GHH Supports Future Surveyors

Lyman Hall Launches Survey Module

GHH is pleased to play our part in this new and exciting program…

In September 2022, Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford launched a surveying module in the Agriculture Science Department. The objective of the one semester course is to provide exposure to the career field and basic skill training. Students who take the course are immersed in basic surveying, mapping concepts and introduced to the standards of work and expectations for the surveying profession.

Throughout the course students gain skills in operating tools for land measurement, reading and making maps, operating unmanned aerial systems (drones), to collect remote sensing data, researching land records, and manipulating data in software such as AutoCAD, Access, Pix4D, and Carlson Photo Capture.  Assignments are associated with real world scenarios. To support the technical side, a wide range of surveying equipment and software was procured through two separate Perkins Career and Technical Education Grants. Students will have opportunities to get hands-on instruction and experience with set up and operation of total stations, data collectors, prism poles, tripods, GPS rovers, RTK and non-RTK UAVs.

Curriculum development was supported by The Institute Of Real World Education and Curriculum Advancement (IRWECA) at Southern Connecticut State University.  The objective of IRECA is for the interdisciplinary educator teams to be able to “develop and implement interdisciplinary curriculum modules aligned with industry needs and best practices in education.” (https://biopath.southernct.edu/irweca)  The team for Lyman Hall consists of Emily Picard,  Wildlife Biology teacher from the Agriculture Science Department,  Ryan Sheehan, Engineering STEM teacher  from the Science and Technology Department, Marjorie Drucker, curriculum facilitator from Drucker Educational Consulting LLC and Calvin Weingart, a licensed surveyor with Godfrey Hoffman Hodge LLC filling the role of industry consultant.

The team has met monthly since January 2022 to share ideas and goals, learn about the surveying profession and ultimately support the development of the curriculum now underway. We are confident that these high school students will come away from the course with the knowledge that the surveying career field is relevant, accessible and intriguing.  Ultimately, the hope is that the students will bring their youthful enthusiasm and passion for learning to the surveying profession.

We are glad to be a part of this exciting program – it’s always a thrill to share our knowledge and help push the profession forward!

Laser Scanning of Existing Buildings for BIM and Deep Energy Retrofits

Deep Energy Retrofits of Existing Structures

High-performance energy systems and building envelopes are not reserved for new construction only. Existing structures are being equipped with energy efficient HVAC systems and retrofit with engineered thermal insulation and vapor envelopes, passive solar shading devices, active solar panels, and water conservation strategies – all in an effort to reduce the energy consumption in existing buildings.

Energy-efficient systems and renewable energy sources are the two common paths used to improve a statistical fact concerning built environments:

“On average, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency….one of the top opportunities to improving the energy efficiency is retrofitting of existing buildings.”

Deep energy retrofits – as opposed to conventional energy renovations which focus on simple upgrades of isolated systems, such as lighting or HVAC systems – will approach the whole building and its overall poor performance ratings. Many building systems are addressed at once for a much greater savings in energy consumption, increased occupant comfort, and reduction in green house emissions.

Laser scanning of existing structures is used to accurately capture hidden building elements and attain dimensional data as the first step to creating a building information model (BIM). With a 3D BIM model of the retrofit project’s interior, exterior and surrounding site, energy modeling tools are then used to simulate the thermal properties of the building envelope, visualize interior heat loss and gains, emulate the position and the effect of the sun for solar shading strategies, and as a tool to improve overall building performance.

Laser scanning is a land surveying software solution that facilitates the engineering and construction phases of architects, engineers, and construction. This as-built tool replaces traditional building and land surveying methods by using hand-held laser measuring devices, photogrammetry, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to capture and analyze building data in real time. Elevations, sections, floor plans, and complete 3D models are converted to 2D drawings, 3D models, or BIM-compatible formats.

This virtual capture of the environment becomes an important part of the planning process for deep energy retrofits, land development, urban landscape planning, and in the new construction process. Using Bluetooth technology, PC tablets, and reflectorless instrumentation – highly detailed and very precise building or land surveys are quickly accomplished – all in the digital (or virtual) realm. The end-use can beapplied to solve a number of structural and architectural documentation needs, including:

  • General Arrangement Plans
  • Street Scenes
  • Scaled Floor Plans
  • Internal Elevations
  • Roof Plans
  • Facade Measurements
  • As-Built Checking
  • Field Clash Detection

Laser Scanning and Point Cloud Data

Point cloud technology utilizes high-definition CT laser technology to scan multiple perspectives of the physical environment. The resulting image consists of millions of data points capturing the targeted image in a 3D coordinate system, or point cloud. The raw point cloud data is automatically converted to real-world structural elements and terrain features to generate accurate geometric data of building interiors and exteriors, topographies and urban landscapes, and even manufactured items such as pipes, and machinery.

Industry consensus supports the efficiency of using scanning to produce point cloud data to augment 3D modeling (and especially BIM applications)The once fragmented space that existed between retrofitting of existing structures and utilizing advanced modeling technologies are removed with 3D laser scanning services. This virtual, digitization of environments allows real-time, concurrent workflow to share information between field and engineering office. With laser scanning-to-BIM, all of a project’s stakeholders can access an integrated project database for engineering analysis and building performance studies – connecting existing infrastructures with analytical modeling and visualization technology for installation of deep energy retrofits.

Contact us to discuss how time, money, and effort can be saved in retrofit projects of built environments.

Two Ways of Topographic Surveying fight it out in Alabama

In 1999, a leading thinker, inventor and futurist named Ray Kurzweil introduced “The Law of Accelerating Returns.” Detailed in his book “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” Kurzweil’s concept is that the rate of change in areas like technology increase exponentially, and that one year of actual time may introduce up to 200 years of change. With that theory in mind, we have to wonder just how quickly the technology is evolving in the surveying and mapping profession.

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Printing the President’s Face: 3D Scanning

describe the imageThis week (December 2014), using some of the most advanced camera and laser scanning technologies, “[a] bust of President Obama was created by a Smithsonian-led team of 3D-digital-imaging specialists, Autodesk and 3D Systems, in collaboration with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies” (whitehouse.gov).

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