New Service From Workstream Dramatically Reduces Cost of Structural Monitoring
Company’s New Micro Spatial Monitoring Service Brings Benefit of 3D HD Scanning Technology to Structural Monitoring Applications For the First Time
Bicester, October 19, 2011 – Planning permission for new property developments is increasingly dependant on the retention of existing structural façades to meet conservation requirements. Since retained structures can often be several hundred years old, it is critically important to monitor them for movement or fluctuations in the size of settlement cracks while demolition and construction go on around them. Movements in retaining walls, new site obstructions and other site risks also call for regular, sometimes continuous, monitoring. While the electromagnetic distance measurement (EDM) technology that replaced manual calculations in the early 1990s has made such monitoring a lot easier to achieve, it is still generally viewed as a very time-consuming, expensive task.
The newly-launched Micro Spatial Monitoring (MSM) service from Workstream Construction Services dramatically reduces costs by eliminating many of the problems associated with conventional EDM structural monitoring. Exploiting the ability of 3D high definition laser scanners to process hundreds of thousands of point cloud vertices in just a few seconds, Workstream’s new MSM service means building movements down to as little as one millimetre can be identified with ease after a very short time. (Using a 3D high definition laser scanner typically reduces surveyors’ time in the field by some 75%.)
Workstream’s surveyors utilise highly sophisticated software to align the point cloud of the scanned structure with a CAD drawing (or another point cloud) produced from a previous scan. These are then compared to check for differences. Differences between the two scans are quickly displayed as colour maps that give a clear visual indicator of any deviation.
“Workstream was an early pioneer of high definition laser scanning in the UK,” says the company’s chief engineer Neil Gaskell. “However, until now, it wasn’t practicable to apply our laser scanners’ full capabilities to monitoring applications. But today, our investment in new software technologies means we can import point clouds of unlimited size, and deliver mesh shaping and editing in hardly any time at all. Setting up monitoring targets for continuous surveying over a period of time is no longer required, and we can very speedily deliver highly detailed reports that enable clients to interrogate or inspect virtually any area of a scanned 3-dimensional surface. Obviously, the speed with which we can compare scans has a significant, positive impact on the cost of our clients’ structural monitoring jobs.”
Workstream’s Micro Spatial Monitoring (MSM) service is available immediately. Deliverables include drawings and reports in hard copy, digital format or both. Workstream clients can access all project files at any time using their own secure folders on the company’s Engineering Web server.