The Re/Cap – Issue #13: Jordanian Preservation + Securing Digital Twins + AI’ing Construction Waste

It is Tuesday Re/Cappers! And we get a bit historic today, with a lead story on a scan-to-preserve mission.

The site at hand dates back two thousand years, making most nations comparative babies.


The site is itself a tyke, at least compared to the oldest 3D preservation gig; the 20,000-year-old Lascaux Cave Paintings of Southwestern France.
The reconstruction of the Hall of the Bulls at Lascaux II
Honestly, is it cooler that we can see cave paintings, or preserve and reconstruct them via technology?Image credit Getty Images/VCG Wilson/Corbis.
People, that’s paleolithic times. Meaning, Willie Nelson just missed it (relax, we love Willie, he’d laugh too). Bon voyage!

Detailing the digitized model
Detailing the VR experience
Virtual tour of the caves (do, not, miss, this)

What’s Cappenin’ This Week: A first-century village gets preserved, digital twinning GCs get a suggestion, algorithms reduce our jobsite rubbish, Hexagon gets handy, and an AEC Error of the Week that’s just a total pane in the butt.

Last week on rainforests scanned from the stars, AI mining looming large, European infrastructure dining at a reality capture buffet, digital twins turning supply chains from loosey-goosey to iron-clad, and a Las Vegas AEC Error of the Week, where the MGM Grand was once the MGM Damn.

10 Months, 200 Structures: The Scanned Preservation of Umm-el Jimal

“Ruins are reflections of a perfect whole that once existed,” Calvin University’s Archaeology Director Darrell Rohl says.

And thanks to a Fulbright scholarship, he’s got a dream set of them. And whereas current archeological drawings seldom showcase 1-meter resolution, Rohl’s elated to live in the 15-mm domain.
Umm al-Jimal remains of black basalt buildings
Who needs Air Jordan when you can scan Rare Jordan? Image credit Universe in Universes.
This September, he will commence ten months of laser scanning Umm el-Jimal, a Jordanian village that originated in the first century A.D. under the Nabatean people. Read about the history, the technology, and the varied ambitions of the project that can serve students, professionals, and society alike.

2FA 2.0: Cybersecurity and General Contractors in the Digital Twin Boom

Technology can be like a game of pong, only with the ball exclusively traveling upward. One side’s paddle is innovation, but the other?

Cyber threats.
Computer hacker
As if labor shortage, codes, and materials costs weren’t enough for GCs, imagine dealing with this miscreant. Image credit Bill Hinton/Getty.
This is the concern of the four co-authors of a sweeping research paper, who suggest general contracting firms “be proactive in fostering a cybersecurity culture” as they expand BIM & digital twin initiatives. While far from doomsayers, the authors present a take-your-vitamins kind of paper, amidst the (justifiable) hype within IoT and digital twins. Full paper below, published on ScienceDirect.

AI is Decoding Debris So We Can be Construction Waste-Free

Construction sites are to waste, what toddlers are to messes – creators; so much so that 50% of global landfills are filled with worksite rubbish. And beyond BIM modeling estimates, there’s a dearth of tools to categorize waste types.

But have no fear, AI is here.
Wastes from construction materials and products industry
Well, uh, at least concrete is easy to recycle! Sigh….. Image credit University of Nottingham.
An international collaboration between Northumbria University and King Fahd University aims to harness AI technology to quantify and analyze construction waste on site. The endgame? Add value to circular economy models by minimizing the staggering volumes that end up in landfills. Catch the dump details below, courtesy of Planning, Building, & Construction Today.

Hexagon Was Already a Paragon. Now Meet Their First Handheld 3D Scanners.

Hexagon doesn’t just break barriers of what’s possible, but where it’s possible, and their latest unveilings exemplify it.
Hexagon Atlascan Marvelscan
All nooks, all crannies, no problem. Image credit Canadian Metalworking.
The stalwart Swedish company’s Manufacturing Intelligence division recently introduced the ATLASCAN Max and MARVELSCAN handheld 3D scanners. These marvels simplify part measurement and digitization in numerous fields where metrology – or even just groundbreaking technology – are not traditions. Aerospace Manufacturing and Design has a thorough analysis below, elucidating hole-flash capture mode, some built-in photogrammetric glory, and much more.


Shangri-La tower in downtown Vancouver
The Shangri-La in Vancouver, Canada. Image credit The Province.
When Vancouver’s ritzy Shangri-La tower opened in 2009, residents were eager to soak in million-dollar city views through swanky floor-to-ceiling window-walls.

What they got was interior fogging, cracked panes, and even spontaneous shattering. Oh, add on the 70% of IGUs (insulated glass units) “failing prematurely by decades.” You know stuff’s bad when IGU shelf life is in the same territory as manager’s special avocados.

It culminated in a $6.6 million glass-action lawsuit, on top of $65 million in repairs and some sneaky cover-up shenanigans.

Reality capture could have been a glass-full option before these problematic panes were even greeted by residents. Metrology, scanning and photogrammetry could have nipped the swarm of manufacturing defects in the bud. During construction, scanning could have ensured precise installation and alignment of windows, reducing stress points, while photogrammetry could have provided detailed visual records to detect installation flaws early. Sure the building was 62 stories – that’s a morning stretch for drones!

BIM models could have identified weaknesses or incompatibilities, preventing issues related to thermal expansion and contraction. Regular thermal scans could have identified unusual temperature variations that might indicate seal or insulation failures. This is grand, as nickel sulfide is believed to have been among the likeliest instigators of this glass warfare. Nickel sulfide is tricky, but it ain’t impervious to thermal imaging capabilities.

And all that precedes the proactive maintenance and monitoring ushered in by achieving smart building status.

Some cautionary tale it is, about rigorously validating manufacturing, installation and performance! Shangri-La? More like Shangri-LOL (it’s okay, no one was hurt – only wallets).

Mini Re/Caps, Podcasts, and Media

Happy capturing, and we’ll see you in next week’s Re/Cap! If you liked what you just read, a share will do the industry a built-world of good! 

R-CON 2024 Announced

October 8 - 10, 2024
Boise, Idaho

Reserve your ticket, submit a speaker or panelist application, or explore exhibitor and sponsorship options!