C+S April 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 4 (web)

For any plans to be approved on the site of the Attucks School, the commission needed substantial and comprehensive drawings – materi- als, floor plans, site drawings, and elevations. But with several hazards identified, such as visible deterioration in the wood floorings, ceiling collapses, and air quality conditions including asbestos, a fast, accu- rate, and safe survey technique was required. Civil engineering firm BHC Rhodes embarked upon the complex task of a 3D Revit BIM using GeoSLAM technology. Lightweight, hand- held scanners, built for difficult-to-access spaces, were used to scan the property in only 4.5 hours, recording more than 43,000 measurements per second. A 3D model was provided two weeks earlier than expected providing a comprehensive picture of the asset. Only with these mod- ern tools could a real-time digital twin of the aging building be created quickly, and safely. It is not just single developments that can harness 3D scanning tech- nology. As city planners attempt to create more efficient urban areas, many are turning to the idea of “smart cities”. Singapore, for instance, has embarked on one of the most ambitious digital twinning projects the world has ever seen. Limited by space but still requiring significant growth to meet sig- nificant demand, the Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) created a dynamic 3D city model and collaborative data platform, in- cluding 3D maps of the region. Titled “Virtual Singapore”, it will be the authoritative 3D digital platform allowing users to simulate both present and future scenarios. It quickly became clear that aerial imagery would not adequately capture information on “void decks”, open spaces typically found on the ground floor of the region’s apartment blocks. Also, semantic 3D modelling was required which comprises detailed information such as texture and material representation of geometric objects. Using GeoSLAM’s handheld scanners, field teams could quickly cap- ture a dense and accurate point cloud of an entire void deck, which was then used to model the deck geometry and incorporate this into the existing building models. 376 buildings with void decks were scanned in total, taking approximately 100 hours – a huge time-saving exercise which would have ordinarily taken up to 40 times longer if using tradi- tional surveying methods. Digital technology is changing the way our infrastructure is designed, constructed, and maintained. Although the construction sector looks set to benefit from huge growth for the foreseeable future, pressure on margins is unlikely to subside. With this in mind, it is vital that the sector, which has historically been slow to respond to technological change, embraces the digital technology that can help organizations to imagine, design, and build the structures and cities of tomorrow at higher volumes and deliver higher profits.

GeoSLAM Eaton Lodge

Traditional build methods may have relied on hiring an expert to oper- ate a static scanner, taking time to set up and then map out the site. Construction projects today, however, demand a quicker turnaround on data capture (site to office) – requiring regular surveys to generate new models as a development takes shape, as well as highlighting any potential issues early on in the build process. The construction industry has traditionally been wary in adopting new technologies, but recent years have demonstrated the importance of using robots, drones, and new ways to report progress, making the development process – from creation to completion – more efficient and transparent for all stakeholders involved. First developed in the robotics industry, tools using SLAM are capable of scanning indoors or other difficult-to-reach, enclosed spaces. Using information from sensors, normally LiDAR and imagery, digital 3D maps can then be created based on the location of the device, without the need for GPS. SLAM-enabled mobile, lightweight scanners such as GeoSLAM’s ZEB-REVO or ZEB-HORIZON, can allow surveying teams to map and monitor sites on foot or with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). As a scheme takes shape, any member of the site team is able to pick up a handheld 3D mobile mapping device and with a ‘walk and scan’ method of data collection, capture and process data in hours and min- utes, rather than days and weeks. This not only saves time throughout projects, but also reduces the risk of injury when operating in poten- tially hazardous build locations. For example, transforming the aging Attucks School in the Jazz Dis- trict of Kansas City to a community arts center required the power of today’s real-time technology. The building, built in 1905 and renovated in 1922 due to overcrowding, has had a number of further develop- ments over the years.


csengineermag.com april 2020

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