Thursday, July 9, 2009
In his inaugural speech the new President made many references to using our natural resources more wisely, to reducing our carbon and water footprints, and investing in smart electric grids and other similar new energy-efficient technologies. Energy conservation and sustainability are top priorities and efforts are underway in many states to reinforce that--many offering fast tracked permitting to those projects that are "green". While many in the surveying community may view this as a nice gesture and work for others to do, make no mistake, while nothing is recession proof this opens up many doors of opportunity for surveyors, ones that are profitable and very much in demand.
Given the economic challenges facing the AEC community worldwide today, many are looking at both new areas of growth while at the same time looking to streamline how they approach projects, and the associated workflow to be more efficient and more flexible. Terrestrial laser scanning technology in the context of building information modeling (BIM) processes bode well in addressing both areas. As new building development slows down, utilization of existing buildings and sites will grow in importance. Coupled with this trend is the need to improve resource efficiency, especially of buildings, which is a cornerstone of sustainability efforts today. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and many other researchers have indicated that buildings account for more than 40% of all energy consumption, annual greenhouse emissions, and up to 30% of the water use in the U.S., even more when you add in irrigation. This puts buildings at the center of the sweeping energy reform movement. Deliberate and cost-effective renovations to buildings can generate substantial environmental, financial, and societal benefits--from reducing energy consumption to creating new jobs. Having accurate as-built data will be a vital component of the entire planning and design process in this space.
The process of adapting old structures for new purposes or "adaptive reuse" as it is called, represents quite a paradigm shift in the construction industry. Given the focus on adaptive reuse of buildings, especially in light of the current economic climate and sustainability efforts, the spotlight on this trend will become increasingly hot. We're witnessing a change in consumer perception. People want to live in an urban community where old buildings are kept and reused, some of historical value (like the textile mill buildings in the northeast), rather than bulldozed. This in turn has caused a challenge to the AEC industry, where the core focus in recent years has been on new construction. New skills and new approaches are now being rapidly adopted to meet this emerging challenge to modernize older structures--and laser scanning and BIM are the powerful tools for success that you need to understand and leverage.
While the roots of BIM are in architecture, the basic principle of working from and on accurate 3D digital models applies to nearly all infrastructure projects, including site work, subdivisions, bridges, highways and all the other things that surveyors routinely stake out. BIM is more than just a 3D model (see Figure 1); it allows you to have a better visualization of the entire project from many perspectives, and uses analysis on data within the model to more easily predict the outcome of projects before they are built.
This coordination allows for many things. Designs can change faster in response to new ideas and conditions. Designs are easier to optimize with analysis and simulation. Project documentation is of higher quality and is easier to generate. And, it's easier to visualize the way the project will work after construction. But it all starts with existing condition information in 3D, and that is starting point we surveyors provide the design professionals. But in using new technology we must examine our work processes and how they may change, and how those changes propagate downstream to the AEC ecosystem that relies on our spatial expertise. At first glance, the changes seem to threaten surveyors. But in fact, just as with BIM and laser scanning, there are opportunities for surveyors to take on new and expanded roles on today's big construction projects. Let's look at the compelling business drivers that will make adaptive reuse projects and retrofits take hold:
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) mandates the use of sustainable principles for siting, design, and construction of public buildings.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) requires a steep reduction in fossil fuel energy usage and encourages the use of cost-effective solar hot water heaters.
Executive Order 13423--Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, requires agencies to:
• Reduce energy consumption by 3% per year for a total of 30% by 2015
• Reduce water consumption by 2% per year for a total of 18% by 2015 • • Reduce green house gas emissions
• Increase renewable energy usage
As-builts have always been a key part of construction process and surveying workflowit's all about verifying that the on-site infrastructure is, in fact, in the right place. This leads us to the next step in the process, as-builts and the rise of adaptive reuse. Adaptive reuse is a significant trend in the development industry. Do a Google search on the key words "as-builts" and you'll find nearly 700,000 hits. And the term is even listed in Wikipedia. In today's sustainable mindset, the old method of just raising an existing building for new developments is no longer always acceptable, no different than simply clearing land and turning it into subdivisions and planned communities. Instead, developers are paying more and more attention to the sustainability issue and looking for ways to adapt and reuse existing valuable old structuresthis not only saves the resources that go into new construction, it prevents the waste and toxin release that results from demolition.
These could be old buildings, sites, or bridges, or even redoing the associated water and sewer systems, or access roads to these sites. Anywhere infrastructure is going to be repurposed or reused for something else via adaptive reuse, architects and civil engineers are going to want existing as-built data to start the process. I see this trend increasing dramatically given the economic conditions today and the need to do more with what we have already. This is tightly coupled with the need for energy retrofits on many existing buildings, and redoing miles of sewer and water lines (see Figure 2) or bridges given the influx of people from suburban to urban areas.
