ACEC-IL Awards TWM Top State Award for 3D Scanning of National Archives Project

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February 2011 – At the 40th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards, TWM was named one of the 12 top “Honor Award” winners and the top winner in the “Surveying & Mapping Technology” category. The Illinois Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies selected TWM for its work on the Rock City Business Complex National Archives & Records Administration National Personnel Records Center Annex II in Valmeyer, Illinois. ACEC-IL bestowed the honor, the highest award at the state level, at its annual meeting near Chicago on February 4.

ACEC-IL recognized TWM for its cutting edge 3D laser scanning of the interior of a former limestone mine in Valmeyer. TWM used the 3D scanning technology to map and model the mine’s surfaces for the 75,000 sq. ft. expansion of the National Archives space known as Annex II. The highly accurate data collected during this process was used to create a 3D model of the space. Designers could then configure the space in the most efficient manner possible for National Archives storage. 

The highly detailed survey allowed developer Joe Koppeis, of Admiral Parkway, Inc., to meet a very tight construction timeline with minimal construction change orders. Where traditional land surveying, in which the surveyor must select and shoot each individual point, would have been time- and cost-prohibitive, TWM’s 3D scanning solution proved indispensable to economically achieving the level of precision required for designing walls and shelving units, delineating fire sprinklers and exit routes, and trenching water mains into solid rock.

TWM’s unique use of the scanning technology made possible the repurposing of this formerly abandoned mine into usable office and storage space with numerous benefits to the surrounding community. The National Archives has become one of the largest employers in Valmeyer, bringing 130 jobs to the community. Without the cost savings created by TWM’s use of 3D scanning, such development would not be possible. The job creation and increased spending associated with the project is also a boon to the local economy. In addition, the use of underground space results in lower energy consumption, reduced use of building materials and minimal maintenance costs compared with aboveground facilities.

The use of 3D scanning at Rock City is just one example of the various projects that can benefit from the use of 3D scanning. TWM has assisted a number of clients with a wide variety of projects using 3D scanning, including mapping the network of pipes in the digester building of the Belleville Wastewater Treatment Plant, modeling an underground storm sewer in order to run a sanitary sewer main inside it thereby avoiding costly street excavation, and surveying busy intersections without disrupting the flow of traffic. If you think you have a project that could benefit from 3D scanning, please call J.R. Landeck, P.L.S., E.I. in our Swansea Survey Department at (618) 624-4488.