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Pakko De La Torre // Creative Director

Bringing design models to life using Augmented Reality

Bringing design models to life using Augmented Reality

Euston Station is the sixth busiest rail station in the UK and pre-covid it was the departure and arrival point for over 44 million people each year.

Plans are currently underway to transform the area into a modern transport hub and to construct the new High Spreed 2 (HS2) terminal.

Working on behalf of Network Rail, Skanska is undertaking a multi-disciplinary, logistics and building works scheme (under the Network Rail North West & Central framework) to enable HS2 construction. The construction project is already underway with Skanska’s Engineering Survey team being on site since 2018.

Over the last eighteen months, the team has incorporated augmented reality (AR) into their workflow and in particular, the KOREC supplied Trimble SiteVision technology. Having had extensive SiteVision and AR experience on the A14 road improvement scheme for National Highways, the team has adapted the workflow to suit the indoor environment at Euston Station.

Trimble SiteVision works by fusing cutting-edge augmented reality technology with Trimble Catalyst centimetre-precision GPS, to bring 3D design models off the screen and onto site. The end result is a system that allows you to take your design models into the field and visualise them in 3D, all to a 50mm accuracy.

Skanska is using the Trimble SiteVision system to visualise future design, verify as-builts drawings and plan works for feasibility and buildability in applications that are predominantly underground.

A particular challenge the team faced was how to use the system underground when the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) function was not available. Instead of automatically placing the 3D model out on site, the team utilsed the manual placement function on the system to view 3D models for as-built purposes and viewing future designs to check for clashes.

A key reason for using Trimble SiteVision was to visualise a new pipework route in the station’s basement. The ease with which the new route could be visualised ensured a far more efficient approach to decision making between the customer, designers and stakeholders, with solutions reached in real-time. Use of the technology led to a proposed alternative route for the pipework, which reduced the programme of works by four months.

Skanska’s Engineering Survey team and BIM team presented the proposed new route to the customer and key stakeholders using the SiteVision system. A physical site walk was conducted with the AR technology by half of the team, with the remaining team members joining via Microsoft Teams. It led to the proposed new route being accepted at the same meeting.

David Edwards, Skanska Senior Design Manager, said: “Watching it in real-time is great. One of the best things I noted was that people involved didn’t comment about the technology they just asked questions straight away about clashes that could be seen.”

Trimble has released Connect AR, an augmented reality app that gives building construction workers greater accessibility to 3D models in the field.

Skanska is now trialling Connect AR for use indoors and underground to take this technology to the next level. A network of QR code markers are generated in Trimble Connect which can be placed around the jobsite using either a Trimble Robotic Total Station or a manual method. This increases accuracy for the comparison of as-built construction to the digital design.

This content was originally published here.