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Case Study: New York Historical Society

Jul 9, 2021 1:57:00 PM

How is it possible to scan and analyze an entire building in a short amount of time? We were able to do so by working closely with an owner's representatives to prioritize elements of the model that they could use immediately while the remainder of the model was being constructed.

 

How Did This Project Begin?

The New York Historical Society initially wanted to renovate the building's back wing. For high-profile projects like this one, things often start with an owner's representative contacting us. In this instance, we began our endeavor by collaborating with Krista Kennedy, the owner's representative, and with Robert A. M. Stern architects.

We had the opportunity to work directly with the architects to ensure they had all the information they needed. They summoned us so we were able to “get them out of a jam.” On behalf of the owner, Krista helped to coordinate the architect and other subcontractors to get the job done right. As a result, Krista requested that we come in, scan, and present the team with all of their building's documents. We had the privilege of being chosen to work on such a fantastic project.

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We were able to reproduce some of the Society's displays by scanning in color. We also used a grayscale approach for the back-of-house sections because they did not require as much depth. Finally, we were able to keep the building running well without any interruptions. 

The Swarm Technique

Holly Vaillancourt, Operations Director of Existing Conditions, was in charge of keeping the team up and running at all times. She worked closely with Krista at the outset of the project to ensure everyone was on board. Instead of sending in just one surveyor who would take three weeks to scan the building, Existing Conditions adopted a swarm technique. With this technique, we were able to send in a few surveyors from the operations team to go in and scan the structure rapidly.

The expected time on site was cut in half. This benefits everyone in the long run, notably the on-site contacts and the owner. The ultimate product delivery went off without a hitch.

Survey Control

Starting with a known set of control points can be beneficial to any surveyor. With survey control, many surveys can be linked to the work of others, even if that work has already occurred. Once the survey has been completed with the survey control, it can be imported and incorporated into other drawings with the same control point configuration. This enables collaborative teams to assess their work. Most importantly, they can make important design and construction decisions based on accurate data.

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How Do Pre-Construction Surveys Benefit Architects?

A substantial amount of our work consists of pre-construction surveys. In a short length of time on site, we may gather a lot of useful information for the architect. As mentioned, for this building, the architect was Robert A.M Stern Architects. 

Often, even today, architects would go out with photographs and sketch paper in the hopes of gathering pre-construction data. This would take days, if not weeks. It is difficult and time-consuming to go out with multiple cameras and attempt to reconstruct the surrounding architecture of the site. It will never be exact, which is why a 3D laser scan of your building is essential.

Because of our equipment and expertise, we can now capture more information in a single day or afternoon than the architect could capture in a month (or more). A solid set of reality capture data is an excellent resource for architects, allowing them to concentrate on the work they wish to undertake.

How Will These Documents Be Used?

The documents we provided for the New York historical Society will be used for both the current refurbishment of their building and the ongoing facility management. Employees at the New York Historical Society will not only gain immediate access to this vital material, but will also be able to use it for years to come as their needs evolve over time.

The Benefits of BIM Models

Our BIM models are more than a set of static drawings. They can grow and adapt to a building over time. As a result, a model can become an important property asset. The work we have done can benefit all of the project's stakeholders. It provides them with a detailed description of their most important asset. It is a computerized representation of a structure's physical and functional properties. This data is a common resource for making decisions about a facility, from creation until repositioning and rehabilitation.

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The information that we provide clients when they interact with Existing Conditions is theirs to keep. We provide them with accurate data that they may use for several tasks. Some examples include renovations, accessibility for people with disabilities, public safety, and ongoing building maintenance. They can use this information for years without having to rescan their building.

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Jared Curtis

Written by Jared Curtis

President, Existing Conditions

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