Crews monitor for ground movement during #99Closure (location: Alaskan/Yesler Way)

What Is Movement Monitoring, and Do I Need It For My Project?

Let’s get started on understanding movement monitoring in the context of property projects. First, I’ll clarify movement monitoring and why it might be necessary for someone’s project. Then, I’ll delve into whether it’s essential for your specific situation.

What Is Movement Monitoring?

In property and construction, movement monitoring refers to observing and recording the movement or displacement of structures, land, or buildings over time. This can include shifts due to natural reasons, like earth settling, extreme weather conditions, or man-made factors, such as nearby construction activities or heavy traffic.

A movement monitoring survey allows movement to be identified early on. The core idea is to monitor any changes that could affect a structure’s stability and safety. By using sophisticated equipment, like GPS sensors, tiltmeters, or laser scanners, professionals can detect even the slightest movements. This data is crucial for making informed decisions about maintenance, repairs, or any necessary interventions to prevent damage.

Do I Need Movement Monitoring for My Project?

Whether you need movement monitoring depends on a few key factors:

  • Location: Monitoring movement is critical if your property is in an area prone to landslide subsidence or has a history of geological instability.

  • Type of Construction: Large-scale projects, high-rises, or buildings on unstable ground may require closer scrutiny to ensure they remain safe and intact over time.

  • Nearby Activities: Construction nearby can affect the stability of your property. If there’s a lot of heavy machinery or excavation work, monitoring any potential impact on your building is wise.

Benefits of Movement Monitoring

  • Prevents Damage: Movement monitoring helps spot changes early. This means you can fix minor problems before they turn significant and costly. It’s like noticing a leaky tap before it floods your house. Catching issues early saves money and keeps your property in good shape.
  • Ensures Safety: Monitoring how buildings and land move ensures everyone’s safety. If a building starts to shift, steps can be taken to fix it immediately. This avoids accidents and provides people who use the building are not at risk.
  • Saves Money: Fixing a small problem is usually cheaper than dealing with a big one. Movement monitoring lets you know when something’s wrong so you can deal with it quickly, preventing you from spending much on big repairs later.
  • Meets Legal Requirements: Some places require you to monitor your building’s movement. Doing this ensures you follow the law and helps you avoid fines or legal trouble if you don’t keep your building safe and sound.


In summary, movement monitoring plays a vital role in maintaining the safety and integrity of property projects. Whether it’s necessary for your specific project depends on various factors, including location, construction type, and nearby activities. Considering the potential risks and benefits, protecting your property and ensuring peace of mind might be a worthwhile investment.

Given the technical nature of this subject and the potential for significant variation in requirements based on local laws and specific project circumstances, consulting with a professional who understands the intricacies of movement monitoring in your area is always a good idea. They can provide tailored advice and solutions to meet your project’s needs.