California High Speed Rail – A Glimpse of the Future

California’s High Speed Rail project is being touted as “the Project of the Century” and with good reason. This project has its share of engineering challenges, including tunneling as much as 500 feet underground and spanning gorges 300 feet above the ground. Even so, the biggest challenge that engineers have to take into consideration is the fact that the “Bullet train” is going to have to cross seven fault lines.

California High Speed Rail
Zip from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Japan has successfully operated high speed rail lines across faults for many years, so this isn’t without precedent. That means that many of the engineering challenges have already been dealt with, allowing the engineers to concentrate on design, rather than having to invent new technology to go forward.

Nevertheless, this will be the first of a new wave of high-speed rail systems built in the United States. The bullet trains and their tracks are being designed to sustain speeds as high as 220 miles per hour in some parts; much higher than current American high speed rail systems in use.

This system is being seen as a portent of new things to come. As transportation needs for our growing population increase, racing neck and neck with environmental concerns, the need for new systems is paramount. It is interesting that the solution may be something right out of our own history.

Rail transportation was a major part of the westward expansion of the United States, settling territories on the frontier. As rail lines moved westward, eventually completing the first transcontinental rail line in 1869, the lands alongside the tracks were the first that became heavily settled. Many western towns were abandoned, simply because the tracks passed them by, choosing instead to bring service to another town, closer to their intended route.

In those early days, rail transportation was used for everything from carrying cows eastward to the slaughterhouses, to carrying Uncle Joe’s coffin home for burial. Yet for years, our nation’s rails have been relegated to providing bulk carrier service at relatively slow speeds.

With this project, the revitalization of rail transport may very well be beginning. Rail is extremely efficient once the tracks are laid. The energy used per passenger or per pound of cargo is much lower than other common means of transport. That’s clearly demonstrated by the number of trucking firms which use rail for long-distance transit, loading their trailers onto flatcars for moving them over long distances.

While the initial investment for creating the high speed rail system is enormous, much of that is offset by reducing the necessary investment in other transportation infrastructure. Without the California high speed rail system and others, a similar amount of money will have to be invested in the creation of new highways and airports. Considering the age and condition of much of our transportation infrastructure, taking some of the load off of it clearly makes sense.

Much hangs in the balance as this project goes forward. Its success could provide the impetus for many other similar projects, especially in high-population areas. If so, transportation in the future could look much like it did in the past, except with sleeker lines and much higher speeds. Reference viatachnik for more information about our services click here.

North Dakota Fracking Creates a Construction Boom

The sleepy little town of Williston, in the Northwest corner of North Dakota has become a boom-town. No longer is this community a center for the local farmers, it’s become overrun by the newest mining rush in the country. As oil companies rush to get in on the fracking boom, this community is struggling to keep up with the needs. Thousands of new workers have flooded the area, needing housing, meals, services and someplace to spend their hard-earned money.

Fracking is a relatively new development in oil exploration and production, useful for extracting oil from much deeper than conventional drilling methods allow. In fracking, salt water mixed with chemicals and sand is pumped into the ground, causing fractures that allow the oil to come closer to the surface where it can be pumped out. Many times, the overburden causes the oil to be at such high pressure, that no pumping is required.

While controversial, fracking has opened the way to recover oil in North Dakota from the Bakken formation; an oil-bearing shale formation, two miles below the surface. There are currently 150 oil companies working in the region, producing 660,000 barrels of petroleum per day.

All of this work and the massive influx of workers needed to accomplish it has created incredible stress on the local economy and infrastructure. At the start of the boom, workers were sleeping in their trucks, because there was literally no room at the inn. While there is still much to do, construction workers have done much to alleviate the crowding, building temporary dwellings, businesses, infrastructure and even expanding the local school.

The community of Williston is struggling to keep up with the needs and the growth. When the town was built, nobody expected its population to triple in such a short time. Trucks rumbling up and down Main Street all day, every day show how much this town has grown. The two-lane road, along with everything else, needs to grow to meet the needs of the oil fields.

