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Designers and Architects

Are you a designer/architect looking for utility searches?

As a designer or architect, utility searches are absolutely essential as constraints imposed by existing underground utilities can have major influences on the design and layout of developments.

With more and more architects taking the principal designer role (under the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015), it is imperative that utility plans are sought to cover their obligations for Health and Safety.

Not all designers and architects are geared up to administrate the plans internally, so they call upon Cornerstone to take care of this.

Outsourcing can improve cost efficiencies, speed up the completion of utility reports, improve the quality of utility searches and free staff up to focus on higher value jobs. Are you ready to save both time and money on your next project?

How Cornerstone can help

  • Cornerstone supply a basic search that will cover the requirements of the Health and Safety Executive.
  • We can also supply a full cable search if required in city/urban areas.
  • Basic searches are generally returned within 1-5 working days and cable searches within 7-10 working days.
  • Completed searches are presented in a simple to read and accessible .pdf format.
  • No obligation quotes are available instantly on-line and confirmed back via email within 20 minutes.
  • We can also provide a CAD drawing service to enable the utilities to be added to other CAD reports and providing an overview of the site showing all the utilities present.
  • We can now also produce a PDF from the CAD drawing that enables you to see an overview in .pdf and turn different utility layers on and off.

What does a basic search cover?

  • Our basic search covers the main utilities, however, you can opt to remove services if you already have plans.
  • Cable and Independent Utilities options are available if required.
  • Our standard search covers up to 200m around a point.
  • We cover projects of any size.


Why use Cornerstone?

  • Speed is of the essence to ensure there are NO delays to your projects.
  • The way we process our searches, there will be no one quicker than us.
  • Some basic searches will be back within 1 working day, with a UK average of 3 working days.
  • We provide the fastest search possible and will not entice you with promises of more expensive, faster searches when they are simply NOT achievable.
  • We offer an additional “Instant Access plans” service where we will share individual plans as they come in.
  • With a cable search (that tends to take longer), for a small fee of £5+VAT, you can order an ‘interim pack’ containing the main utilities once they have been received.
  • For high volume users, we even offer a GIS mapping library for managing and posting searches to improve access for your employees when in the field.

Easy to use

The key to our success is the speed and efficiency of reporting and making sure that the right information is given to the right person in the correct format.

  • Our online ordering system allows quotes and orders to be processed within minutes
  • The system is secure and has fail-safe checks to ensure the right search location is covered.


We understand that keeping costs to a minimum is extremely important.

  • Our fees start at £58.00+VAT plus disbursements.
  • All disbursements are charged at cost (we are transparent in our pricing and only make our margin from our fees).
  • We do also offer volume discounts.
  • For statutory undertakers (or those working on their behalf), we may be able to request plans for free with the appropriate letters of authority.
  • Comparing the cost of outsourcing to us vs. the resource required in-house may surprise you!


Frequently Asked Questions

What are utility searches for designers and architects?

For designers and architects, utility searches act as a critical foundation for informed decision-making in the early stages of project development. These searches involve meticulously locating and mapping buried infrastructure such as electrical cables, gas pipes, water mains, and sewer lines.

Why are utility searches important for designers and architects?

Utility searches are crucial for designers and architects as they enable informed design decisions from the start by revealing the exact location of utilities, proactively mitigate safety risks and costly disruptions during construction, ensure cost-effectiveness by avoiding unforeseen damage, and guarantee regulatory compliance, safeguarding against legal issues and project delays.

In what situations would designers and architects require utility searches?

Designers and architects require utility searches in various situations, including:

  • New building design: Whether residential, commercial, or industrial, understanding the existing utility landscape is crucial for crafting functional and safe designs.
  • Renovation projects: Even seemingly minor renovations can involve potential interactions with buried utilities, necessitating a search to inform safe and efficient execution.
  • Landscape architecture: Designing outdoor spaces like parks, gardens, or plazas requires knowledge of underground infrastructure to avoid conflicts and ensure proper integration.
  • Interior design projects: While seemingly less likely to interact with buried utilities, understanding their location can be crucial for planning electrical layouts, plumbing systems, and other building elements.

In essence, utility searches are an invaluable tool for designers and architects, enabling them to create informed designs, mitigate risks, ensure cost-effectiveness, and guarantee regulatory compliance across diverse project types.