There is an ever growing requirement in today’s fast paced society by clients and customers to have quick, accurate building plans, floor plans, ‘as built’ plans and elevational drawings of buildings with which to plan their future building proposals, schemes and to comply with current legislation like the recent Government Directives where Local Authorities, schools, colleges and the like are required to take a much more proactive approach to the whole area of Property Management.
However, in older buildings, asbestos, water hygiene and associated issues cannot be determined unless accurate measured building surveys exist and are kept up to date. Fire Regulations and new laws to improve access to public buildings for people with disabilities have also raised the profile of property asset management at local level. These new regulations have highlighted that hundreds of councils ether do not have the original plans for many of their public buildings, or some premises have undergone so many extensions and refurbishments that the original drawings bear little relation to the present layout of the building. Local Authorities, are facing a race against time to arrange for all schools, colleges and nursing homes, to be surveyed with accurate drawings produced for their records. In the long run it will lead to greater efficiency of property management. Short term it may at first appear to be a huge burden, but Graeberts suite of Sitemaster software and Mobile CAD Surveying Ltd’s mobile kit is positioned to help alleviate the pressure and provide a highly productive surveying solution – with many benefits for the future.
In the private sector, pressure is constantly placed on Architects, Surveyors and Facilities/Project Managers to produce fast accurate drawings and data of existing and new or proposed schemes, this cannot be achieved unless a fast accurate method of producing existing floor plans is available. Now Sitemaster Building 4.1 is that programme which can produce very accurate finished floor plans in the same or less time than it takes to carry out a traditional site survey.
Before Sitemaster Building was available, it meant sending a surveyor to a project site, to carry out all the measuring and manual sketches by hand, before returning to his office to re-input all the data at their office into their office based CAD system. They may also have been required to go back to site on numerous occasions to correct inaccuracies that came to light during the CAD process, a very frequent event that causes major delays in time and much additional expense to the project team.
Compare that to what a surveyor would now achieve using Sitemaster Building suite of software. Now not only are they accurately measuring the properties, but they are generating in ‘real time’ the finished CAD drawings at the same time, no hand drawn sketches, no scribbled notes, no long drives back to the office to then generate the CAD plans but most importantly no return visits to correct inaccurate or missing dimensions. The property is therefore, measured, drawn in CAD and mailed back to the office in 50 per cent of the time previously taken, allowing the surveyor to go straight on to his next job.
It really is a Win Win situation for all parties! Although there are FIVE software programmes in the Sitemaster Suite, Sitemaster Building is the main one that would be employed to facilitate the completion of CAD drawings for ‘as built’ or proposed floor plans and is therefore critical in the marketing of this range of software, to show a client/customer the features and range of this whole suite.
Some Technical information about Sitemaster Building:-
Professional building surveys
The extensive features of SiteMaster Building are especially interesting for users that need to create and deliver professional CAD drawings.
The layer management supports the combination of several floor plans in one single file. Heights of rooms, openings and symbols can be recorded and exported. Lasered distances are recorded in the background and saved on an extra layer for proofing purposes.
Draw fast and accurate walls (as single or double line), windows, doors and symbols. You can draw rectangular and circular columns, Recesses, chimneys and niches/ducts. SiteMaster Building offers you more than 250 CAD and numerous editing commands. The program features associative dimensioning and room area calculation. The Camera function allows you to insert icon-referenced inspection photos and images. SiteMaster Building contains an Image function for direct insertion and scaling of photos and image underlays with support for file formats as BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF and RLC digital photos and images.
VoiceNotes that can easily been inserted eliminate time consuming text markup by providing record and playback of high-compressed audio notes and instructions directly inside your drawings.
AutoCAD-compatible drawing symbols / blocks can be used. The Visual Symbol Manager lets you insert symbols ? as-measured, referenced or free in the drawing. You can export Excel-compatible .csv files with room/area lists and room schedule reports/symbol lists. The Check Distance function lets you compare »as-built« distances to plan distances and record this comparison.
Experienced power users can use the visual Desktop, Menu and Toolbar Editor (DME2) and Lisp and/or C++ programming APIs to customize and extend the program furthermore.
Productivity levels and therefore profit margins are a concern to all, but in an industry where so much process is manual there only needs to be one error in measurement, or error in reading a measurement and the entire dimensions of a building will be inaccurate. The result? A return to site to re-measure and then back to the office to amend the CAD drawings. This is a huge resource cost and ultimately vastly decreases profit margins, affects customer service and increases costs for both the supplier and the client.
Anybody connected with design, construction, engineering, facilities management, manufacturing, mapping, real estate and related industries will know that. Local authorities, hospitals, schools, surveyors, facilities management companies – any sector involved in the management of multiple and large buildings that require compliance with Health and Safety regulations, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and those requiring Asset Registry services are now looking at how to shorten the “field-to-finish” time and associated cost.
In order to tempt the surveyor away from the traditional pen/paper/laser approach, any solution offered has to be quick, efficient and truly mobile. To persuade the money men it also has to offer a swift ROI – laser scanning options were seeing an increase in adoption a few years back but were still costly, and did not create the “as-built” drawings and floor plans in the field that would significantly cut design and planning time and cost.
The answer lies in incorporating handheld devices, software, Bluetooth and wireless technology – to produce a CAD drawing in front of your eyes. The measurements taken by laser meter and sent via Bluetooth into the software installed on the handheld device, produce a pictorial representation almost instantly. Human error is completely eliminated – the surveyor can see immediately if he has taken the measurement incorrectly. The solution also needs to offer the basics for internal building design, down to such detail as furniture if required, thereby producing a finished drawing in the field that can be emailed back to the office.
If we say the output is 100% accurate in half the time and at half the cost we’re pretty close. Productivity in simple terms is increased by 100% – the work is delivered in one day – therefore the profit is increased by 100%. Mobile technology has actually been proven to increase productivity by up to 1000% when compared to traditional design methods. And that’s not mentioning the less tangible increase in service level to the customer. A return on investment can be seen in some cases on day 1, but we say on average within 14-15 working days, including the cost of the hardware, software and training.
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