Joe Romano refuses to answer that question, and with good reason. The survey group he leads at Langan has applied laser scanning technology in many unique locations in order to create working models of numerous iconic—and typically complicated—structures around the country.
Take the intricacies of the façade of St. Patrick’s Cathedral for example, or the complexities of the interior spaces of Madison Square Garden. In Washington, DC, Langan has scanned and created models for several federal buildings, including the U.S. District Court of Appeals and the historic Cannon House. Langan was also part of several teams awarded IDIQ contracts to capture existing conditions of GSA buildings nationwide.
In addition to gathering specific details of buildings at remarkably precise tolerances, scanning provides a safe alternative to commonplace hands-on measuring methods. For instance, Langan alleviated the need for dangerous climbing by scanning a sheer rock face on Alcatraz Island. When a power shed located atop the rails at Union Station in Washington, DC needed to be surveyed, Langan kept workers off the tracks by laser scanning the structure without stopping a single train.
“The advantages and benefits of this technology with respect to safety and accuracy alone make it worthwhile to clients, construction companies, consultants, and architects,” said Romano, Langan Principal and Director of Survey and Scanning. “Beyond that, the technology enables us to use the data creatively. The A/E industry is just beginning to explore many of the downstream uses of 3D data, most notably applications to support Building Information Modeling (BIM).”
Such advances would enhance facility operations, particularly when a building’s function has a direct impact on the bottom line, such as the industrial sector, or when an internal system could literally be a matter of life and death, as in hospitals.
The highly mobile nature of 3D technology keeps Romano’s group on-the-go. Currently, Langan scanners are deployed on an amazing variety of assignments, including several projects for theme parks in Orlando, Fl., and Anaheim, Ca. Langan is also tackling the unique challenge of capturing conditions of the massive underground stacks of books beneath the New York Public Library. And his team recently completed a detailed scan of Times Square during rush hour.
Simply put, laser scanning and modeling provide a new way to preserve the past and Langan is well-positioned at the intersection of history and the future.