Increasing Productivity in Architecture with Mobile Mapping
Hosted: October 2021
In this webinar we are joined by GeoSLAM customer SLA Architects. Jordan JD Dixon is an Architect who specialises in renovation work. SLA wants to stay on the cutting edge of technology, and were using some of the traditional tools like laser distance measures and phone photography, their goal was to improve on accuracy.
Learn about the GeoSLAM ZEB Family of laser scanning solutions
How GeoSLAM technology fits into BIM-LOD
Learn about SLA architects, the type of work they do and the role of GeoSLAM technology in their workflow
GeoSLAM were invited by Willmott Dixon to be involved with the beginning of this process, by scanning the existing used timber units provided by Carter Accommodation. Using the ZEB Revo RT, Willmott Dixon were able to capture data of all 4 cabins, in 4 minutes, registering over 8 million number of points.
Chartered land surveryors, GeoTerra were invited by the BCRA (British Cave Research Association) to scan the cavern, so they could gain a better understanding of the geological formation. Using GeoSLAMs ZEB Horizon, GeoTerra’s goal was to map both areas accessible to the public and the narrow spaces just big enough to crawl through – a system of caves measuring 300metres long and 50metres wide.
Jim Foster has worked in the surveying industry for over 18 years, building a well-respected company with high profile clients from all over the United States. Originally the owner of a product design company, Jim saw the opportunity to begin a new adventure in the world of surveying and has never looked back.
ZIEN 24 scans 5000 properties in 5 months using GeoSLAM
15 mins per scan
5000 properties in 5 months
Residential and commercial properties
The real estate market is fast-moving and highly competitive. Estate agents are reliant on customer relationships based on trust and reliability. They realise the importance of providing accurate measurements and specifications of the properties they are advertising as any miscalculations can not only invalidate a sale but can damage their reputation. This is particularly pertinent to the Netherlands in order to meet the BBMI standards guaranteeing the quality and accuracy of estate agents’ floorplans.
Zien24, a Rotterdam-based media and marketing company, produces content and digital floorplans for estate agents covering all types and sizes of residential and commercial properties. As the company grew and acquired more clients, they found that the traditional terrestrial survey techniques were too slow and laborious to meet their needs. To secure scan data and photographic imagery there were multiple site visits, and large properties over 400m2 were difficult to measure. Also, data manually captured on a notepad meant there could be mistakes resulting in back and forth between the scanning technician and the production team.
“With ZEB Pano an average house of 200m2 is scanned in just 15 minutes, from walking in and walking out the door“
“We realised we needed a faster and more accurate surveying method to meet our clients’ requirements and GeoSLAM’s ZEB Pano was the obvious choice,” says Karl van Duffelen, Reality Capture Manager of Zien24. “We are the first real estate company to use mobile scanning in our region and it’s been a game-changer for us. The fleet of handheld scanners is very simple to use, which means we don’t have to spend a lot of time training staff. In one visit we can now capture both error-free scan data and high-res photos, and ensure we haven’t missed any spaces. So it saves us a huge amount of time and the homeowner doesn’t need to be home all day or have multiple visits.”
The lightweight, handheld ZEB Pano is not only easy to operate but is robust and reliable to scan even the most difficult to access places, quickly and accurately. Capable of capturing 43,000 data points per second and high-resolution panoramic imagery at the same time, the ZEB Pano stores the exact location of each panoramic image enabling quicker, more accurate, and less intrusive property surveys. 3D measurable information and imagery captured with the ZEB Pano uses the leading SLAM algorithm and enables the creation of both 2D and 3D floorplans.
“Thanks to GeoSLAM’s ZEB Pano fleet we have scanned over 5000 houses in just five months!“
“The ZEB Pano has revolutionised our workflow and allows us to produce floorplans faster than ever before – we can now create a digital floorplan of an average 200m2 house in 15 minutes,” Karl van Duffelen continues. “We’ve scanned over 5000 properties in just 5 months including hotels, offices, factories, warehouses and even castles. The ZEB Pano not only gives us confidence in the end product but gives our clients peace of mind knowing that our fully-automated measurements are highly accurate.”
The ZEB Pano fleet has enabled Zien24 to cement their leading position in the Dutch real estate market, and expand into new markets as they offer scanning services to support BIM models.
Virtual Singapore– creating a dynamic 3D city model
376 ground floor void decks
Singapore is home to some of the most profitable financial services, manufacturing and oil-refining corporations in the world. But with its accomplishments come some very specific challenges for a city-state which is limited by space but still demanding growth.
Determined to future-proof Singapore’s success, the country has embarked on one of the most ambitious digital twinning projects the world has ever seen – creating a dynamic 3D city model and collaborative data platform, including 3D maps of the region.
At the initial stage of the project it quickly became apparent that aerial imagery alone would not be able to capture ‘void decks’ – open spaces typically found on the ground floor of the city’s apartment blocks. These areas, which are sometimes underneath the tower block structure, are used for everything from games areas, bicycle parking, hosting wedding receptions and wakes, and, as estates grow, facilities such as shops, medical centres and even schools.
In the face of fierce competition, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo was selected as the most innovative and efficient solution to collect data from these important community spaces.
“A huge time saving exercise which would ordinarily have taken 40 times longer using traditional surveying methods“
With a handheld “go-anywhere” ZEB Revo, field teams quickly captured 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 using the ZEB Revo, taking approximately 100 hours – an enormous time-saving exercise which would ordinarily have taken up to 40 times longer using traditional surveying methods.
