Historic Home Returns to Original Grandeur with Aid of Modern Technology

PBS&J Puts 3D Laser Scanning to Work for Restoration

Danville, VA – The Penn-Wyatt House, an architectural masterpiece of the 19th century, survived the onslaught of a fierce tornado in 2004—though not without significant damage. Parts of its classic turreted pavilion and custom patterned and colored slate roof were torn from the house and dropped on the front lawn.

Undaunted, the home’s owners hired local contractors to return the mansion to its original glory. The turreted pavilion was rebuilt using most of the original material—with the exception of the slate tile roof, which had shattered into thousands of pieces.   

A specialty roofing company was called in to design and manufacture custom-fit roof tiles to finish the historical reconstruction. “The challenge was that each of tiles had to match the curved face of the turreted pavilion to create the perfect fit,” said Aliceson Straley of the Ludowici Roof Tile company of New Lexington, Ohio. “Capturing the geometry needed to create these custom tiles using conventional survey techniques would have been impossible.”

PBS&J’s 3D high definition laser scanning surveying technology was used to define the conical roofline geometry and exact measurements needed for each replacement tile. It only took a few hours for the PBS&J survey team to complete the survey, while standing on the Penn-Wyatt grounds

Laser scanning is an increasingly common, quick and cost-effective method to gather as-built data on structures. The laser scanner emits a narrow laser beam that scans and captures the associated 3D geometry of the object. By taking several scans around the pavilion, the surveyors were able to align or ‘register’ the entire scene into a single 3D point cloud.  Once the data were post-processed, PBS&J provided the contractor with complete 3D CAD drawings of the entire turreted area.

With over four years of high definition surveying (HDS) experience and over 40 years of surveying experience, PBS&J is a complete 3D laser scanning, GPS/RTK and conventional surveying provider.

About PBS&J
PBS&J (www.pbsj.com) is an employee-owned firm that provides infrastructure planning, engineering, construction management, architecture, and program management services to public and private clients. The firm is ranked by Engineering News-Record as 25th among the nation’s top consulting firms. PBS&J has 3,900 employees and more than 75 offices located throughout the United States and abroad.