Category Archives: Planning

Future Cities :: Future of Planning

We are delighted to confirm that we have been selected as one of the shortlisted 10 projects in the Future Cities Catapult “Future of Planning” initiative.eventbrite-002-1600x800

 

 

 

 

 

https://smartcitiesworld.net/governance/smes-help-to-overhaul-uk-planning-1473

Our solution B4itsBuilt, mobilises citizen engagement through true visualisation.

This project will extend professional, accurate, real-world AR experiences into the public domain for the first time. It will deliver the template for a consumer solution to allow users to see the visual effect of a planning application. It will be possible to hold up a phone or tablet and see the impact of an application in order to enable informed engagement and increase community influence in decision making.

If you would like to be involved as a data partner, and have a project / development you would like to see – please feel free to get in touch – hello@linknode.co.uk or call us on 0141 559 6170

catapuly

 

 

VentusAR included in 3D Technology in Planning Report

This week the research report “USE OF DIGITAL AND 3D VISUALISATION TECHNOLOGY IN PLANNING FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT” was published by the Scottish Government.Planning_Report

This independent report examines the role and potential of digital imagery and 3D visualisation in the planning process in Scotland. Produced by the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, it was commissioned to inform the review of the planning system.

The report makes reference to the work of Linknode in the use, acceptance and value of 3D visualisation in planning, especially for real-time, in-situ visualisations for better contextual understanding of change and development (George – our technical director – was especially pleased as the report includes a photo of him using VentusAR at Clyde Wind Farm).

GBIt details the importance of digital equivalence in planning and how future advances in 3D visualisations should be embraced by local authorities and developers at earlier stages in the planning process to improve engagement and understanding.

Linknode entirely support this direction and look forward to on-going participation in the development of 3D visualisation in planning & development in Scotland and beyond. To be involved further, review the “Places, People and Planning” consultation of the future of the Scottish Planning System with opportunities to respond.

Report History and Scottish Planning Review

As previously blogged, this is part of the Scottish Planning Review that started with a call for evidence in September 2015.  The response to this was published in July 2016 (our comments here), leading to the commissioning of a report in October 2016 into the use of 3D visualisation technology in planning for new development.  This was funded by the Planning & Architecture Division of the Scottish Government.

Case Study: VentusAR

Out of the 44 bits of technology mentioned in the the report, our VentusAR and UrbanPlanAR solutions for delivering visualisations is noted as the only mobile augmented reality tool (see Annex A for full list).  Of course, we are also based in Glasgow making our contributions innovative, relevant and local!

The report provides a case study on VentusAR for providing in-field Augmented Reality for Agri-Renewables. The key benefits highlighted in this case study are:

  • The use of real world imagery (still or animated) provides high levels of realism for use at early stages of a project.
  • A low cost and level of risk associated with the investment in the visual representations.
  • The incorporation of real-world video enables the representation of movement in the landscape (e.g. swaying trees, vehicles) […] and thus important in coherent representation of a scene of proposed change.
  • Coherence supports the impression of credibility of visualisations.

About VentusAR

We are already providing our clients with the tools to better visualise and communicate their developments. Our online case studies include:

Green Cat Renewables

Greencat Solar visualisationWhen using VentusAR, GreenCat Renewables estimate they save 30% of the time required to visualise and assess Solar and Wind projects. Read the full case study.

 

LDA Design

VentusAR - Wind Turbine Visualisation LDALDA Design benefits from being able to rapidly evaluate projects early on in the development lifecycle and being able to clearly communicate information to clients and consultees. Read the full case study.

Hoolan Energy

Aerial photography of the Hesta Project

Hoolan Energy used VentusAR to do better public engagement for the Costa and Hesta wind projects in Orkney.   Read the full case study or watch the videos: Costa and Hesta.

 

Find out More

You can read more about VentusAR (our product for delivering visualisations in a rural environment) and UrbanPlanAR (for creating visualisations in an urban environment).

If you would like to know more about our visualisation processes and how we can help you communicate your project to stakeholders and the public, drop us a line: hello@linknode.co.uk

Invitation to Participate in the Innovate UK Visualisation Project :: UrbanPlanAR

UrbanPlanAR is designed to enhance the value of BIM information by enabling in-field visualisation from any location, in real-time – creating more engaging and accessible understanding, integrated with current processes, software and formats.