While oil production is temporary, it appears that the boom from this oil rush will last about 25 years. That’s too long to just put in temporary services, so the local economy is reacting, building apartment buildings, increasing the size of stores and opening new businesses as fast as construction crews can work. The town is growing rapidly, and nobody knows where it will end.

One of the struggles facing construction companies and developers is deciding how to build. In the world of construction, 25 years is a fairly short lifespan for any building. Yet, once the boom is over, this North Dakota community will probably go back to being a sleepy farm community. Building structures that are intended to last, will only ensure a lot of empty buildings, when the influx of workers moves on to someplace else.

Regardless of what ultimately happens, the oil boom has done wonders for North Dakota’s economy and unemployment rate. Tax money gleaned from this boom has brought the state out of debt. Legislation has been presented to share a larger percentage of that money with the local communities affected by the boom, allowing them to increase their infrastructure. So, over the long-haul, this is going to be good for the communities in Northwest North Dakota. Reference Viatechnik.

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Building information modelling bim and virtual construction

Building information modelling bim and virtual construction

building information modelling

We have been hearing the term Building information Modelling (BIM) for around 20 years. The concept of digital and spatial representation of buildings has also been around more than that. Over this time, lots of variation and perversion has been occurred to the term BIM.

“BIM in itself is a revolution in the construction industry.”

Building information modelling (BIM) is the procedure of generating and managing building data for the entire lifecycle of a facility. The three-dimensional, real-time, dynamic building modelling software used in BIM can decrease the wastage of time and resources in the process of designing and constructing a structure. BIM provides virtual information model that can be handed over from design team to contractor and subcontractors and then to the owner and it benefits the overall project schedule. BIM helps build a project virtually prior the construction starts and it is known as virtual construction.

First of all, virtual construction is not a synonym of building information modelling and they should not be used interchangeably. Virtual construction technologies can deliver projects ahead of schedule and within the budget. It is helpful for planning, coordination and communication on civil infrastructure, commercial and heavy industrial buildings construction projects. It is sure that if a project is designed and constructed in a collaborative environment using BIM, it can really save time and costs on site.

Earlier, the speed of communication was inhibited due to limited forms of media. Fast communication, obviously often seeks to transfer risk from one member to another of the team, instead of addressing it head-on.

As 3D modelling improves site coordination, this risk is dramatically eliminated altogether. BIM can compile all project information in a universally understandable way. When the clarity and speed is improved, it will automatically reduce estimating time, which will result in higher quality.

Building information modelling bim and virtual construction

Objectives of various BIM stages

  1. Constructability analysis: With virtual construction and BIM modelling
  2. Coordination of Building Components: with clash detection and virtual coordination
  3. Extraction of quantities: with BIM model components
  4. Construction sequence simulation: By connecting construction schedule with model components

The benefits of 3D models by BIM are several. The data contained in each element in the model may appear to be just one small piece. But it is very necessary to complete the larger puzzle of the construction project. Moreover, everybody involved in the project can easily understand the exact quantities and quality of the entire project. That means, the team members do not have to sift through pages upon pages of drawings for several weeks to extract information. It will happen in a few moments.

Difference between Building information modelling bim and virtual construction:

As per expert’s BIM is implemented under the entire project life cycle from Planning, Designing, Construction and Operation but specifically under Architectural Building project types. On the contrary, VDC (Virtual Design & Construction) is implemented under designing and construction phase under different project types from architectural building, urban development, infrastructure development, etc.

In short, BIM covers all phases of a building life cycle horizontally. Even though virtual construction covers just two phases, it reaches multiple markets and project types vertically.

Incorporate Architectural Renderings into Marketing

How to Incorporate Architectural Renderings into Marketing

How to Incorporate Architectural Renderings into Marketing

Incorporate Architectural Renderings into Marketing
Incorporate Architectural Renderings into Marketing

Marketing of product and services are vital element for successful business. 3D Architectural Rendering play important role in showcasing a business property. Eventually there are many organizations that engage marketing of commercial real estate.

