CTDOT Waterbury Bus Storage & Maintenance Facility Immersive Infrastructure Visualization Generation

Watertown, CT

AI Engineers, Inc. (AI) provided Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) services as well as contributed to the Building Information Model (BIM) for the Waterbury Bus Storage and Maintenance Facility. This $100 million, 400,000-sf. building sits on 30 acres in Watertown, CT.

As a value-added service to the original project, AI used UAS technology to collect data that was processed into a number of deliverables, which aided AI’s construction inspection team. AI deployed DJI Matrice 210 RTK and DJI Phantom 4 Pro UASs on multiple occasions throughout the final year of the project to acquire this information. AI also used TLS as part of this project to collect additional data. A Leica BLK360 was used to capture the entrance façade and underside of the cantilevered section of the building since the UAS would not be able to see below this second-story level from above. In addition, AI contributed to the project’s BIM model with MEP and fire protection design. The model, paired with the UAS and TLS data, served as a means of clash detection and construction progress monitoring for AI’s inspectors.  

This UAS, TLS, and BIM data was repurposed for use in a fully immersive virtual reality (VR) model of the bus facility and project site. Utilizing Oculus VR technology, AI developed an efficient workflow to generate these environments. With the use of the Oculus Go mobile VR system, AI has the ability to take these immersive models to clients without the necessity of external computers, sensors, and wires.

A distinct benefit of creating these immersive visualizations is the ability to vastly improve project collaboration. Rather than deliberating over traditional 2D drawings or navigate a point cloud and 3D model, designers and clients can place themselves into a real-world environment where they can collectively discuss, notate, measure, and view elements of a project. Multiple parties in separate physical locations can all meet within the same VR model and elevate the level of decision-making, design, and planning tremendously. 

This VR model and the process of its creation was presented at the 2019 MassDOT Transportation Innovation Conference in Worcester, MA. 

Highlights 

  • Client: CTDOT
  • Duration: 2018-2019
  • Project Scope:
    • Fully immersive VR environment
    • Integration of UAS, TLS, and BIM data
    • Development of visualization generation workflow