Peter Folwell

Going round in circles - is your building a complex or awkward shape?

by Peter Folwell, Director - Plowman Craven

When every square foot counts, assumptions and decisions made about the size of your building are absolutely vital, especially if it’s not a uniform shape. Read on for more about how to deal with troublesome geometries and avoid expensive mistakes...

When every square foot counts, assumptions and decisions made about the size of your building because of measurement capability and available technology are absolutely vital, especially if it’s not a uniform shape. Mistakes can be very expensive.

Recent area referencing exercises we’ve undertaken at the new Bloomberg HQ, the Gasholders development and Coal Drops Yard at Kings Cross and the former BBC Television Centre site highlight the real complexity and variance in design we are now facing.

Bespoke features are becoming more common and create real conundrums for us as surveyors – both in terms of actually measuring and also how to apply the measurement code.

In order to obtain the accuracies required and achieve the level of confidence in the measured areas, we must make use of the very latest measurement technology at our disposal. A laser handheld measuring device and tape can be enough on occasions, but we also rely on 3D laser scanning and total station theodolites.

Even in the office, gone are the days of breaking the floor area into arcs, rectangles and calculating on paper – it’s now all on CAD and is the only way to obtain accurate, consistent and repeatable area calculations.

We are also operating in a 3D world. Building information Modelling (BIM) is now part of our dialogue, with information and data provided being derived from multiple sources.

Technology is clearly vital, but just as important is the core skill of measurement, consistent application of the measuring code and an understanding how the origin of design information enables the code to be applied accurately.

I have had many a comment from a non-measurement surveyor, usually along the lines of: “I really don’t want to be measuring this building - it takes too long, and I haven’t got the right tools.”

Should their time be better spent? We think so…

What Next?

If you’d like to explore how to improve accuracy, ensure consistency and reduce risk then just drop me a line through your preferred channel...

Peter Folwell

About the Author…

Peter Folwell, Director

A respected name in property measurement, Peter’s industry standing and strategic relationships with key clients has helped to establish Plowman Craven as a leading player in the fields of Area Referencing and BIM. Peter delivers consultative advice, workshops and presentations to real estate professionals and is established as one of the leading experts in the application of International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS).

01582 765566

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