Over the year we’ve seen a wide range of methods for utilizing 3D renderings for marketing and promotion, so we generally assume that we learned the best ways to use them. Below are few example which can be used for marketing.

Impressive website:

Showcasing impressive 3D images on company website is best way to attract potential buyers and investors. Detail website with impressive images will attract more potential buyers and investors. Make sure to put right keyword for SEO purpose. It will increase the potential customer numbers. A good SEO activity will result in increase of customer engagement.

Superior Visual Tools:

Seeing is believing, so using 3D architectural visualization is great tool for marketing company’s products. It able to accurately visually represent a property’s unique qualities to a potential client. Clients will left with no hard feeling because there is no question as to what the built-out property will look like. Superior visual images, video and 3d model will increase brand awareness among customers.

Sales Center:

Real estate companies can open sales center to attract customers. Sales Center is a great place to have larger printed versions of the visualizations. Buyers can see printed version of final product. Company can also showcase animation on a large screen TV in high definition. Virtual tour will make and they excited. Company can showcase their product by brochures and 3D modelling as well. Reference Geoshot for know more about it then contact us.

How to Improve Your Architectural Renderings

How to Improve Your Architectural Renderings

How to Improve Your Architectural Renderings

How to Improve Your Architectural Renderings

Photo realistic architect are more common these day. Photo realistic architectural rendering help people in making the dream house they have always dreamt of. Now 3D artist can easily clear the errors from building plan before construction so that the building can have similar look that customer want. Photo realistic architect

Architect render Post processing (I have to search this in google)

Train your eye: One need to carefully observe the surrounding to develop an understanding of the interaction of light and materials.  Notice how different types of light sources interact with different material surfaces.  Make mental notes about the shapes and depth of shadows and reflections. It would be helpful for 3D artist to learn some of the basic physics of photons and properties of different material and observations of light scattering and reflection. It is also important to learn some stuff about photography to understand the ways various lenses and apertures and film types and speeds affect how a scene is captured.

Master Modelling and Rendering software: No matter how good you get at rendering, or how powerful or expensive your modelling software is, you will never master photo realistic rendering if you don’t first master whatever program you use to produce your models. You will never produce a rendering that is in distinguishable from a photo graphic the model isn’t perfect, because on the grounds there will be some jarring detail that is just wrong.

Practice: Practice makes a man perfect. There’s simply no better way to improve your skills and knowledge than to keep practising them over and over.  Set up a render; see how it looks; decide what you don’t like or what could be better; change your settings; render it once more.  Compare it to the first version and see whether it’s better, or not, and figure out why, or why not. Repeat unless you get perfect photo realistic image. Reference Geoshot


Reduction in time brought about by design changes in BIM

Reduction in time brought about by design changes in BIM


The major problem faced by construction industry is inability to complete the construction projects on time and within the budget. There are several factors in construction field that lead to time and cost overrun. Poor planning and scheduling as well as unprofessional site management of contractors cause the delay of construction and it will result in financial loss to the owners. The important factors that lead to wastage of time are inefficient project planning and scheduling, lack of contractor experience, improper site management and supervision, incredible subcontractors, delayed delivery of materials, which could be avoided through appropriate implementation of bim modeling services.

Change in design by owner, delay in site delivery, progress payment, approving design documents and performing inspection and testing and ineffective communication and coordination with other parties. The problems in planning and scheduling complexity of design and lack of control over the site resource allocations are also some of the top factors that cause time overruns.

Enables design changes:

Through BIM modeling services quick changes in design could be made, if any possible problem is found out on the construction site.

Facilitates cost estimation:

Using this technology, the design intent of a building can be checked both quantitatively and qualitatively and thus bim cost estimating process can be made early.

