Engineering Project Case Studies | Erdman Anthony

Laser Scanning and Surveying

In 2010, Erdman Anthony integrated laser-scanning technology with traditional surveying to build a 3-D CADD model of the tunnels at Wards Island’s wastewater pollution control plant. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection needed the model to construct a new steam heating system due to the decommissioning of the existing shared heating plant.

The island’s wastewater plant serves over 1 million people in the western Bronx and on the East Side of Manhattan. Decades of modifications at the plant, which was constructed in the 1930s, resulted in inaccurate and incomplete records of which utility lines existed in the tunnels and where they were located.

By integrating GPS control, surveying, and laser scanning, our firm produced a 3-D model of 6,000 linear feet of tunnels and their contents.

The model, which was dimensionally and spatially accurate within a quarter of an inch, allowed engineers to lay out the proposed pipes within it and “build” the new system in virtual reality. That process eliminated having to adjust the routing in the tunnels during construction if other pipes or equipment were in the way.

In the end, our firm saved this publicly funded project time and money.


Award icon
2011 Diamond Award
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of New York
Award icon
2011 National Recognition Award
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), National
David Standinger, PLS, PSM
David Standinger, PLS, PSM
 585-427-8888 x 1070


Heating Utility Upgrade

WE&T (Water Environment and Technology)

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