Home » £7bn Brent Cross Town adopts Esri’s drone software

£7bn Brent Cross Town adopts Esri’s drone software

by Sion Geschwindt
£7bn Brent Cross Town puts drones to work

Brent Cross Town, a joint venture between Argent Related and Barnet Council, is using Esri UK’s Site Scan drone flight management and image processing software to improve the efficiency of groundworks surveys and the communication of site progress to the wider community.

The software is being used to create 3D point clouds, textured meshes, video, and 360-degree panoramas, enabling highly accurate and consistent updates to be shared amongst all stakeholders as the development progresses.

A new park town for both Barnet and London, Brent Cross Town is an ambitious new neighbourhood spanning 180 acres and delivering 6,700 new homes and 3m sq ft of office space for 25,000 employees.

Developers wanted to create a more consistent and efficient method of monitoring site progress and make the overall drone programme easier to manage.

Lily Wydra, GIS, Land and Property Manager at Argent Related, explained: “Before Site Scan we had no pre-existing software specifically for planning flights or managing and processing drone imagery outputs.

“Now we have a consistent framework for managing all flights through our supply chain, processing images, creating high quality geospatially-enabled outputs and disseminating them to multiple stakeholders.

“As a cloud-based service, Site Scan also means we can work seamlessly with contractors, such as civil engineering contractor Galldris Services Ltd, who we’ve currently requested to carry out drone survey work.” 

‘Eyes in the sky’

The drone team at Galldris has been regularly flying drone surveys with its fleet of DJI drones and using Esri Site Scan under Argent’s operator licence, since March 2021.

Galldris has also been helping to maintain part of the network of GCPs (Ground Control Points) to aid in the auto-georeferencing of drone imagery.

The team now processes monthly drone outputs to support internal operations and delivers them to Argent who utilise and disseminate them through a collection of ArcGIS Online maps and apps.

Outputs include 3D point clouds which have been helping construction managers, technical teams and contractors understand how changes in site topography will impact the site and for performing volumetric calculations, on how much earth needs to be excavated and removed.

While video, static images, and 360-degree panoramas have been used to provide project teams, investors and the public with engaging visual updates on construction progress and by legal teams when working on leases with potential tenants.

Wydra continued: “Site Scan has enabled us to create a formalised and repeatable approach for generating digital drone outputs, irrespective of the survey provider, which is also proving to be more cost effective than commissioning one-off surveys.

“Drone usage is increasing so having a scalable framework to manage flights and streamline the integration of data captured into GIS, BIM and CAD workflows is proving invaluable. Ultimately, better drone outputs support a better data-driven decision-making process.”

Image credit: Brent Cross Town

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