Author Archive

  • January 7, 2015

    The Building Information Modeling (BIM) segment of construction has exploded with technological innovation. Over the last few years, hundreds of options to consume and distribute data such as digital tablets, GPS survey tools, portable laser scanners and automated robotics have added avenues to capture and analyze the environment around us. We’re entering a new era of BIM in construction – that of the drone.

    Traditionally, capturing a bird’s eye view for a 2D site survey entailed scheduling a pilot to clear flight plans and fly around your site; it was quite an investment in terms of time and money. Now with mobile aerial platforms and even hobby drones becoming more affordable, XL has utilized drones to replicate this level of technology in-house and on demand. This will allow us to evaluate site conditions and plan exceptional logistics before ever having set foot on a jobsite.

    Autodesk, the foremost leader of digital modeling software, themed their annual conference for 2014 with the tag #RealityCapture – the ability to capture our world and parse it digitally, allowing us to integrate it into our BIM efforts. Since the early 2000’s, software has existed to use photo imagery to create a virtual ‘walkthrough’ of spaces around us (similar to how Google Street View was born). With advances in software, we can now take photographs and have these programs generate baseline 3D model mesh spaces to work with.

    Companies like Autodesk and Google are currently teaming up with small startups in the Bay Area to create unmanned systems that allow someone with basic training to launch and guide a drone around a jobsite, aiding in the review of site safety, logistics, security and progress monitoring. We’re sure to hear a lot more buzzing overhead this year – make sure to keep your hard hats on!