The project is a development collaboration between Linknode Ltd and Heriot-Watt University, supported by Innovate UK (grant #102040).

The solution is a disruptive technology providing a 21st century alternative to desktop-based or VR assessment without outsourcing, remodelling or expensive proprietary systems.

UrbanPlanAR solves problems of:

  • Accurate urban location positioning – without the reliance on GNSS and only using affordable off-the-shelf consumer tablets
  • Disenfranchised stakeholders – by creating visualisations (impact assessments) personalised to their location in real-time
  • Late stage visualisation after design completion – by enabling integration and viewpoints throughout a project lifecycle at no additional cost
  • Remove expensive duplication in modelling – by providing a data pipeline integrated with existing industry tools and flowlines from major vendors

In order to:

  • Maximise reuse through existing investment in BIM and digital design
  • Provide accessible understanding of impact from within local communities
  • Deliver and share data for immediacy and relevance
  • Create trustworthy visualisations to enable better decision making

As the project transitions from technical development to application design, we need partners who are:

  • In the AEC industry running an active BIM project
  • Stakeholders from planning or public engagement
  • Willing to commit time and data for a private trial
  • Able to introduce new technology into an organisation
  • Brining a passion and interest in disruptive visualisation

In the first instance, please review the current concept video with “alpha” release software:

Our next development phases will address location precision, lighting and rendering by September and we will then be looking to arrange visits to showcase the work and create a partner network.

If our vision fits with your views on the reuse of BIM: using visualisation for communication and wider engagement, please feel free to call us on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@urbanplanar.com

www.urbanplanar.com

#Viz4BIM

 

 

Planning Review Scotland – Greater use of 3D

Independent Review of Planning – Recommendations

In September 2015, the Scottish Government put out a call for evidence under the Independent Review of Scottish Planning System. Linknode submitted our response on 30th November and this week (8 July 2016) the Scottish Government Response was announced on the Planning & Architecture blog.

There are two key recommendations in this report that demonstrate foresight and vision in the fields of innovation support for planning. Particularly around the use of 3D visualisations in the planning process.

Continue reading

Community Engagement for a Hoolan Energy Wind Development in Orkney

Last week we took part in our first full hands-on community engagement experience (although VentusAR has previously been used in many events by our clients themselves).

hoolan-logo-250px-v3

We were commissioned by Hoolan Energy to provide visualisations for pre planning consultations on two Wind Farms on the Orkney Islands – Costa Head and Hesta Head.

Aerial photography of the Hesta Project

Aerial Photography Overlaid on a DTM Showing the Hesta Head Site

The first event on Wednesday was for the Costa Head site. The development is for up to five turbines up to 125m to tip.  We used a model of Vestas V105 turbines, with 72.5m height to hub and 52.5m blade length for visualisations.  Costa Head is located on the north west of the Orkney mainland and the event itself took place in the Birsay Community Hall.

On Thursday we were showcasing the Hesta Head site. Once again the development was for five Vesta V105 turbines with the same vital statistics as the Costa site. These would be located on the south east of South Ronaldsay, with the event taking place at the Cromarty Hall in St Margaret’s Hope.

We arrived with two visualisation options for each event – the first being a video show reel consisting of animated turbines displayed on viewpoint photography to demonstrate the extent of the project. The other was a bespoke piece of development work to allow instant visuals from any given postcode. This latter approach then used aerial photography as an overlay to allow quick and personalised views for attendees, allowing them to visualise the developments from any location such as their own properties or views of particular interest.

A busy couple of days saw around 150 members of the local communities attend the events, eager to understand more about the developments.  We also had the opportunity to engage with local authority planning officers and members of the community council. They were impressed with the level of information available to hand and could identify how the turbines would look from locations that matter to them.

All in all, a successful trip with feedback from “that’s a nifty bit of software” to “I can give better feedback now I know how it affects me”.

Lizzie Foot, Director at Hoolan said:

“The visualisations provided gave members of the public great quality and interactive viewpoints – the instant visuals from any given postcode were particularly well received.  Neither the show reel nor the instant visuals required internet connection and having David on hand to instantly respond to residents’ queries was helpful.  Would highly recommend and can see the benefit for future site visits in the field.”