The ZEB Revo is often used alongside terrestrial hardware as the products are highly complementary. The data output can be easily combined through geo-referencing or scan-to-scan matching and then used to build complete 3D models. In this instance, the combination delivered highly detailed and rapid results while significantly minimising costs too.
Smarter Spaces use GeoSLAM to scan hydroelectric dam
1 hour scanning total
New Brunswick, Canada
Canadian 3D geospatial experts Smarter Spaces engaged in a partnership with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to laser scan a tunnel in a hydroelectric dam – producing a point cloud model to be overlaid with photogrammetry.
The Grand Falls Generating Station is a hydroelectric dam built in 1931 on the Saint John River in the Canadian province of New Brunswick and is operated by the NB Power corporation. The dam’s tunnel is shut down every 4 years for maintenance, inspection, and future life cycle planning.
This presented Smarter Spaces with the opportunity to utilise the mobile, handheld GeoSLAM ZEB Revo to scan the tunnel – creating an accurate point cloud model. In four years’ time the process will be repeated – allowing for the first side-by-side comparisons of the tunnel’s performance to be made.
In addition to this, NB Power has started exploring whether to build a 100-megawatt generating station in Grand Falls to produce more clean energy. The corporation is carrying out environmental and geotechnical studies, site tests, and consultations with First Nations and local residents before applying for an Environmental Impact Assessment later this year.
“It was a simple case of ‘walking and scanning’ through the tunnel environment“
The tunnel is approximately 3,000 linear feet in length and, because of its unique geometry, proposed an interesting set of challenges to scan. The tunnel environment was found to contain a lot of moisture – with a small stream running through the base. The IP67-rated ZEB Revo – which began life in mining environments – is rugged enough for such environments. The tunnel was dark, visibility was low, and walking conditions were slippery and wet. Smooth-sided surfaces also cause data collection issues for mobile scanners.
To overcome the risk of data slippage, 4 foot-high pylons were placed every 10 feet in random locations throughout the tunnel. This has the effect of ‘breaking up’ the monotony of the smooth-sided tunnel walls, ensuring that no data slippage occurs.
The scan data was processed in GeoSLAM Hub software to filter, subsample and merge multiple data sets together. The final models and datasets were sent to the University of New Brunswick to support an engineering graduate with their thesis research.
Precision Property Measurements | Words by Greg Davis
“We were tasked with surveying a vast private house in order to generate accurate as-built construction drawings for renovation. The unique challenge was that the 20,000 sq. ft Santa Barbara residence was occupied at the time, requiring the survey to be completed quickly and in an unobtrusive manner.
PPM (Precision Property Measurements) chose the ZEB Revo over other terrestrial scanners for our residential projects because of the speed and volume of data acquisition at exactly the level of accuracy required by our clients.
In order to keep disruption to residents to a minimum, we decided to tackle the task in two swift scans over two days. The first scan consisted of data collection of the extensive ground floor and communal areas, and took around 90 minutes to complete. The private, bedroom wing was off limits on this day.
The second scan incorporated these sleeping quarters, as well as gathering plenty of overlap from the lower floors to enable the 2 scans to be merged. After just 140 minutes of scanning, the entire house had been surveyed.
“We’ve always been confident in our ability to keep our projects to the nearest inch or less. In bringing the ZEB REVO into our arsenal of tools, we’ve kept the accuracy we’ve always had, but introduced an efficiency that allows our experts to get out there and do more for our clients“
A typical residential property of this size would have usually taken around 4 days on-site for one surveyor. PPM were able to slash this time and complete the majority of the survey work in less than 2 and a half hours with the ZEB Revo.
The use of GeoSLAM Hub software for post-processing and merging of the two datasets allowed the project team to generate a complete digital twin of the complex structure. GeoSLAM’s cutting edge mobile mapping technology was able to deliver an accuracy down to the nearest inch.
Handheld mapping reduces skyscraper scan time by 30 hours
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Paragram | Words by Jose Vargas
“In the city of Belo Horizonte, there is a distinct mix of contemporary, classic and historic buildings on display, making it a really attractive destination to visit. What comes with the architecture on offer however, is the need to preserve it for tourists and future generations to enjoy.
Often the fragility of buildings or lack of resources means that many buildings go untouched for decades, leaving them to crumble. It’s my job to ensure these relics remain.
When the chance to retrofit electrical installations and a fire prevention plan to a 130-metre art deco skyscraper, the Acaiaca Building, became available, the team at Paragram knew we had to be involved.
“We were very impressed with the quality of information captured by the ZEB Revo.“
Built in the 1940s and once used as a nightclub, cinema, shops and air-raid shelter, the building required some attention in order for it to meet safety standards. Having initially planned to measure the 8,357 square metre building using manual survey methods, estimates told us this would have taken three employees over 40 hours to complete an as-built structure.
Working alongside contractors at Criar Projetos E Consultoria, Paragram decided to use GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo, known for its ability to quickly generate images to within a few centimetres of accuracy. With the handheld device, the job was expected to take around 10 hours in total, reducing the workload dramatically.
With just two operatives and in under 10 hours, we managed to complete a scan of the building’s interior, with one walking through the building holding the device and another taking a photographic record. This innovative way of working meant we were able to gather much more information than first anticipated, including the registration of beams and roof trusses, electrical installations and engine room areas.
“The ZEB Revo is a real game changer for the architecture industry.“
As a team, we were very impressed with the quality of information captured by the ZEB Revo, which was easily incorporated into a BIM representation using Revit software.
Almost every renovation project is governed by strict time constraints, but with GeoSLAM’s device and its ability to rapidly scan large areas, it is a real game changer to our industry. With products like this at our disposal, I am excited about what the future will hold for heritage buildings in need of a little TLC.