Laser scanning technologies have improved the way measurements are taken and allows businesses to build, upgrade, and create new services derived from their capabilities. Established in 2016, property measurement firm London Quarter has realized significant benefits from the advances of laser scanning technology, and has applied new solutions to deliver measurements across many different types of projects, including office, retail, industrial, leisure, and residential properties. However, a strong focus on commercial infrastructure paired with a unique approach towards workflows and delivering value to clients is what’s set London Quarter apart from competitors in the property measurement space.
Robert Mayhew, Co-founder and Managing Director of London Quarter and a chartered surveyor with 25 years’ experience in commercial property valuation, works on providing real estate advice to property owners, investors and lenders. As a former Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) global vice-president and chairman of RICS Europe, he was also a part of the RICS Leadership Team between 2012 and 2015. At London Quarter, he now oversees the production and delivery of everything from straightforward floor plans to 3D models of spaces and fly-through videos.
“When we first launched the business laser scanning was just another option for measurement services, but it alerted us to the existence and possibilities of devices that were more accurate than we had been using up until that point,” says Robert. That’s when he and Eddie Yla, Head of Technical Services at London Quarter, discovered the Leica BLK360 compact laser imaging scanner. With one-button operation, the BLK360 captures detailed 360°, HDR spherical imagery and accurate point clouds in minutes.
When we purchased the BLK360 there were no other products on the market that compared, it ticked a lot of boxes for us and was perfect for the core work that we do, providing high quality data and precision.
“The accuracy and output you can get from laser scanning, opposed to pad and paper, is extremely advanced,” assures Robert. “Additionally, you always have the option of going back and walking through a property with the 360° images.” Before the BLK360, Robert and his team used to rely on more simplistic devices or even, in some circumstances, a tape measure to deliver their services—today the laser scanner has become a crucial element of their day to day workflow.
Working primarily for property consultants, London Quarter focuses on addressing their clients’ needs to accurately measure spaces. Developers themselves are also among their core client base as they constantly need to know exactly what architects and contractors have designed and built—as well as possessing powerful marketing assets such as 3D imagery that help them virtually showcase their property to interested parties.
Robert and his team recently worked on a project for BNP Paribas Real Estate, which involved scanning two warehouses in Hoddesdon to establish their floor area and to calculate their volume. The volume of a warehouse, or its cubic area, is of key importance for both the tenants and operators of such buildings. High bay warehouses are frequently an essential requirement for companies and, with the use of robotics allowing for efficient use of warehouse space, calculating the area of this property type will be soon based on volume rather than floor area.
The Leica BLK360 at scan locations compared with the point cloud data it produced
The project’s onsite work with the BLK360 took one day to complete, with around 200 scans taken during that time. After scanning, the data collected was processed on the Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 software which produced the floor plan for delivery to the client in a RICS-compliant area referencing report.
Point cloud data captured by the Leica BLK360
“If we want to be able to compete with the big players and offer something cutting-edge and efficient, we needed to get involved with the latest technology,” says Robert. “People take floor plans for granted and what we’re trying to do is educate our clients that they must not always just rely on what they see in front of them.”