Ensuring our infrastructure can handle this dramatic change is key, and without a lot of existing records, surveyors are going to be called upon to build that asset database. The AEC industry is meeting this new challenge in a variety of ways and one key is the provision for rapid, accurate as-built data of large, complicated, and often derelict buildings and their supporting infrastructure (water pipes, sewers, drainage, etc.). Often these elements in older buildings, such as department stores into residences, factories into offices, brown fields into technology parks, the list goes on, are ripe for transformation. Since much of this infrastructure is quite large and complex bridges, water and sewer plants, factories, old department stores, warehouses, etc.--surveyors will have to step into the breach and provide accurate data and 3D models to a BIM-centric process.
Why is 3D information so critical to this adaptive reuse process, and why should surveyors care? As Simon Barnes, RICS, CEO of Plowman Craven in the UK notes: "A lot of this wouldn't happen at all without scanning and 3D models. True, it's exactly what surveyors have been doing for a long time, gathering 3D coordinates, but what we have now is a system and method that can collect all these 3D data points incredibly quickly. We're solving the same problems--defining shapes and surfaces--but we're doing it a heck of a lot quicker, and in a way that is perceived as exciting."
Simon also noted, "Surveyors must understand that we want to make that distinction, and explain to project stakeholders that there is now a lot more we (surveyors) can do for a project. We shouldn't just be delivering data and walking away. Clients may not realize that surveyors have the skills and desire to help them far more than we have previously and that you are keen to do that."
Accurate as-built data is a critical component of any planning and design process especially where sustainability and reuse of existing infrastructure comes into play in areas like energy refits. Many buildings that are more than 30 years old, that is before the mainstreaming of CAD, simply have no available design or as-built data let alone in an electronic form or in 3D. When they do exist, they are most often hard copy blueprints that may have limited value for preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction efforts tied to today's efforts.
Even newer buildings, which may have good plan sets, have never been surveyed to determine the differences between design and construction and those that have are often still in 2D. So there is a whole world of critical data that needs to be gathered to support sustainable building and infrastructure trends, and surveyors are the ones who will do that work. With accurate as-built data, designers can assess the reuse potential of buildings, understand the original construction, estimate the need for structural upgrade or seismic retrofitting, or simply create an accurate model for design and visualization. This is a job that surveyors could do previously, but slowly and with minimal detail, often crossing the threshold of cost effectiveness for a project. Now, accurate and dynamic 3D models employed as part of a BIM process can be used even on extremely complex structures.
The architect and engineers armed with this comprehensive model created from the surveyor can now make better informed intervention at the early design phase, and thus have a real impact on design decisions for the future of the building or other infrastructure. As-built data is being used increasingly to initiate a facilities program for the long-term management of an asset.
More and more owners are starting to understand and search out providers to assist (see Figure 3). There is no doubt that, presently, laser scanning combined with a BIM-centric process require a rethinking of traditional processes as indicated in the examples above from Plowman-Craven. But there are plenty of success stories, and it is increasingly understood that the speed, accuracy and efficiency of modern survey techniques are so necessary to modern construction that the return on investment is significant. Now is the time for surveyors to promote the power of thinking in 3D and their role as key partners in the effort to fix, refurbish and optimize our infrastructure for a more sustainable future.
Friday, July 22, 2016
ReverseEngineering.com has recently released a HIPP 2016 add-on for ANSYS SpaceClaim and SpaceClaim Direct Modeler
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
A team of Stanford researchers has recently added a level of automation to the existing process of collecting reliable building information with the aid of 3D scanners.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
3D scanning technology is still relatively new compared to touch probing and other metrology and non-destructive testing methods. But according to a recent report from MarketsandMarkets, the 3D scanner market is on the rise.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Autodesk has finally allowed its photogrammetry software Memento to shed its beta skin and evolve into a full-blown piece of commercial software
Friday, June 3, 2016
Whether you're recording historical sites for preservation or mapping out older buildings for operations purposes, laser scanning has a big role to play in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) and building information modeling (BIM).
Friday, May 27, 2016
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows you to superimpose computer-generated images created in CAD or building information modeling (BIM) software onto a user’s view of the real world, which creates a composite or augmented view.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Point clouds are notoriously unwieldy things. With millions of individual points converging to create a model, it can be a time-consuming task to convert a point cloud into a usable rendering.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
LAKE MARY, Fla. -- FARO Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: FARO), the world's most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging, and realization technology, announces the launch of the FARO Early Adopter (EA) Program.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Camera design and manufacturing company, NCTech, is today launching the world’s first fully automatic instant 360º panoramic camera at SPAR International 2012 in Texas.
