How Reality Capture Transforms the Design Process

By Jason Rostar, Associate, Corporate Design Technology Leader, HED

The Renaissance Center, also known as the GM Renaissance Center, is a group of seven interconnected skyscrapers in Detroit. They feature a spectacular view of the Detroit International Riverfront.

In 2018, the architectural and design firm HED Architects was hired to design and build a circular, three-floor restaurant with panoramic city views and double-height ceilings.

Before the restaurant fit-out could begin, we needed an accurate picture of the existing space, including measurements and current conditions. While sketches and blueprints were on file, we needed greater accuracy when it came to capturing and measuring the 28,863-square-foot space.

Reality capture with the BLK360 helped provide accurate measurements and clear images of the current state throughout the project to renovate a restaurant in a circular space.

Streamlining Measurement Time

To resolve these challenges, the team acquired a handheld imaging scanner, the Leica BLK360, to capture the intricate details of the existing space and avoid working from inaccurate data that can slow progress and impact design direction. Small, easily transportable, and easy to use, the BLK360 acts as a faster, safer and more accurate way to capture and document reality, taking thousands of precise laser measurements. 

Specifically, the team began by setting up parameters for the scan with scan points positioned every 15 to 20 feet. Over two days, we captured over 130 individualized scans, comprising 300,000 laser-precise measurements per scan, to create a 360-degree orbital image of the existing space.

We stitched together the data points to form a 3D map of the area. The map not only accurately reflected the current space, but also provided a tremendous amount of additional data that can’t be manually captured. For the Renaissance Center project, reality capture saved over five days of measuring time.

Engaging Clients and Creating Opportunities

When the client took a spin through the reality capture model of the restaurant, they were able to put on a headset and virtually tour the space. It became the highlight of the project and helped strengthen our relationship with the client and spread the word about one of our firm’s strong differentiators, which helps to drive awareness and new opportunities for us.

Regarded as a must-see dining experience, HED’s project in the Renaissance Center demonstrates how the latest in reality capture technology saves time and costs, provides precise measurements, and introduces a new way of documenting and sharing data.

The virtual walk-through was beneficial for team discussions of proposed changes

RELATED VIDEO: 3 Reasons You Should Be Using Point Clouds

In case you missed it Leica and Clearedge3d did an amazing scan and model of our DBWNA 2019 venue – Hyatt Regency, Seattle. Want to have a look at these files?

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