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Brent Cross Town £7bn development improves workflows with new drone software

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

An interesting article from sUAS News on how the Argent / Barnet Council JV are using drone technology combined with photogrammetry software to improve efficiencies in groundworks surveys. This undoubtably saved them time and money by using drones to map the site and also to build 3D point clouds with textured meshes to give 3D perspectives of the existing site. It will be interesting to see whether current and future main contractors will utilise the technology too.

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Brent Cross Town, a joint venture between Argent Related and Barnet Council, is using Site Scan drone flight management and image processing software from Esri UK to improve the efficiency of groundworks surveys and how it communicates progress of the new neighbourhood. 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, incorporating 50 acres of parks and playing fields. Delivering 6,700 new homes and 3m sq ft of office space for 25,000 employees, the town will be a major new office destination. New and sustainable transport links, a high street, local amenities, services and world-class sports facilities are also part of the scheme.

Previously, drone surveys were commissioned to third parties on an ad-hoc basis, with outputs defined by the business purpose they were satisfying, such as project management, logistical planning, marketing or legal. Brent Cross Town 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.”

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