...Let's Talk About The Project
The opportunity to document such an iconic San Jose home was one we had been looking forward to for quite some time. Knowing the home was scheduled to be demolished added a level of urgency and a unusual sense of concern. There are no mulligans, no "do-overs"; the process has to be thorough, detailed and correct the first time. With many projects, you can take data back to the office for processing. If you happen to find that rare error, you can go back and re-scan the area in question and correct the problem. This is not one of "those" projects; the Kelley House has been scheduled for demolition.
Some may wonder what is the value of laser scanning a building that has been totally destroyed by fire and water damage. What can we learn from the scans? What can be done with the data collected and why is this important?
Though the structure is a total loss, there is a lot of information that can be retrieved from laser scans. For example, the fire exposed the inner walls and ceilings and several areas of the home. The construction materials and methods used at the turn of the century, when the home was constructed are clearly visible. The exterior and interior walls of the home are heavily damaged but still intact. Laser scanning the building will give us the first millimeter accurate floor plan of the 100 year old historic home.
From a forensic investigation perspective, a detailed point cloud of the home would allow investigators to trace and document the origins of the fire. These are a few of the things we can learn from the laser scanning process.
|Beautiful Crown Molding|
In the Library
Now that the data has been collected, what do we do with it? I mentioned we could use BIM software and download a bunch of information about the building into the point cloud.
We can model the existing data we've gathered.
We can also virtually reconstruct the house using a combination of the laser scans historic photos.
We can use the data collected to create training curriculum for the RCTTC. (..and we will!)
We can build an exhibit for the Preservation Action Council, Kelley Park and History San Jose.
Anything is possible, but first we must capture the data.
It's critical that we capture the data as accurately and quickly as possible. For this reason, I decided to utilize both the FARO 3D Focus Laser Scanner and the trusty Z&F 6000 scanner to capture and document the home. Redundancy is a good thing... One of the challenges of this
I started by scanning the exterior of the home on the first day. Due to the heavy foliage and abundant shade, I set the scanner for an "Outdoor Cloudy" setting. Several times during the
scanning process, FARO's built in camera had trouble with the heavy shade and intermittent but very bright sunlight coming through the trees. At one point, I considered not using the camera at all. Not using the camera would eliminate the lighting issues, save power and save time. However, for reasons of consistency, I decided to continue to use the camera for all the scans. After all, you can never have too much data. If the quality of the colorized scans is not up to par, we can always discard the photos and still have an extremely accurate historic record of the home.
|Kelley House Library|
Day three of the project brought us inside the home for to begin scanning the second floor. This was one of the more nerve racking parts of the entire job. The area was hazardous to put things politely. The damage from the fire was extensive and had been exposed to the elements for 34 months. The near "monsoon" rains we had a couple of weeks earlier didn't help matters much. There were areas of the floor where you could see from the second floor clear through to the basement. I was not only focused on the job, I was also ever aware that each step I took had the potential to send me through the floor and possibly through to the concrete basement below. The hazards of a collapsed, fire damaged roof and floor were not the only things to look out for. The abandoned home had become a haven for all types of critters, big and small. In three days of scanning, I saw a fox run from the basement, I saw a raccoon on the
|Second Floor Landing|
Day four was the beginning of the documentation of the first floor of the house. For this portion of the project, we decided to use the Z&F 6000 laser scanner. The difference in the scanners we used is significant and operation of both scanners on this project highlighted those differences. The range on the Z&F scanner is dramatically superior to the FARO. This allowed us to capture targets and detail of areas that we couldn't capture with the FARO. An area that we could capture in 2 scans with the Z&F would take 4 or 5 scans with the FARO. In some ways, the range of the Z&F makes up for the size and lack of mobility when compared with the FARO, in theory. (...Try telling that to a person(s) who are carrying the scanner and supporting equipment up and down several flights of stairs.) Given the lighting problems we encountered inside the house, the colorized laser scans would be more problems than they were worth. Though the Z&F scanner does not have a built in camera, it also doesn't have a lot of settings and options. It is pretty straight forward; set the scanner resolution, press the button and let it do it's job. Operating the FARO 3D Focus takes much more consideration and requires attention to the settings before each scan in order to guarantee the best quality product.
|Custom Redwood Bookshelves|
Kelley House Library
Combining the data from two different scanners used to be problematic however FARO Scene does except data collected from Leica and Z&F scanners. The key to processing the data is to convert the scans to aPTX. file. We are currently processing the data; registering all 120 scans from both scanners in FARO Scene. We expect to have the project completed and turned over to our client by the first of next week...Stay tuned for the next step in the Kelley House Project.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reality-Capture-Technology-Training-Center-at-History-Park/304789553009310