Reduces rework:

Rework is the main fact that leads to wastage of time and money in construction industry. BIM modeling services helps in updating and synchronizing any design automatically. It will reduce the drawing errors and thus minimize the possibilities of rework. So reducing human errors and avoiding reworking will help the industry to save time and money significantly.

Enhances productivity

Implementation of BIM concept can increase the efficiency and productivity of the delivery process as well as the constructed facility. As the construction issues can be eliminated in earlier stage, the request for design change, team conflicts and rebuilding will be reduced. The designers can make design decisions on the spatial experience of the BIM-based models. It can result a massive impact on the cost of the construction.

Automatically update data:

The components in a BIM model know how to act and interact with other components. For example, in a BIM model, a room, more than an abstract concept, is a unique space with other building components such as floors, walls and ceilings. In BIM modeling services, model is a complex database with geometric information and non-graphic data and room is a database element. So, if the designers change any model element, the changes in all views are automatically coordinated by BIM software.

Bim modeling services provides digital visualization:

The key benefit of BIM modeling services is that it helps owners and AEC professional for digital visualization, design, stimulation and analysis of the physical and functional features of a project before they constructed. So they get an idea of how the building will come together before the work starts. It reduces the change in design during construction, which will result in time and cost saving.

While CAD uses software tools to create digital 2D or 3D drawings, BIM modeling services provides a new way of working with designs and intelligent objects created. Even though the design is changed several times by everybody, the data in the model remains consistent. As all the stakeholders get a clear vision of the project from BIM model, they can be informed faster.


Awards for Five innovative construction projects

Awards for Five innovative construction projects

Chicago, IL – Five major construction projects are vying for the inaugural Construction Project of the Year honors being offered by the International Construction Economic Forum (ICEF).  The winner will be announced November 20-22 at ICEF ceremonies in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  The five shortlisted entries include the following:

Cognizant Technology Park, Chennai, India – The park is a series of buildings spread across 13.6 acres with an interconnected design featuring covered connected corridors with a comprehensive landscaping theme.

Common amenities include a multi-level car park/cafeteria that serves the entire facility. Design concepts include minimized impervious surface areas to reduce the urban heat island effect. The project was submitted by Larsen & Toubro.


J.W. Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai – Brookfield Multiplex was appointed as the main contractor by Emirates Airlines for the Marriott Marquis project in 2007. The hotel features a twin tower complex with an intricate façade design using curved elements and a unique footprint that required innovative approaches and collaboration between designer and contractor. The architect on the project was the Archgroup.

The project was built on an L-shaped plot and at 355 meters breaks the Guinness world record for the tallest dedicated hotel.

Kattupalli Shipyard and Port, Chennai India – Submitted by Larsen & Toubro, the shipyard and port are a state-of-the-art combined ship building and repair facilities. The project, spread over 1200 acres, was built in 34 months despite disruptions caused by three major cyclones.

Major structures include breakwaters, container berths, production shop, ship-lifting platform and a fabrication yard.

The project represented a challenge due to complexity of structures involved, innovative design and execution methodologies, simultaneous execution of dredging and marine construction and benchmark work in village relocation.

The Shard, Central London – Standing at 310 meters, the Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe. The tower features a crystalline façade that has transformed the London skyline. The Shard is a mixed use “vertical town” accommodating more than 8,000 residents and more than 600,000 square feet of office space on 24 floors.

The structure features a 17-story hotel and spa. The structure is crowned with a steel-framed pinnacle adorned with shards of glass that reach into the sky.

The project was developed by Sellar Property, designed by the Renzo Piano Workshop and constructed by the Mace Group.


Vidin-Calfat Bridge, Bulgaria – The $360 million New Europe Bridge links Dresden, Germany, Thessaloniki, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey and is the longest bridge over the Danube at two kilometers.

Built by FCC, the bridge construction used innovative measures in longer lasting construction components, saddles for stay cables and precast segmental duct couplers. The new bridge reduces the travel time from Vidin, Bulgaria to Calafat, Romania from three hours to 10 minutes.

