Posts Tagged Architecture

Handheld Scanning for Architecture Gets Real….Google Enters The Picture

project-tango-google-mapping-outThe jigsaw pieces are starting to fill in with google’s Project Tango , and the sensor.  Capturing existing buildings has never been an easy task, as much as the purveyors of existing scanners would like you to believe otherwise.  Current laser scanners are expensive and the process was usually too much, too much effort, too much expense for most projects.  Additionally, since the entry price was so expensive and each scanner has its own proprietary software, lack of open standards slowed innovation; but here comes handheld devices starting at around $400, and an open source universe that lets a universe of people to start working on current problems. Paracosm working with Project Tango looks like it has come up with a crowd sourced platform to put together fuller models of buildings from multiple people/scanners.

From the videos and data, and although everyone admits it’s early.  A regular Joe can walk with a handheld scanning device and capture their world.  Allowing for the crowd sourced, user generated 3D mapping of the world.  Besides the eery feeling that the Matrix was more prophetic than fiction what can be done with all this cool stuff, what’s next?

It will be in the processing of this data and digestion of it that will make it launch to the next steps.  Typically the hurdle of laser scanning is going from scanned data, to data that people can use.  Think of scanning this stuff….cool.  To floorplans and 3D walk throughs for realtors.  So if a realtor can take a $300 handheld scanner, walk around a home or apartment, and have it simply turned into a walk through tour and dimensioned floor plans of a home, excellent. Share those floorplans with a carpet installer for a price, great.

Before scans and point clouds were expensive to attain it looks like the price is about to drop dramatically.  Dramatic price drop, easier to attain, increased supply. Increased supply, bigger market. Bigger market, more people. More people, more better.  We are just at the start.  There will be a lot of companies starting to fill in ways on how to capture and deal with this data and since the world spends about $8 trillion on construction alone there will be room for players.  You’re invited.


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BIM : Explode Value Engineering : #BIM #AIA #Revit

I am not an architect, nor do I play one on tv I simply have a small company that surveys buildings. While that may not qualify me to design one I have had the benefit of being in hundreds of buildings, surveyed them, see how they were put together, and they functioned with people in them, so with this little bit of information I feel qualified on commenting on architecture in general. And before I start I want to say that I believe architecture has the ability to transform and inspire like few other arts or disciplines because I can walk by a statue without noticing it (which I hope I don’t but were all in a hurry sometimes) but tougher still to ignore the building you are entering, or working in or even passing by, however, with that said I am unfortunately underwhelmed by most buildings I’ve been in or pass by, or have worked in. Too often we exist in a world that is value engineered, that is something has been designed to be produced as inexpensively as possible. I understand that, less expensively built; more people can afford to purchase; we all win, fine. Good in cars and televisions, unfortunate in buildings. We live in a center core, curtain wall efficiency that drains most of the fun, awe and art straight out of a building. And if you are trying to do something inexpensive, yet impressive this too can be a daunting task. But there are examples, artchitect turning shipping containers into homes comes to mind, like Adam Kalkin, Another is a home we surveyed designed by Carl Koch as part of community on Snake Hill. Now personally I thought it was fantastically ugly from the outside, looked like a box, seemed kind of cheap but as I entered the house, which still had all its original materials and finishes I was amazed how everything made sense, nothing wasted, coherent, took advantage of passive solar while providing lots of light and a great view, lines were simple, I was impressed but again this happens so seldom.

However, I have hope more and more architects are designing in 3D, even Architects who never once fired up CAD are embracing SketchUp as way to think and communicate in 3D. BIM allows design to happen digitally and with true BIM packages allows analysis and fabrication to build a building more cost effectively and real ROI metrics for making choices. Now this could be used for good rather than evil by providing hard bids on designs that were thought to cost prohibitive before, or proving new designs digitally and communicating them to developers and owners in 3D convinces them of their merit. What I hope is that ‘value engineering’ ceases to be a proxy for taking all the fun out out of a building but instead becomes part of the process that brings 3D digital design and BIM into reality and physical structures that continue to awe and inspire.


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