Katrina Hall, CE of integrated design company Context, discusses how its 3D capture and digital services are taking asset management for Auckland Council to another level.
We took a strategic business decision over three years ago to set up a team of spatial data specialists and designers and invested in the latest digital hardware and technology. As architects, landscape architects, and interior designers, we could see the industry shifting from the traditional analogue model and we were keen to get ahead of the curve. By integrating our design approach, we now offer digital productisation and added value which puts the client front and centre, giving them more control of their assets than ever before.
3D site capture and the rise of the digital twin
For us, it begins with 3D capture to create a digital twin from which we can produce a 3D-rich informational model using synchronised data and the physical object.
We use either a mobile handheld or a terrestrial-based scanner to digitally capture spaces and buildings with unprecedented accuracy, efficiency, and speed. With keen detail and hyper-accuracy up to 2mm over 10m in any direction, 3D capture provides dimensional and visual accuracy. A single source of truth for measurements, hard-to-reach areas are now easily accessible and specifications can be checked at the touch of a button. Users can add annotations and additional documents to digital files to assist with asset management. This provides property managers and stakeholders with digital assets that allow them to virtually visit the scanned building or space from anywhere in the world.
As this short video demonstrates, there are several applications for commercial and industrial 3D data capture – from facilities management, test fits, and renovation planning, to providing as-built plans, Health & Safety, and maintenance planning,
Local Authority experience on an epic scale
While buildings come in all shapes and sizes, some do not simply fall into the usual categories such as residential, commercial, or industrial. We have experience capturing the exterior and interior of bespoke buildings, such as civic structures, theatres, council buildings, and film studios. One example of this type of bespoke work is our 3D capture of Auckland Town Hall. We worked with Auckland Council to produce 3D models and as-built plans for the stunning heritage building.
Another fascinating project was undertaken in partnership with Screen Auckland, part of council-controlled organiastion Tātaki Auckland Unlimited. We were approached by the team to capture two expansive film studios and create digital twin assets. Screen Auckland asked us to create models to provide virtual tours for potential filmmakers and production companies around the world to sell-in the facilities. The digital assets can be viewed 24/7 via a secure portal, and the technology includes avatars to show scale and on-screen measuring tools that display accurate on-site measurements for the end-user.
Easier asset management
We believe that the opportunities for 3D capture are endless. For those who work in Local Authorities, this is the time to consider building a digital database of your assets. While providing accurate specifications and visuals, the technology also offers a host of benefits including:
Fast, accurate site capture – 3D site capture can be undertaken in hours – slashing traditional measure-up times by 75%, providing cost-efficiencies and accuracy, while negating workplace disruption.
Reduced site revisions and updates for you and your team – With conventional measure-up methods, there’s often some margin of error, which frequently leads to issues down the line — but laser capture technology shrinks that error margin to near zero.
Greater value of project outcomes and deliverables – 3D asset data can be recycled and repurposed for many valuable uses, including marketing, facilities management and maintenance, renovation planning, and health and safety planning.
Efficiencies and collaboration – This technology allows sub-contractors to carry out inspections remotely to provide estimates quicker, saving time and travel costs.
We’re ready, are you?
As technology continues to change at an unprecedented rate, the costs continue to reduce for digital services, while the capabilities are becoming limitless. Now is the time for property and facility managers to embrace this new technology and remotely manage their assets via digital devices.