Urban Infrastructure Projects Put Historic Buildings at Risk, Along with Contractor Profits!
With every new underground urban rail or roadway tunnel, deep foundation shaft for a new building, or even simple streetscape upgrade, historically significant architecture in older city centers can become vulnerable. Earth displacement from settlement and the vibration from heavy equipment can cause costly and sometimes irreparable damage to structures and their aesthetic treatments.
It’s staggering to think that construction-related damage often amounts to between 5 – 10 percent of gross project costs, as designers and contractors face litigation and are often required to cover the cost of repairs of priceless old buildings. Consider also the public and media outcries when old treasures are deemed structurally unstable and then must be demolished.
In our excitement and enthusiasm to create modern assets we often don’t want to admit that at the project end, if there is a lot of damage to treasured old structures, well…there goes all your profit and your company’s good name as well.
Researchers from New York University (NYU) and University College in Dublin (UCD) have performed two major LiDAR data collection projects that pioneered new workflows to reduce damage. Their strategy is to create a high quality co-registered 3D and hyper-spectral data resource early in the project that could be provided to design and construction teams before shovels start turning ground. Using this data as a key component of the traditional engineering workflow for modeling and analysis, the team can better identify where potential vulnerabilities might lie. Then they can properly plan ahead to avoid costly damage.
Sometimes a simple route adjustment could save hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Or perhaps a different construction technique in certain areas, like using drilled shafts or auger cast, rather than pile driving will reduce vibrations.
Or maybe using fewer, deeper shafts would be less risky than installing a great quantity of shallow foundations.
If precise, information-rich data were available about the buildings early in the project, the geotechnical engineer, structural engineer and contractor can then put their heads together and devise the best, sometimes less obvious choices that can make an enormous difference in the grand scheme of things.
For the complete article on preserving urban infrastructure with lidar CLICK HERE.
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