Erdman Anthony was hired to assist a specialized team of architects with
exterior repair and restoration of the historic world headquarters of Eastman
Kodak Company in downtown Rochester, NY. The lower 15 stories of the Kodak
Office tower were originally built in 1913. The top four stories, mansard roof,
and cupola, which were added in 1930, are adorned with terra-cotta tile. A
recent study had addressed problematic deterioration and cracks in the tiles,
and the results of the study prompted Kodak to begin efforts to restore the
Accurate and detailed elevation drawings of the tower were
critical to the success of the project and were to be used as a base for
documenting existing conditions as well as for the design of restoration work.
Using 3-D laser scanning technology, Erdman Anthony took less than two
weeks to scan the entire exterior of the building, obtaining approximately
84,000 square feet (surface area) of 3-D façade data. Multiple scans were made
of the tower from 32 vantage points around the building. These individual scans
were then "registered" together to form one point cloud of the overall tower.
Prior to scanning, a network of GPS control points was set up around the tower.
By scanning targets, which were set up over these control points, along with the
face of the tower, each scan was related to a common coordinate system and
elevation datum. In this case, the datums were the New York State Plane
Coordinate System North American Datum (NAD) 1983 and the North American
Vertical Datum (NAVD) 1988. By tying the scans to these commonly used datums,
the tower is now on an easily reproducible spatial reference system.
Erdman Anthony collected points in each scan on a 1 cm x 1 cm grid. By
overlapping adjoining scans, the final point data grid was of an even higher
resolution. In all, the final point cloud was made up of over 60 million points.
As a quality control check, Erdman Anthony personnel went back to the building
to field check the drawings from safe locations, such as balconies and the upper
promenades. This field edit verified that features had been mapped to a level of
detail of at least ¼ of an inch.
Erdman Anthony was able to provide the
project architect with cost-effective, accurate, to-scale drawings, showing
parts of the tower's façade in intricate detail. The project's architectural
restoration specialists then used these elevation drawings to record the
condition of the building tile-by-tile. Without these drawings, the architect
would have had to rely on a much more laborious and error-prone method of
hand-measuring and sketching façade components, or rely on non-scalable
An unusual consideration was the presence of Mariah, the
peregrine falcon that had nested at the top of Kodak tower each year to raise
chicks. Mariah was a community icon and disturbing her or her brood was a major
concern. By using the laser scanning technology, Erdman Anthony captured
Mariah's home and immediate habitat without disturbing anyone. In fact, Erdman
Anthony crews were on-site during the week that the falcon chicks hatched.
Utilizing laser-scan-generated drawings, Erdman Anthony enabled the
architectural team to spend less time in a dangerous situation; cut the
likelihood of error by reducing the amount of manual data collection required;
allowed an extraneous consideration--Mariah the peregrine falcon-- to remain
in the area without disturbance; and brought timeliness and accuracy to the
Kodak Office Tower project.
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Erdman Anthony is a multidisciplinary firm specializing in infrastructure engineering and support services.
The Erdman Anthony headquarters is located in Rochester, NY. We have 250+ personnel dispersed throughout offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maine and Florida.
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