The bridge is part of the European Transport Corridor IV.

The ICEF will focus on core themes of trends and forecasts in the global construction industry, project finance, successful project management and delivery, equipment technology and asset management.

Smart GIS Using 3D Maps of Cities

Smart GIS Using 3D Maps of Cities

Smart GIS Using 3D Maps of Cities

Smart GIS Using 3D Maps of Cities

Governments all across the globe lose Millions of dollars due to inefficient operation of city infrastructure and resources, likedamaged roads, illegal construction, disputes on land, power line damages, and city floods during rains and so on. The main problem is about scale—how can a city with limited resource, enforcement and maintenance staff track and monitor every construction site, and every other public infrastructure? They simply can’t monitor everything. Smart GIS techniques can provide accurate and precise solution for this problem. Smart GIS provides an up-to-date, interactive 3D rendering of a city, accurate down to the millimeter.

Many “Smart Cities” in Europe and the US have started creating highly precise & interconnected GIS maps using 3D survey technologies. GIS or Geographic Information Systems use computer-based systems to link maps and databases, creating a relationship between data, location, and information. GIS serves as the information back bone for data-driven smart cities. However, the tools for creating GIS so far, such asHandheld GPS, Satellite Imagery and Static Lasers arenon-spatial,inaccurate, slow and limited in their scale of vision. As an alternative to that, here is a scalable approach to create highly accurate, spatial, fast and sophisticated cloud based 3D-GIS maps, using Smart GIS.

The plan is to overlay multiple layers of data—computed and analyzed on these maps, ultimately connecting it to the various stakeholders of the city. The idea so far is simple—Scan the city, measure it, connect it and manage it!

Nexus of disruptive technologies like distributed computing, deep learning & machine visionalgorithms, cloud computing and advanced laser sensing (LiDAR) enable high resolution—aerial and ground surveys of cities to create highly precise 3-D, point-based, spatial maps. Deep learning techniques can rapidly process peta-bytes of survey data within hours to extract asset information maps.GIS maps, when incorporated with different layers of city data and systems administration frameworks, present a gigantic open door for making various information driven Smart City. With versatile physical LiDAR, the city could have brings about a month and with exact harm information like how profound a walkway split is down to the centimeter. The applications are practically unending from distinguishing illicit building changes and congestion, to post-fiasco harm evaluations, to figuring vitality displaying of constructed environment, to extensive flame hazard appraisals combining external LiDAR scans with city records.

Interfacing mobile terrestrial LiDAR with municipal data is the newest innovation in proactive enforcement and infrastructure management. This innovation will empower urban  cities to cut expenses, recuperate lost income, lessen corruption, build responsibility and convey benefits proactively by increase accountability and deliver services proactively by creating accuracy, efficiency and transparency in the systems. Reference Geoshot for know more contact us.

Federal Shutdown Ripples Through Industry

Federal Shutdown Ripples Through Industry

Federal Shutdown Ripples Through Industry

Chicago, IL – The shutdown of the U.S. federal government, now in its third week, is having a domino effect on the A/E industry.  Engineering giants URS and BAE announced massive furlough numbers in addition to the 800,000 federal workers who were put on temporary leave.

Federal Shutdown Ripples Through Industry
Now the ripple effect is working its way to state governments.
• Arkansas has laid off 673 workers and could furlough an additional 4,000 if the federal shutdown continues another week.
• Maine, Illinois, Arizona, Virginia and Washington have laid off hundreds of workers tied to federal funding.
• Maryland has dipped into a $100 million reserve fund created to compensate for a federal shutdown.
Of the original 800,000 federal employees furloughed, nearly half of them are civilian Defense Department workers who have been summoned back to the job.

“They are trying to bring back folks when there is a crisis,” said Tim Kauffman, spokesman for the American Federation of Government Employees. Kauffman said about half the 670,000 federation members were furloughed, but many have returned to their jobs.

