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Turner & Townsend launches 3D virtual tours with Matterport

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Global professional services firm Turner & Townsend has adopted Matterport technology to launch 3D virtual tours as part of its documentation process for site compliance and reporting.

Matterport enables users to quickly and easily capture real-world spaces with its Pro2 camera in order to create 3D virtual tours, floorplans and precision photography.

The technology has the flexibility to integrate into BIM, helping firms more accurately document key construction milestones and effectively communicate progress to project stakeholders, providing transparency throughout all phases of a project.

The technology will be used by Turner & Townsend to create efficiencies in documentation, information sharing between project managers, and client reporting across seven different facilities.

T&T is working on a number of notable projects, including the 1.5m sq ft £470m mixed-use Sheffield Heart of the City II development, which it is project and cost managing. The project is due to be fully complete in 2024, with the initial phase scheduled for completion in 2019.

Nick Jones, director, project management at Turner & Townsend, said: “As a business, we are constantly seeking new and better ways to add value for our clients. It is our role to eliminate any grey areas in documentation and reporting. Matterport captures create a clear and absolute position which offers transparency and cuts down any contractual disputes.

“The potential for Matterport to be integrated with BIM technology makes the landscape for its future application vast. Using the Matterport 3D virtual tours means that those clients who don’t want to get mud on their boots can have direct access to site progress, and we have a clear and honest depiction of work on site documented in an interactive format.”

Bill Brown, CEO of Matterport, said: “Matterport technology was built to increase transparency, efficiency, and stakeholder communication, making it the perfect bedfellow for site documentation. Our 3D tours and Mattertag Posts – the annotation points embedded within each capture – allow for clear and concise reporting in an easy-to-use format.

“The software’s accuracy and ability to be integrated into tech such as Procore and BIM360 make it the perfect technology for the construction sector.”

Matterport uses a camera device that records light and depth data to quickly generate an accurate photo-realistic 3D model of a space. The scans are created by moving the device to successive positions around a building, each scan rotation takes around 30 seconds.

The raw scan data is uploaded to the cloud to quickly generate a complete dimensionally accurate 3D model, which can either be downloaded as a point cloud file (the same output as laser scanner) as a coloured texture map mesh file, or viewed in a web browser.

Take up of the technology from California is spreading in the UK – it is being used on the King’s Cross redevelopment, on Thames Tideway, and on the Northern Line extension. 

The BAM Ferrovial Kier joint venture is using it on the Farringdon Crossrail station to create an accurate record of work before trades hand-off.

For example, a scan might be carried out when the block layers finish before the first fix electrics are complete. The files are time and date stamped and it is possible to add tags to the 3D space that link back to the document control system to highlight any outstanding RFIs.

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The potential for Matterport to be integrated with BIM technology makes the landscape for its future application vast. – Nick Jones, Turner & Townsend