C+S January 2023 Vol. 9 Issue 1 (web)

with contextual information at the bottom of the screen and a switch to color as the project is completed. This effectively moves the viewer from the shots of construction into a fully realized understanding of the project’s completion, aesthetically and contextually speaking to the project’s positive environmental impact. When the second day of voting began, both Casale’s and Freese & Nichols’ entries were surging to break 200 votes with the lead chang - ing several times throughout the day. This same pattern continued throughout the next several days of voting as these top two entries soared past 1,000 votes, exchanging first and second place no less than six times in the span of five days. As the final day of voting continued, Casale’s entry persevered the gauntlet and emerged with a strong lead. At the conclusion of the voting period, Casale’s entry received exactly 800 votes more than Freese & Nichols’. After battling through a field of contenders stronger than ever before, Casale’s “Nitric Acid Plant” emerged as the clear champion of the 2022 competition. This is the first time the EDVY winner is located outside of the United States, speaking to the massive development of the drone/UAV industry around the world, but particularly within Eu - rope. And this video, and its production as well as the plant itself, are a testament to the use of the technology in Europe and its prevalence in the AEC industry. The winning video was entered by Casale, a Swiss chemical engineer- ing company headquartered in Lugano. The project featured in their video was a recently completed nitric acid plant located in Köping, Sweden. The video was shot by Andrea Perotti who is a Senior IT Sys - tem Administrator at Casale. Perotti is both a professional and private drone operator, having once set a world record with 73 individually- assembled drones being piloted by 8-15 year olds. In his professional work, Perotti uses drones for marketing purposes, creating videos and taking photos, and also to create 3D scans of projects. According to Perotti, the winning video took about a week to capture enough footage for their submission. Working with at least one other person at all times, Perotti and his crew filmed twice in the morning 2022 EDVY Top Ten 1. Nitric Acid Plant - Köping, Sweden (CASALE) 2. Bois d'Arc Lake (Freese & Nichols) 3. Wekiva Parkway Section 6 Design-Build, Sorrento, FL (RS&H) 4. Drone Technology: A Childlike View (HDR) 5. Red Wing Regional Airport- Red Wing, MN (SEH) 6. Eric'sons Dura Trench Gas Stations / Fueling Stations (Eric’sons) 7. Trenchless Technology using HDD installation of Fusible PVC Pipe (Underground Solutions) 8. 18 History Making Days at The Colorado Convention Center - Temporary COVID Alternative Care Facility (ECC) 9. Relocation of Historic Vautravers Building- Chicago, IL (Wolfe) 10. The Bower Apartments (Westwood)

and twice in the afternoon. They also took advantage of the local envi - ronment, which allowed for a midnight shooting because there is never total darkness during June in Sweden. The video makes ample use of this footage, using the low light as a softly glowing background to the plant’s vibrant lighting and complex design. Perotti and his team also had to consider their system as it related to an active nitric acid plant. Any issue that could potentially lead to engine failure and the drone falling had to be avoided at all costs. A drone falling and damaging the plant’s systems would have significant potential to disturb or release nitric acid, which is under pressure in the plant below. To avoid potential safety issues, Perotti and his team used a hexacop - ter drone, which ensured the possibility of landing rather than falling in the event of an engine problem. Furthermore, the team identified places that had to be avoided such as cooling zones or other critical areas. With the plant’s capability of producing up to 685 metric tons of nitric acid per day, plant project manager Marco Lonetti stressed the importance of ensuring these zones were identified and monitored for avoidance. After identifying these spaces, Perotti piloted the drone and the other crew member monitored the location of the drone and the footage, ensuring it would not enter one of these areas. Lonetti also notes that, while Casale also uses drones to produce scans on projects still being constructed, the challenge of ensuring a safe flight over an active production facility was a unique experience. The result of their planning and safety precautions was a stunning example of how drones provide a unique perspective on our view of projects. Beginning with vertical shots looking directly down as the drones fly over the length of the plant, the audience is immediately introduced to the complexity of the structure which is highlighted by the plant’s sectioned lighting. This is followed by a more horizontal shot of the plant moving towards the ground, which again emphasizes the complexity of the subject structure. This horizontal view is again shifted even lower, allowing the viewer to peer between pipes and down hallways. These movements mirror Lonetti’s sentiments about the plant’s importance and the complexity of the nitric acid itself. Lonetti points out that, while the potential for an explosion is always present when handling nitric acid, its production is essential to a wide array of industries and products, being used for fertilizer, plastics, dyes, and a host of other staples of the modern world. The final result of this blending of vertical and horizontal footage is a video that allows its audience an intimate view and better understand- ing of an industry that is fundamental to both the economy and the built environment. In this way, Casale’s winning video demonstrates the core values of the contest itself. By using drones footage in a way that uses its technical capabilities to both ensure the safety of the project and to give the viewer a unique view on its subject matter, Casale’s “Nitric Acid Plant” represents the best of the best when it comes to drone and UAV utilization.

LUKE CAROTHERS is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.



January 2023

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