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Forethought takes NZ architects to the forefront

Announcement posted by 12D Solutions 23 Apr 2002

New Zealand firm, Gary Pidd Architect Ltd, has moved to the cutting edge of technology with its innovative use of 12d Model civil and surveying software from 4D Solutions, for an ongoing project to build a database of more than 200 schools.

The project involved surveying each site and recording all buildings and features such as paving, ramps, trees, play equipment, covered walkways, car parking facilities, sealed areas and grass areas. The information was then converted into DWG files for supply to the customer.

The firm had previously won a smaller contract to survey schools, but completed this project by hand. When competing for this larger contract, Gary Pidd Architect investigated modern equipment, such as 4D Solutions 12d Model, to determine the benefits it could offer.

True first-time users, the firm had not previously used any surveying software, having previously only used manual theodolites. Gary Pidd initially found the New Zealand distributor for 12d Model on the Internet using a search engine. Sokkia in Wellington gave the firm a demonstration of Sokkia instruments and 12d Model software.

Mr Pidd was impressed from the outset. With Sokkia, we went to a school site, took some measurements, then went back to our office and downloaded them straight onto our computer from the data recorder, he said.

We wanted a system which functioned so that when we coded the data in the field, it was automatically given colours, linestyles, symbols such as trees and flagpoles at points when downloaded and reduced. With no extra work, it was then all there as a basic outline of the school, he explained.

Other choices of equipment for the contract included an aerial photograph system and GPS, which Gary Pidd Architect discovered could not provide the accuracy needed for this job. Using a practise version of 12d Model, combined with the intended use of Sokkia instruments, the Gary Pidd Architect firm put together its proposal, and its chosen methodology won it the contract.

The company has completed plans for 20 schools to date, and estimates that the project will take a further nine months to complete. It
has calculated the amount of time saved using 12d Model rather than previous methods to be approximately 20 percent.

The program is so tailorable, Mr Pidd said. You dont have to know all the codes involved; you just use the one system that you have set up - its brilliant. Some sites have up to 400 measurements, yet you come back into the office with them, and 15 minutes later, there you are with a plan.

Another aspect of using 4Ds software that the firm found particularly helpful was the ability to download data files on-site and email
them back to the main office. Some of the schools are miles away, so this feature was a great help for us, said Mr Pidd.

Gary Pidd Architect plans to use 12d Model on all future work, stating, We will never use just the old theodolite equipment again.

About 4D Solutions:
12d Model (previously known as 4d Model) was developed by Australian specialist software house 4D Solutions Pty Ltd. It is currently in use at organisations in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

4D Solutions Pty Ltd is a privately owned Australian company established in 1988. Based in Sydney, the company sells and supports 12d Model direct and through distributors.

For more information, please call: 4D Solutions Pty Ltd, ph: 02 9970 7117, fax: 02 9970 7118 or visit the 4D Solutions websites at www.4d.com.au and www.12d.com.

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