Innovation In Structural Investigation


GBG recently carried out a pilot Measured Building Survey of Casa del at Hearst Castle; designed by Julia Morgan in the 20’s, the building is now in the care of California State Parks. This historically important California landmark comprises numerous intricate buildings and interesting interiors; some of the rooms include completes examples of European Castles and churches which Hearst collected and decorated with works of art.

Julia Morgan’s original design drawings are carefully archived; however no current as-built architectural data exists. Given that the castle has suffered past earthquake damage and even a terrorist attack; this lack of historical information creates a risk that, should extensive damage to the building occur, much of this important architecture might be lost forever.

The intention here however was not simply to provide information that would gather dust (electronically speaking) in an inventory; a new set of AutoCAD tools now provides an opportunity for collection of all sorts of information including but certainly not limited to building materials (type, condition…), interior decoration (paints, plasters, mouldings…), M&E Services and even resident artifacts (type, location, value…). As a process this is now being referred to as Electronic Collection Management and the information gathered forms the basis for repairs and maintenance, security planning and even may help create accurate models for the visitor’s center.

In order to evaluate survey needs for such a complicated project GBG integrated a 3D Laser Scanning Survey with interiors documented through the use of Photogrammetry. The results were presented as conventional 2D plans and elevations, 3D models and a scaled rectified image of the principal room.

The deliverables were well received by our Client as they are user friendly, accurate and ultimately will help to preserve the Castle’s history.

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