You can read more about this on the Hoolan Energy website – http://www.hoolanenergy.com/

Please feel free to download the Hoolan_VAR_CaseStudy

If you are interested in how we can enhance your public engagement events – please get in touch on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@ventusar.com

Edinburgh’s new Garden District development – what will it look like?

In the news yesterday, Murray Estates have been granted planning permission to build 6000 houses and leisure facilities on greenbelt land just outside Edinburgh.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-36436284 

The image below represents an overview of the area the development is planned for.

edinburgh

Image courtesy of Edinburgh’s Garden District Brochure

Continue reading

I Love it When a Planning Application is Approved

Planning Application ApprovedWe noticed today that some of the solar projects we worked on in 2015 have now been approved!

You might remember, we added the solar domain to VentusAR during the summer of 2015. In the last 6 months VentusAR has been used in 24 solar planning applications. Our customers have been using VentusAR to assess and communicate the visual impact of the solar development in the following ways:

  • Landscape architects and developers are using it as a design tool to inform their design and layout process
  • Public engagement specialists are out and engaging the public by creating immediate and relevant photomontages
  • Local authorities are reviewing photomontages and wirelines to help decide if the visual impact of a project is acceptable or not

Approvals

Some successful applications we want to highlight have been submitted by Green Cat Renewables using visuals created with VentusAR. We worked closely with Green Cat to refine the solar domain (see the case study) and we are pleased that the tool has now been used to help their clients secure planning permission.

Brailsford Solar Farm

  • 1.21 MW covering 2.7 hectares in areaOutputImage_From_VentusAR
  • Reference 15/00526/FUL at Derbyshire Dales District Council
  • Application submitted: 23rd July 2015
  • Approval granted: 2nd December 2015
  • Two visualisations created using VentusAR submitted as part of the Landscape figures document
  • See full details here

Broxbournebury

  • 5 MW covering 9.06 hectaresBrailsford Solar Farm
  • Reference 07/15/0866/F at Broxbourne Borough Council
  • Application Submitted: 16th September 2015
  • Assessment done in VentusAR, but hidden on Broxbourne Borough Council planning system
  • Approval granted: 16th February 2016
  • Full details from here (search for 07/15/0866/F using Reference Search)

Planning applications

Out of those 24 projects: 15 we have no information on, 3 have been refused, 2 have been approved, 4 are still in planning. None have been refused on grounds of visual impact.[1]

planning statusVentusAR is successfully being used to communicate the impact and reduce cost and risk from the planning application process.

VentusAR for Solar

VentusAR is the only mobile tool for visualising what a ground mounted solar farm will look like before it is built. Solar farms can be setup in VentusAR from anywhere in the UK and then assessed quickly and easily using a tablet – the iPad Pro is our preferred device for community engagement. The iPad can be taken out with you on site to do assessment work, to engage with local residents and provide office or community based review and visualisation.

If you have not seen VentusAR for solar in action, give us a shout at hello@ventusar.com to hear more about it.

Notes

[1] None of the rejected applications mention visual impact as a reason for rejection. This is accurate at time of publication in February 2016.

UrbanPlanAR Call to Action – We Need Your Data!

This week we launched our new UrbanPlanAR website, where we have stated a ‘Call to Action’ to possible partners and users.

www.UrbanPlanAR.com

UrbanPlanAR is a Linknode R&D project in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, and funded by Innovate UK, and will deliver an augmented reality solution for visualising proposed urban developments.

PR

All stakeholders, including architects, developers, planning authorities as well as communities and citizens, will be able to picture planned developments within their actual urban environments in real-time.

As we launch the website, we are looking for early adopters to aide in our development of this ground-breaking solution. If you are interested in collaborating with us, sharing your data, projects and problems.

Later in 2016 we will be holding a seminar and demonstration. We welcome conversations now and to ensure that you keep up to date with news and invitations, please visit the website and get in touch. You can email us at hello@UrbanPlanAR.com

VentusAR Customer Case Study: Green Cat Renewables

Green Cat Renewables improve quality and reduce time by assessing the visual impact of renewable projects using VentusAR

Green Cat Renewables have been developing and building renewable projects in Scotland since 2005. Based across Scotland with a 70 strong dedicated team providing a flexible range of support services to renewable energy developers throughout entire projects, from site selection through to commissioning.

