Tag Archives: metric

Measured Drawings on Paper

Basilique St Denis: side and end views of double butress & window

Basilique St Denis: side and end views of double butress & window

Here I have posted a couple of older drawings from the nineties.  Both are scanned images of prints. The first is a sample of the types of drawings that we were making at Innova for the Basilique St. Denis located north of Paris.  We were charged to create drawings that could delineate each individual construction unit so that a stone mason could make a detailed assessment of the conditions of each, record it, and turn the whole set of documents into a work order.  Some stones were to be completely replaced, others scaled back and replaced with a new facing, many were in fine condition etc. etc.

The second image shows a print of a drawing after such an assessment was made for the terra cotta, masonry and stone cladding that compose the Ocean City City Hall in NJ.  A coding system was devised for individual construction units and linked to a data base.   This print was given to me years ago when I was based in New Haven, CT by Michael Henry of Watson Henry Associates.  While it is possible to create such a document digitally in the field with a tablet computer and so forth, I think that this methodology (making detailed drawings to be printed to appropriate scale onto paper) is still valid today.  Many restoration projects are harsh environments and approaching them with a good set of drawings in hand can be indispensable for creating an accurate record of a hands on assessment.

These paper documents also have archival value in a way that digital files do not.  I once was doing a project like this in New York City. By day I was in the field marking up sheets with a four color pen and by night I was entering my info into my lap top in my hotel room.  (This was valuable because I was able to foresee questions and resolve them the following day before returning to Virginia).  Then on a Thursday morning my hard drive did not wake up and had to be sent out for “emergency disc recovery” – a harrowing experience.  But I had my work backed up to the previous Friday so all I really lost was the data entry from my field sheets to my drawings.  I was so happy to have paper in hand to bring back and use the following week while I waited for my lap top to come back from the dead…

Ocean City City Hall - WHA

Ocean City City Hall - WHA

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IAT and creating measured drawings of really large buildings

iat-ICC_01After returning to the United States in 1992, I started a company with my friend and fellow architect, Ben Frombgen. We were based in New Haven, CT, and the company was called Innovative Architectural Technologies (IAT).  I am nearly certain that we were the first photogrammetric service bureau in the nation.

This was a challenge.  At the time, out-sourcing was not very common among architects.  A lot of architects were yet to start taking advantage of computer aided drafting software (CAD).  And we were complete novices at running a business!  One of our first big breaks at the time was landing a job with RTKL to do measured drawings of one of the buildings located in the federal triangle.  It was a huge project and we delivered everything on time.  The drawings were detailed enough to provide a unit by unit survey of this magnificent stone structure.  I remember that we had to do everything in metric units and that this requirement was what pushed us to buy our first laser.  It was a Leica Disto, which could provide accurate measurments in english or metric units. Back then the Disto was about the size of box of spaghetti.  I’m now on my third or fourth Disto; they keep getting smaller and more powerful.

Hand-held Laser Measuring device

Hand-held Laser Measuring device