3D Laser Scanners Used to Capture Historical Buildings

3D Laser Scanners Used to Capture Historical Buildings

When the Director of Texas Technology College of Architecture, Robert González arrived in El Paso, a 90 year old building was in the midst of burning down. The following year, another historical building was lost in a fire. This inspired González to create a 3D replica of downtown El Paso using laser scanners, in an effort to preserve the heritage.

The Architecture school is moving downtown this June, as they will benefit from close proximity to historical buildings and a constantly changing environment. The school’s 60 students are researching additional projects they can get involved with, including finding uses for unused buildings.

However, 3D scanning is the priority, given that it protects endangered buildings from being forgotten. Robert González is not the first person with this idea. Elizabeth Louden, a teacher at Texas Tech believes she was one of the first to use the technology, back in 1999 when the university acquired their first 3D scanner. She recently created a 3D model of the Statue of Liberty and demonstrated the uses of the 3D scanning technology to the El Paso Architects, in preparation for them to begin their project.

Although there are differences in what they are scanning, both Louden and González are motivated by the need to preserve. González was shocked when he discovered that only a few of El Paso’s historical buildings had been documented, and there would be no record of them should they disappear.

Aside from offering the students a unique opportunity to document the architecture in El Paso, Texas Tech will now offer a new certificate in historic preservation. In the future, González hopes to grow the program by developing a Master’s Degree Program, instead of just offering a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture.

Whether it is used to document historical buildings for detailed records, or to rebuild structures in case of damages, it is clear that 3D scanning has many uses in architecture.




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