BIM applications. Applied to architecture, construction and industrial projects, the point cloud is nothing short of a dimensionally-correct, digital copy of the project itself. When combined with BIM and VDC, laser scanning provides as-built documentation which can be used in clash detection to prevent costly rework and time delays.

Topographic Surveys

Topographic Surveys depict the horizontal and vertical characteristics of the land surface. These characteristics include surface elevation, natural features, and man-made features. Natural features include such features as hills, valleys, plains, summits, depressions, trees, streams, and lakes. Man-made features include highways, bridges, dams, wharfs, buildings, and so forth. These surveys are performed for new development, redesign of existing facilities and drainage design.

Construction Staking

We can accommodate staking calculations for residential, commercial and industrial projects. Our office personnel are registered land surveyors in South Carolina and North Carolina.

As-Built Surveys

As-Built Surveys (Record Drawings) are surveys that show the built location of infrastructure. They also show any deviation from the design and are a database for utility companies in the event that a repair needs to take place. By showing the exact location of a utility, repair crews can easily find and replace the broken piece. They are also used in the easement acquisition process to determine the amount of area needed to safely maintain the utility.

Wetland Surveys

Wetland surveys are a prerequisite for wetland inventory and for wetland development planning, management, protection, and restoration. These provide information on wetland type, location, size and are used by local, state and federal agencies, as well as by private industries and organizations. They are used for many purposes, including the development of comprehensive resource management plans, environmental impact assessments, proposed construction buffers, natural resource inventories, habitat surveys, and the analysis of trends in wetland status.

Easement Surveys

An easement is "an interest of land owned by another person, consisting in the right to use or control the land for a specific limited purpose, it does not give the holder the right to possess, take from, improve or sell the land" (Black Law Dictionary). They depict right-of-ways, a right of entry onto ones' land, right to support land and building and the right to water. Based on the as-built or design drawings, we can create easement plats for any permanent and temporary utility easement, temporary construction easement, and permanent access/maintenance easement that meets municipal requirements.

Digital Terrain Modeling (DTM)

A Digital Terrain Model (DTM) is a topographic model of a project site. These models are composed of topographic surveys or design elevations. The advantages of having a digital model for a construction project is that it can be easily uploaded into machine-controlled earth moving equipment, making grading and excavating more efficient. With a few control points and benchmarks a whole site can be graded without the need to perform conventional construction layout. The need of re-staking due to points being run over or disturbed is also eliminated. Having an existing topographic model and a design model produces very accurate quantity takeoff calculations, making cost estimating exact. Engineers using digital models design and analyze projects more rapidly, allowing them the ability to test many different scenarios before finalizing their design.

Utility Modeling (Infrastructure BIM)

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. The resulting building information models become shared knowledge resources to support decision-making about a facility from the earliest conceptual stages, through design and construction, through its operational life and eventual demolition.

Using the latest in 3D software, we transform as-built data into precise BIM utility models allowing engineers the ability to test and analyze different scenarios before finalizing their design. This documentation process produces a more efficient design, streamlines the construction process, makes facility updating and expansion more rapid and demolition safer.

Volume Surveys

Volume Surveys are performed to monitor and track the amount of material coming into and out of an area. This is usually done by comparing a survey completed before any work has taken place to a survey completed after the work is finished. The surveys are performed on sites that are being excavated and filled, any areas that have stock piles, mining and quarry pits and ponds to verify the amount of storm water being retained. They are often used as payout documentation by project managers and contractors.

Foundation Surveys

A Foundation Survey is done to ensure that the foundation was constructed in the location authorized on the Plot Plan, Site Plan, or Subdivision Plan. When the location of the finished foundation is checked and approved, the building of the remainder of the structure can commence.

Route Surveys

A Route Survey is performed to gather topographic and boundary information about the proposed route of a roadway, utility pipe, or railway.


Subdivision Surveys are performed when dividing a parcel into two or more parcels. The survey requirements vary by municipality. This process involves the initial boundary, design of the layout, approval by the governing municipalities and the recordation of the plat.

Plot Plans

Subdivision Surveys are performed when dividing a parcel into two or more parcels. The survey requirements vary by municipality. This process involves the initial boundary, design of the layout, approval by the governing municipalities and the recordation of the plat.