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Is Laying Out A Foundation With Gps Faster
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As everyone knows if you start out right on a project everything else is easier throughout the project, so I would like to tell you about the GPS layout system that I saw in operation on a construction site in Greenfield MA.

The building had many angles to it, I was on the job on some business and the Foreman for the concrete crew knew me from other projects, so he showed me the drawing, I had to confess that it would be very time consuming for me to layout the building using the way I learned to do it.

He showed me a computer model of the building on the site, all the column lines were listed on the computer model and he had a small computer with a screen on it that he took out in the field with him to keep track of where he was. It showed a 3d picture of the building on the screen. The foreman could also take pictures with the unit to keep track of the construction process.

He had a total station on a tripod off to the side of the job. He carried a prism with him that he used to shoot the hubs or points that he needed for the building. The Foremen showed me the hubs he shot the day before, he set up the total station then went to check them and they were still in the proper location.

With a GPS robotic total station one person could do the layout that it usually took two people to do when I used to layout buildings and also it only took him about 5 minutes to locate a column line that was at a 37.5 degree angle from the outside wall, the unit also give you the square line to itself so that you could install the 5’x5’ pier box as it showed on the drawing.

My next question was this is great out in the field, but who does the 3d image of the building for you on the computer. The foreman said that their company has a engineer that does the 3d imaging in their office for the GPS robotic total station. Not all companies have someone on their staff to do this work, but there are engineers that will do this for the smaller contractors.

I followed the Foreman around for about another half hour and he installed about 10 more points none of which were at a 90 degree angle to the outside walls. This was very enlightening to me and one of these days I will learn how to operate this equipment.

In closing I would like to say that everyone that is in construction these days have to be on the lookout for labor saving ways to do each operation on a construction site. The foreman on site needs to have training on the advances in the construction field and every foreman that works in the field that actually constructs foundations and the walls of the building should have training in the GPS robotic total station.


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