Preparing for a Site Survey
This chapter helps you determine basic site survey requirements before deploying an
engineer to the network site. You should always collect as much information as possible
about the site to be surveyed before sending someone on site so that he or she can be
prepared for the required work with the appropriate types of equipment and knowledge.
Industry practice has honed this process so that now most good engineers start with a
document referred to as a pre-site survey form. This form is a living document that covers
all aspects of pre-survey discovery. It is a living document because it can and should be
adjusted based on the type of site that will be surveyed. The pre-site survey form is designed
to be filled out in partnership by the customer and the survey team. It enables the engineer
to get all the discovery questions covered without forgetting or omitting things by accident.
In this chapter, you are going to look at the basic components of the pre-site survey form,
compile those components at the end, and then learn about some of the discussions that are
common prior to the site survey.
Pre-Site Survey Form Information
Most work orders or job assignments begin with a pre-site survey form being filled out by
one or more individuals, including the customer, IT staff, facilities personnel, and app-
lication specialists. One benefit of using this form is that it prompts those involved in
completing the form to consider all their potential WLAN needs and discover other
potential networking needs. This form also gives the WLAN engineers a chance to converse
with the customer to explore other potential issues, such as additional bridging
requirements that were not originally considered or aging, incompatible network
components. This information is then used to manage the project by scheduling an
appropriate amount of time for the engineer to complete the work and providing for any
special considerations such as a high-lift rental or security escorts.
In addition, these forms ask important questions that might save days or weeks of extra,
unbudgeted effort once the engineer is on site. Those involved in completing this form need
to understand that minimal time required to fill out this form will save money and time in
the long run. For example, performing a survey at an aluminum smelting plant or oil
144 Chapter 6: Preparing for a Site Survey
refinery will require that all engineers take the required Occupation Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) safety courses offered by the plant. This can add several days per
person to the survey process. It is better to know this prior to development of the work
The following basic sequence of events helps facilitate the flow of work at both your
company and the survey at the client’s site:
1 The survey engineer or WLAN project manager sends the pre-site survey form to the
IT staff responsible for the facility where the WLAN will be installed. In addition, this
form is routed to those individuals responsible for implementing the new applications
on the WLAN as well as to a few key WLAN users.
2 Data is collected and entered on the pre-site survey form, which is then returned to the
survey engineer or WLAN project manager.
3 The survey engineer or the project manager then sets up a series of interviews with
key IT personnel, WLAN end users, and facility personnel as necessary, based on the
returned pre-site survey. The interview is intended to ask the questions that may have
been overlooked or that the responses on the pre-site survey form generated. Issues
such as hazardous materials, explosive gases, or imaging equipment such as x-ray
machines or MRIs need to be discussed.
4 The survey engineer or the project manager then determines the resource
requirements and schedules the work to be done.
5 The site walkthrough occurs. If possible and within the time and budget constraints,
a pre-site survey walkthrough can provide a large volume of information. This can
assist in completing the pre-site survey form and prepare you much better for the
actual survey.
The information that you should collect can be broken into the following parts:
Customer information
Site survey location
Current network and communications information
WLAN equipment requirements
Site information
Survey personnel requirements
Scope of work
Coverage map
Outdoor bridge link

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