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Mapping a decommissioned power station

Location

Cape Town, South Africa

Scan time

8 Hours Total

Size

Approx. 117,000 m2

Scanned

Power Station

Industry

Surveying

ZEB Family | Safely surveying a hazardous power station

All over the globe, countries are looking to nuclear and hydro renewables, not only to provide their electricity needs but to meet climate goals. This is resulting in the shutting down of coal-fossil power plants that no longer have a role to play in a fast-changing world.

Opened in 1962, the Athlone Power Station was the last coal-fired power station operating in Cape Town, South Africa when it stopped generating power in 2003. The iconic cooling towers, which were known by locals as “The two ladies of Athlone” and had long been a feature of the Cape Town landscape, were demolished several years later.

The efficient user-friendly GeoSLAM equipment enabled the team to safely and comprehensively survey this hazardous and complex plant.

Proper planning was essential as demolition can be potentially hazardous for the safety of personnel due to the plant’s age-structure, and onsite teams often having to operate across split levels, in total darkness. The removal of contaminated waste can be equally challenging. Cost is also a major factor and companies responsible for shutting down plant are continuously looking at ways to be cost effective while providing a reliable, fast and efficient service.

Aurecon, a global engineering, design and advisory company, won the tender from the City of Cape Town to project manage the site for the final stage of decommission. This involved surveying the plant whilst stripping, clearing and removing unused material, redundant equipment and certain historical structures. Their task also included securing all remaining structures, leaving the site in a secure state and registering servitudes for remaining bulk services. Aurecon found Athlone to be a challenging project due to accessibility issues and lack of light. Also, because of the Power Station’s historical importance, salvaging certain unique equipment had to be considered. The team needed a simple and effective solution that could accurately map the site quickly while keeping them safe in a tough environment.

Aurecon chose to work with mobile LiDAR scanners so that the historians, structural engineers and environmentalists could have the data they needed, without having to enter the potentially dangerous site. For the Athlone project, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo RT scanner and ZEB Pano camera were used, as well as the ZEB Horizon and ZEB Cam. The building’s interior and exterior were scanned with the ZEB scanners The two data sets were merged to provide a full 3D point cloud of the entire building.

Using the Pano, the team generated photos that were incorporated inside the point cloud, so that the offsite survey team could have greater visualisation of the site to feedback commentary. The efficiency of the scanners and speed of capture meant that unlike other scanning methods, the team could repeatedly capture the site. This meant that decisions and assessments could be taken frequently, without the need for lots of people to visit the dangerous site.

In total, the whole facility was scanned in three days with data sets processed overnight, a total of eight hours. The combined datasets were available within a week, which enabled Aurecon’s modellers to commence work on the classification of components in the power station.

The final 3D point cloud representation of the interior of the power station enabled the engineering team to assess and quantify the amount of salvage and scrapped material to be removed from the site, and to plan the logistics of the removal in context with the physical shape and size of the existing building.

The accurate 3D model equipped the stakeholders with information that allowed them to safely and precisely analyse for activities such as material quantification, condition assessment and the preparation of decommissioning method statements.





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    3D Scanning Construction and Demolition Waste

    Location

    Egypt

    Scan time

    17 minutes per scan

    Size

    82,823 m2

    Scanned

    Construction and demolition waste

    Industry

    Construction

    The government of Egypt (GoE) are leading several initiatives to reuse and recycle the ever-increasing quantities of construction and demolition Waste (CDW) around the country. These initiatives include a national strategy and action plan to effectively manage around 40 million tons of CDW generated annually. They target to recycle 50% of CDW materials by 2030. One of the major challenges facing Municipalities in Egypt is calculating the amount of CDW accumulated, due to illegal dumping of waste being common place in cities.

    Commissioned by the Ministry of Environment and the GIZ institution, HBRC (Housing and Building National Research Centre) have been tasked with finding effective methods for quantifying and characterising the amount of CDW in four Egyptian Governorates (Gharbia, Kafr-El-Sheikh, Assuit and Qena).

    This project paves the way to developing an optimal construction and demolition waste management strategy in Egypt. The research team used GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo RT SLAM laser scanner to map the construction waste piles. The scan data is a sound method for quantifying waste volumes over a period of time, due to the ease of capture and accurate data.

    The traditional surveying of CDW accumulations was not practical as CDW locations are difficult to walk through and experience rapid changes to the waste quantities.

    The ZEB Revo RT is ideal for rapid data capture in real time, making it the perfect tool for this job. By walking through the construction and demolition waste sites, the team are mapping as they go, shortening the amount of time spent in a hazardous environment, reducing health and safety risks.

    The simplicity of the solution means that anybody can capture the data, with minimal training, making the scans repeatable as often as needed. Covering an area of 84,823 m2, the research team conducted 12 scans, dividing the route into zones and each scan lasted an average of 17 minutes.

    Once the scanning was complete, they opened the data in GeoSLAM Hub where the point cloud can be viewed and prepared for GeoSLAM Volumes. Using GeoSLAM Volumes, the researchers could accurately calculate the quantity of construction and demolition waste. The findings were reported back in a presentation during the third International conference on Smart Cities.

    This way of calculating volumes is fast, efficient, cost effective, safer than other methods and repeatable, making the SLAM scanner the right tool for the job. The research effort opens the door into the utilisation of 3D modelling of construction waste management sites.

    The application of laser technology would enable the quick and accurate estimation and modeling of waste quantities.

    https://youtu.be/3iEXCsonWBg

    If you’d like to learn more about how GeoSLAM solutions can help you, submit the form below.




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      Oxford Archaeology scan three historic sites in under 48 hours

      Industry

      Conservation

      Time

      48 hours

      Location

      Various,
      Israel

      Size

      Three sites
      across Israel

      Scanned

      Historic Sites

      “48 hours to scan three historic sites in Israel – ambitious or impossible? Equipped with a handheld 3D mapping device from GeoSLAM, we were determined to find out. Our first stop was the Schneller building in Jerusalem. In its 160 year history it has been used as an orphanage, barracks and ammunition arsenal. A few years ago, an archaeological team unearthed the remains of a Roman bath house and winery underneath the site. The next stage of the building’s history is a conversion into a museum of Judaism – hence the requirement for a complete, high-accuracy survey of the site.

      Made up of four floors, 130 rooms, an outer courtyard and a number of stables, we needed to work quickly to scan the entire site. Using the handheld ‘go-anywhere’ ZEB Revo, in three – 30 minute scans he captured the entire building, including survey control points to georeference the data. Using traditional scanners, this would have taken several weeks and involved multiple set-ups.

      With the ZEB Revo, what use to take weeks can now be done in hours

      Next stop was an elegant and beautiful 12th century Benedictine monastery. With no more than 30 minutes between the end of the Vespers – the evening service – and the time when the public would be allowed into the monastery, we carried out a quick reconnaissance and accurately captured the unique domed building, only possible using GeoSLAM’s ’go-anywhere’ device.

      Panorama of Jerusalem Old City with Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Israel

      Final port of call was a delapidated 19th-century merchant house in the ancient Arab town of Jaffa. The challenge here was to record the building while construction works were in progress, with hoardings and scaffolding obscuring structures. A near impossible task, but the ZEB Revo was still able to collect survey-grade data in a matter of hours, which formed the basis of a working record of elevations, sections and plans.

      In under 48 hours Jamie had captured highly accurate 3D images of 3 heritage buildings. Proof indeed that with the ZEB Revo, what used to take weeks can now be done in hours.

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