Monday, April 16, 2012
PARIS, April 16, 2012 Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) today introduced three new solutions for heavy civil construction professionals, the Trimble® Connected Office, the Trimble Connected Controller and the Trimble Connected Machine.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Every year, wastewater managers must make decisions about which portions of their collection system should be maintained, rehabilitated or replaced.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
FARO Introduces Next Generation Focus3D Laser Scanner
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. – If any presentation here at the FARO 3D Documentation Conference truly got attendees thinking it was Tuesday’s talk by Tom Kurke and Michael Weinberg.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Certified Associate and Certified Professional exams now available for newest versions of AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit Architecture, and AutoCAD Civil 3D Software
Friday, June 15, 2007
STANDARD METHOD FOR MEASURING FLOOR AREA IN OFFICE BUILDINGS Q and A
Thursday, February 15, 2007
3D Laser Mapping, the UK based specialists in laser measurement technology and software, is helping Kumba Iron Ore to improve the safety of iron ore extraction in South Africa.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Architects should use caution when giving record drawings to clients and when creating “as-built” drawings. Examples of provisional language that might be used to mitigate the risk involved with “as- built” drawings are included.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Measuring Floor Area for Commercial Leases
Monday, January 15, 2007
3D Laser Mapping has launched a mobile mapping system designed to capture asbuilt 3D measurements of overhead telecom networks.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
EXTON, PA., January 4 /CNW/ - Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced Bentley OnSite, breakthrough software that connects the worlds of civil engineering design and construction.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
CALGARY, Alberta, December 13, 2006 - GiveMePower Corporation (OTCBB: GMPW), today launched two new ultra-mobile computing solutions for building surveying and inspection, construction area estimating and reporting, and facilities asset and information management.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
3D Laser Mapping has launched StreetMapper 2, a new modular vehicle-mounted system for rapid 3D mapping on and off road. The portable system uses lasers to 3D map assets and the landscape to millimeter accuracy at speeds of up to 70 km an hour.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) today announced support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, the .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Autodesk and Microsoft work together across many technology areas.
Monday, November 6, 2006
BIM is certainly changing the way buildings are designed and constructed, but is it changing how they're operated and maintained?
Thursday, November 2, 2006
Prime Edge Asbuilt Services today announced that it is underway to develop a full set of business applications for use by of professionals within construction, property management and design industries.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Preparing for the changes of aging, including declining mobility, is also a concern.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
It is almost given that at some point or throughout the project you will be hiring an Architect and a General Building Contractor to design and build what you have in mind. This article is written with homeowner in mind as a guideline for a very interesting and education experience of remodeling your house which waits ahead of you. First thing that you as a homeowner should understand is the fact that construction project you are about to begin is complex.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK)today announced the launch of the Autodesk FMDesktop Product Suite, a powerful, easy-to-use software solution for facilities management.
Monday, October 9, 2006
Ranal Software Solutions – one of the leading PLM products and service providers, and part of the Ranal Group – has launched CAMeLEAN®/PM, in India. CAMeLEAN®/PM is a complete project management suite that guides organizations through the entire project management lifecycle.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Most contractors know that next to the finished product, the as-builts documentation is essential part of a construction project. As-builts are the final blueprint drawings which reflect changes made in the field during the construction of a new structure or an addition to an existing.
Monday, August 21, 2006
FeaturePics.com, an emerging stock photography web site, which have been serving photographing community since 2004 had agreed to work on the development of new stock photography interface with Prime Edge Asbuilt Services, a professional service in SF Bay Area serving a network of Architects, Homeowners and General Contractors.
Monday, April 3, 2006
Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), today announced it has completed the acquisition of Constructware, a privately held company based in Alpharetta, Georgia that provides on-demand communication and collaboration solutions that streamline design, construction and facility management. The acquisition, announced on February 7, 2006, closed for cash consideration of US $46 million (see press release).
Friday, March 24, 2006
Autodesk Revit Building 9, Revit Structure 3, ADT 2007, Autodesk Building Systems 2007, Autodesk VIZ 2007 launched.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
As-builts – Problems & Proposed Solutions
Friday, May 28, 2004
Measuring square footage is not always an exact science. There are a number of rentable square footage measurement standards commonly used in the commercial real estate market.
Friday, January 31, 1997
The American National Standard for measuring floor area in office buildings is changing. The new version (officially labeled ANSI/BOMA Z65.1-1996) is an improved method designed to meet the current and future needs of the many industry professionals concerned with the measurement of office buildings.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
In his inaugural speech the new President made many references to using our natural resources more wisely, to reducing our carbon and water footprints, and investing in smart electric grids and other similar new energy-efficient technologies. Energy conservation and sustainability are top priorities and efforts are underway in many states to reinforce that--many offering fast tracked permitting to those projects that are "green".
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Leica Geosystems announces the immediate availability of Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D. This powerful and easy-to-learn point cloud solution is designed for Intergraph SmartPlant 3D users who want to take full advantage of accurate, laser scan as-built data directly in SmartPlant 3D.