At Context, we believe digital solutions are about improving the design process and enabling faster, more accurate, cost-effective design for our clients. That’s why we are particularly excited about 3D capture and the opportunity it brings.
Commercial property and fund manager Oyster Property Group recently used Context’s 3D point cloud scanning technology at a large industrial site to better understand a sprawling campus of buildings and machinery. The 40,000sqm factory site near Wellington contained multiple buildings, developed over many years without there ever being an accurate, as-built survey of the overall site, individual building, or factory machine floor plates.
Context’s Isaac Mui, says lacking accurate, as-built plans may be a frustration when it comes to negotiating a lease or sale, but it also inhibits the facilities management team from building a sound knowledge base for ongoing maintenance and servicing of complex sites such as this. However, 3D scanning technology is changing this.
“Point cloud and 3D scanning have a number of game-changing advantages over how we worked in the past,” Mui says.
“It is around 10 times faster to complete a full asset measure and site capture, which minimises disruption for our clients. The technology is hyper-accurate at +/- 2mm over 10m in any direction, creating really cost-effective site capture.”
Mui adds the digital nature of the capture ensures an increase in quality control of data sets and any subsequent documentation.
“The collected data can be used to create a whole range of beneficial outputs, shared across the stakeholder network, and as a collaborative tool with the rest of the construction or consultant teams.” Using a range of survey tools including a drone, a high-powered fixed 3D scanner, and a new state-of-the-art, handheld mobile 3D scanner, Context scanned the Wellington site in under three days – considerably less time than traditional techniques would have allowed.
Context used the collected point cloud data to create detailed plans and reflected ceiling plans of the entire site: the buildings; factory machinery; services ducting; electrical and other industrial conduits, which will enable the client and operator to build a detailed understanding of the complete asset. The collected data is stored securely by Context for Oyster within its 256-bit encrypted cloud-based client portal. Security protocols enable open sharing and access for the client stakeholder team to meet their needs.
Mui says this ability to centrally host the consolidated data for the client has additional long-term benefits.
“Stakeholders can review and collaborate with other team members within the model, without having to take time-consuming and environmentally damaging flights to stand on site.”
The cloud data also interfaces with the CAD systems of other consultants and can be converted into a BIM format for integration with the professional team. Or, more simply, can be used with 3D modelling packages for ideation and feasibility studies.
Context also provided Oyster with a user-friendly, measurable photo viewer model of the site. The simple interface enabling the client group to view the digital model allows them, for example, to measure key dimensions or areas to establish if additional processes would fit within the available space, all without leaving the office.
The facilities management team can also tag this model with specification notes or critical service intervals for machinery, effectively turning FM into a 3D process. Additionally, the model can be used to create bespoke viewpoints for the client team. Elements such as the roof or ceiling can be removed to give a snapshot of what a sub-division of the tenancy might look like.
“We’ve found 3D scanning to be an excellent tool producing fast and accurate results,” says Mark Hitchcock, Development Manager at Oyster.
“We’ve been very impressed with this technology, particularly with the ability to see and measure with incredible accuracy machinery or high-level services installations, extremely important information that’s sometimes missed in premises measurement or condition assessments.”
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