press release on collaborative working…

The background to the process…

… A Visual Knowledge Database …

A 3d photographic and measurement database navigable and easily available to all team members through a simple web interface.

A collaborative working process combining;

Asset tagging, redlining and exploration of spaces, rooms. Equipment, processes is as simple as point and click…

… All data is also available to be interrogated for measurements such as distances between objects on the floor plate or pipe sizes and lengths for example…

… The purpose of which is to create a user friendly visual database of working knowledge about the facilities and the unique processes in question…

This could be the location and purpose of filters, fire dampers etc

All the key information can be made immediately accessible which is necessary to the overall process of the production line, or the function of a process, or the procurement of a design.

A shared database of visual knowledge.

The technique employed is advanced beyond 2d drafting of cad drawings which by their nature are out of date as soon as commissioned.

Of course we all have experience and knowledge of failings of the old system – time and resources are often a problem and the drawings are often specific to their original design discipline and are rarely if ever re-drafted  to be specific for use to the user of the facility.

…as a technical consultant’s drawing is often only useful to their specific purpose and is only understandable in day to day terms to the consultant themselves and often less so to the client.

Our proposal and solution set removes the requirement to rely on old and out of date information – all data is from a fresh start on what is actually installed on the site – all referenced on a ‘what you see is what you get ‘- realtime and on an on demand basis.

Scanning and database creation can be undertaken and fully deployed to the client within days – this enables clients to be up and running independent on what had happened before we were commissioned to give a solution.

This negates trawling through old databases which may be unreliable or untrustworthy, such as scanning and archiving of old drawings.

More importantly for the clients we are in the business of empowering the client to be self sufficient with the system – we can offer various levels of support and maintenance – the bottom line is that the clients own operatives are the key day to day users of the system and working knowledge is shared and recorded against specific processes and assets – a powerful and important result for the client.

When processes or equipment updates necessitates change on site then the database can be simply updated through a partial scan undertaken and loaded back to the single database.

2d drafting is not undertaken in the old way – if you need an elevation, plan or section you take this from the 3d knowledge database itself – this prevents data loss and human operator errors creeping in to output.

The exported info is always visually checkable against the 3d source of the single point database – this allows quality assurance procedures to be implemented which can even be audited by non-technically proficient management or key staff – even stakeholders.

The background to the site works for enabling Crossrail at Farringdon Station for LUL…

..facilitate the client to find the way forward…

We have been asked on behalf of Roughton who will be the project sponsor and client, to quote for services in connection with Farringdon Station in London for LUL.

Location map and sample platform photograph included within this email.

We will be progressing a workflow and data control system encompassing CAD, BIM and CAFM to the client body and the high definition 3dimensional scanning survey works are the first point of action.


Farringdon station is a London Underground and National Rail station in Clerkenwell, just north of the City of London in the London Borough of Islington. It is currently one of the less importantcentral London stations with mainline services but this will significantly change as it will become an important interchange station on the two largest transport infrastructure programmes currently underway in London – the Thameslink Programme and Crossrail, both of which are scheduled for completion in 2018.

What we are doing…

Provide a team – with LUCAS cover – provide equipment including suitable railway PPE.

We will be undertaking the scans during the night shift of 12-4am.

The locations will be along the platforms and entrance halls.

Access will be prepared for upper levels to include for roof level information.

Undertake a 3d survey – 10 minute scans including photography – 6m centres along each platform.

Assemble the scans through simultaneously completing a Total Station Control Grid.

We include for training and assistance with the processing of the scans into a web based collaborative environment.

What this enables…

The design team can collaboratively access a measured database from a web based photographic 3d record.

Data can be redlined and tagged for further investigation.

Measurements can be taken and design decisions made in advance of site access.

Existing databases can be linked to the web interface – this builds on the knowledge base for the team.

CAD systems and processes all derive from this measured data – new ways of working naturally evolve to encompass the principle concepts of BIM  (Building Information Modelling).

The team can download point clouds related to their specific enquiry – they can request specific deliverables from the surveyors such as elevations, plans and sections to scale based upon photography in dwg format without a single vector being drawn.


Sample questions and answers related to the process and delivery:


I forgot to ask – does the fact that the survey is being done at night affect the photography element and the quality that will be available to the client? Obviously a significant part of what they want will be the interface with the photographic element to click on and check sizes etc?


Yes… and No.

What you can get in pitch black is a fantastic grey scale of the subject – it’s actually clearer for the user to interrogate than colour anyway.

We will take the photography if possible as an option for colour – if its impossible or severely limited then it’s a greyscale result – this is not black and white photography its a laser based reflectance.

Other photography equipment has been designed to create it’s own illuminance for night work or poor lighting however it is not measurement based – used for crime scenes etc.

the opposite of the workhouse…

Recently discussing new working practices with friends and colleagues… what appears to be an emergent approach of work being the opposite of the ‘workhouse’ victorian model…

…ideally you now are employed on objective based / results based targets and how you get there, where you are and how you interact with others is becoming less rigid or defined…

…flexible working hours and practices combined with family life…