The shutdown could still have other spillover effects. Merrill Lynch economists warned late last week that “many sectors that rely on the federal government for approvals or information are impacted. The tourism and travel industry is hurt by the shutdown of national parks. And companies in the defense industry are already starting layoffs.”

Boeing, one of the major federal contractors with some $32B in contracts, says it is looking at furloughs if the shutdown continues. “Workforce reductions could be triggered by customers issuing stop-work orders, limited access to federal installations where its employees work, funding cuts or a shortage of government inspectors,” said Dan Beck, a Boeing spokesman.

Pete Ruane, president and CEO of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, said the shutdown could slow major transportation projects that are in the environmental review process.

“Non-transportation agencies that play major roles in the review process for transportation projects include the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency and the Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Ruane. “To put this in context, the Federal Highway Administration states that as of Aug. 22, there are 129 projects from 35 states currently undergoing the Environmental Impact Statement process.”

Ruane said a prolonged shutdown will affect highway project schedules. “Due to furloughs in the environmental and resource agencies, the approval process for transportation projects is encountering more obstacles. This outcome is the exact opposite of the goals of MAP-21′s streamlining provisions,” he said. “There are two things that the construction industry needs to deliver the transportation network that moves our economy—adequate and reliable funding and approved projects. The fact remains that if environmental regulators can’t do their job, we can’t do ours.”


The Japanese Way of Demolishing Structures

The Japanese Way of Demolishing Structures

Chicago, IL – Traditional demolition techniques require the use of explosives or the famous iron ball. With explosives, the idea is to create an implosion, where the building will collapse inward on itself, preventing damage to other nearby structures. Even so, the implosion can cause unexpected damage to those other structures, as well as hazards for any people passing by. For this reason, implosions are normally avoided in high congestion areas, where there is a risk of causing personal injury or damage to other structures.

Besides the risks involved, normal demolition techniques create an environmental hazard. The implosion itself and any subsequent demolition create huge quantities of dust, which affect everyone nearby. The demolished material from the building is a disposal problem, creating huge amounts of trash for landfills if it can’t be recycled.

Civil engineers in Japan have sought new methods to avoid these problems. With the high crowding of Japanese cities, the ability to implode a building, without damaging adjacent structures is unlikely. Besides that, Japanese environmental laws require that the concrete and wood be recycled, not just the steel, aluminum and copper.

Recent demolition projects in Japan have showcased these new methods. For the 40-story Akasaka Prince Hotel, a movable cap was placed on the building. This cap consisted of a scaffold that was covered with material to make it look like part of the building. The top two floors were then dismantled in place, “deconstructing” the building. As work progressed, the scaffolding cap was lowered by hydraulic cylinders, allowing it to cover the next two floors for their dismantling.

Dismantling the building in this manner lowers noise pollution by 20 percent and dust by 90 percent. The average person walking by doesn’t even see the work going on in the building, merely seeing that the building grows gradually shorter over time.

In another project, the Resona Maruha building was dismantled from the ground up. The building’s 40 columns were supported by huge hydraulic jacks, as the columns were cut. The floor was then dismantled and the building lowered one floor. Work continued in this manner until the entire building was demolished.

Both of these techniques make it much easier to scavenge and recycle the materials from the demolished buildings, which Japanese law requires be sorted at the demolition site for recycling. With the ground-up style used for the Resona Muruha building, recycling is made very easy and efficient by the fact that the demolition work is being done at ground level.

While skyscrapers are designed for long life spans, Japan’s lack of space shortens their effective life. Both of these structures will be replaced by larger buildings, providing more usable floor space in the same footprint.

These same techniques may be useful in other parts of the world, even here in the United States. New York City is replete with large buildings that are reaching the end of their useful lifespan. The city has been very frugal in issuing permits for imploding buildings, forcing contractors to look at other means. These new techniques that have been developed in Japan may very well find a new home in New York, as the city and its commercial inhabitants look for ways to modernize their city.