Ranked among the top 100 “Best Value” colleges in the United States by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, the University of Texas at Dallas has grown about 70 percent in the last decade. Under the leadership of President David E. Daniel, UT Dallas has opened an $85 million Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory and embarked on an ambitious plan to overhaul the look and feel of the entire campus--including a $27.7 million renovation of a 40-year-old complex known as Founders Hall. One of the university’s oldest buildings, the Founders Hall complex includes two chemistry buildings and another building with administrative offices, a laboratory and classrooms. The goal of the renovation was to improve energy efficiency and update classrooms, laboratories and meeting rooms in all three structures while adding modern amenities.
Ordinarily, Turner would have called on junior architects or engineers to perform an onsite inspection, collecting data with an electronic tape measure. However, the sheer density of the utility network made this an extremely challenging endeavor. Conducting the work through traditional means would have required a minimum of two months and tens of thousands of dollars to gather approximate pipe locations and create a CAD drawing.
The University of Texas at Dallas project is not the first time Midwestern Consulting has used laser scanning to help architects, engineers and contractors complete a new or renovated project at a college or university. Other projects have included the University of Michigan Law Quad, Stockwell Hall dormitory and the football stadium known as The Big House. For the football stadium, Midwestern surveyors provided scan data, aisle/row/seat data and structural layout for the existing facility so that the university could make improvements such as widening each seat by 2 inches, which reduced the stadium capacity by 10,000; building new luxury skyboxes on the east and west sides; and creating wider concourses.
This past year, Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Mich., called on local engineers and architects to investigate cracks appearing on two 40-foot by 120-foot exterior brick façade walls of a building constructed in the late 1960s. Midwestern Consulting laser scanned the walls, created detailed color images and applied color maps to reveal the deviations of the wall from the plumb line. The images clearly showed that the walls were bubbling in several areas. To the client’s surprise, the scan revealed a “cavity,” or inverted bubble along the top edge of the walls that was not known previously. “The ability to capture an entire area with the scanner allows architects/clients the distinct advantage of amending their design without having to go back into the field to acquire more hand measurements,” Walker says.
Simply moving a wall from 16-feet to 20-feet would have required the architect and potentially the MEP contractor to go back on site to verify that the path was clear of conflicts. “Now, the architect can pull up the scan data in a free internet explorer viewer, Leica Truview, or if they have the AutoCAD plug-in, Leica Cloudworx, and overlay their design on the point cloud to verify the proposed solution,” Walker explains.
“High definition laser scanning brings added value to clients and the entire project team,” Walker concludes. “It’s digital, accurate, measurable and fits perfectly in the emerging building information modeling environment.”
For more information about Midwestern Consulting, visit www.midwesternconsulting.com. More details about Leica scanning equipment can be found at www.leica-geosystems.us.