Green Cat need to quickly produce visuals whilst on-site to inform site design and viewpoint selection for their projects.  In addition, high quality visuals are required for assessment in three areas: landscape and visual, cultural and heritage and residential amenity.  Many projects are in remote locations so return visits for new layouts can increase development time and budgets.

The Solution

onshore150-e1438175454732In July 2014, Green Cat integrated VentusAR into their business for landscape and visual assessment.  Green Cat need to ensure quality photography is captured first time at multiple viewpoints. VentusAR helps to ensure there is no foreground clutter in the images and automatically records required metadata.  Back in the office, VentusAR is used to recreate photomontages as design layouts evolve – without the need to revisit the site.  For the first time, they have an effective way to create high quality photomontages for Residential Amenity Assessment and Culture & Heritage viewpoints. At all stages of the assessment process VentusAR helps communicate design and inform decisions made by Green Cat Renewables, their clients and Local Authorities they interact with.

solar150-e1438175420529During summer 2015, Green Cat increased their solar assessment workload. Existing tools did not provide a high enough quality output for solar visualisation. VentusAR was identified as a production tool for their solar projects. Linknode worked closely with Green Cat in order to add new functions to VentusAR and tailored these to meet specific requirements.  Green Cat determined the model dimensions and textures required for their solar visuals.  Green Cat and their clients are some of the first beneficiaries of the new capabilities that have been added to VentusAR. The solar visuals created have been used within planning submissions during 2015.

GREENCAT

The solar domain has allowed us to produce visualisations from a single platform, instead of combining a number of graphics packages, significantly reducing the time taken to get the end product. The quality of the model has improved significantly following our input and fast follow-up from the Linknode team Rob Collin, Green Cat Renewables

The Benefits

VentusAR helps Green Cat to inform and communicate visual impact within their organisation and externally with clien­ts and Local Authorities.  The viability of Wind and Solar projects is assessed faster, enabling increased business. Accurate viewpoint selection lessens on-site time and removes the need for repeat site-visits. Furthermore, quality outputs from VentusAR can be used across the lifecycle of the planning process, including final submission.  Green Cat have also been able to go on-site and show planning committees exactly what the planned development will look like, from any location.

Green Cat Renewables have been integral to the design and growth of VentusAR, and have benefited by being able to assess projects faster.

Key Facts

Number of VentusAR licenses  2
Domain  Wind and Solar
Number of wind projects created  42
Number of solar projects created  18
Time saved during typical project  30%

You can view the full case study here

If you would like to chat about using VentusAR for your wind, solar or transmission visualisations, please feel free to call us on 0141 559 6170 or drop us a line at hello@ventusar.com

 

 

Solar is Coming!

Over the past few weeks and months, we have had increasing number of enquiries about how VentusAR could be used to visualise a solar farm instead of a wind farm.device-2015-07-27-120210

Well the good news is that VentusAR 4.0 will now support ground mounted solar arrays as well as wind turbines and transmission towers.

VentusAR 4.0 is the latest upcoming release – due early August 2015.

Solar Panels

As part of the testing of farm-scale solar functionality, we put 400 panels in a field just north of Glasgow and loaded everything onto the iPad. It probably took about 30 minutes to set the up the project and most of that was spent working out the position of each mounting (we’ll work on optimising this for developers who don’t have desktop GIS to design and plan).

20150725_074419_0_47bac938-a255-4dfd-9ed9-61ea2275e196_render20150725_075241_4_bfa831ab-211b-43db-83f7-d128c8b4a5e0_render20150725_074745_2_da9afcfe-9caa-4139-a831-943e1d3ef973_render

 

 

 

 

We then headed out onsite to take some photography. Two viewpoints were chosen – fairly close together, and we simply pointed the tablet towards the field. The solar panels showed up in their correct location and imagery was captured. Some masking and we have four high resolution photomontages of what this solar farm would look like. Total amount of work: less than 1 hour from start to finish.

20150725_075056_3_10bdd8d6-d409-4b0d-b5c9-e35c5d91b613_render

This functionality will be available in VentusAR 4.0 – due to be released early August. If this is something you would like to discuss further, or would like to set up a demonstration, please contact us at hello@linknode.co.uk or call us on 0141 559 6170