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Archive for July, 2009

Property prices carry on rising

July 30th, 2009 2 comments
Property Prices Rising

Property Prices Rising

House prices have risen for the third month in a row this month, putting them higher than at any other time in the year.

Figures from the Nationwide show the average value of a UK home rose by 1.3 per cent during the month to stand at £158,871.

Over the first seven months of 2009, prices have risen by an average of 1.3 per cent and could go even higher, the building society said.

The Nationwide’s chief economist Martin Gahbauer added: “Only a few months ago such an outcome would have appeared unthinkable.”

June saw a 9.3 per cent year-on-year decline in average prices, but this jumped to 6.2 per cent in July, and adds to Bank of England data showing the number of mortgages approved for house purchase rose for the fifth month in a row during June to the highest level for more than a year.

Nationwide puts February as the lowest point of the market, with prices registering a 17.6 per cent annual decline.

The building society said house values had been “remarkably resilient” so far this year despite the deepening recession and rising unemployment.


Leica GS50 GPS System

July 27th, 2009 Comments off
Leica GS50 GPS System

Leica GS50 GPS System

One of our regular contributors has 3no Leica GS50 GPS Systems for sale, so we agreed to place
them on here to help promote what is a fantastic piece of kit at a great price.

Top of the line GPS/GIS system, the ultimate in accuracy and performance.

By far the most reliable and accurate GPS/GIS data collection system on the market, the GS50 offers a variety of solutions for every application. The GS50 can be used for stand alone post processing as well as real-time DGPS. Its ability to track GPS signals in the most challenging environments, using Leica’s patented MaxTrak™ technology, means there is never any downtime. Add to this a rugged hand-held terminal with a full QWERTY keyboard, the biggest and best daylight visible display and Leica’s intuitive GIS DataPRO™ software package, you have the definitive tool for intelligent data collection.

These won’t be around for long so, for more information please visit second hand Leica GS50 System

Full specification


The Oxford Academy

July 25th, 2009 1 comment
Oxford Academy

Oxford Academy

Willmott Dixon has secured a £30+ million contract to build Oxford Academy’s new home on Sandy Lane West, in Oxford.

The project, for Oxfordshire County Council, will provide facilities for up to 1,050 secondary school students and up to 400 sixth form pupils, including a 150-place specialist sports academy and will be built on the grounds of the former Peers School, which was replaced by Oxford Academy in 2008.

Willmotts will also build a special educational needs school on the campus.

The academy’s structure will be a mix of concrete, steel and timber frame and the existing school will be refurbished to blend with the new buildings.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed by autumn 2011.


Productivity or Procrastination?

July 21st, 2009 1 comment

The future of CAD is MOBILE!

The future of CAD is MOBILE!

The future of CAD is MOBILE

Isn’t it amazing to think that just five years ago virtually all surveyors took pencil and pad, tape measure or possibly a laser measuring device out into the field and spent several hours measuring up sites, buildings and all related detail before returning to the office to redraw the detail into their CAD package. Or is it? How much has really changed?


Productivity levels and therefore profit margins are a concern to all, but in an industry where so much process is manual there only needs to be one error in measurement, or error in reading a measurement and the entire dimensions of a building will be inaccurate. The result? A return to site to re-measure and then back to the office to amend the CAD drawings. This is a huge resource cost and ultimately vastly decreases profit margins, affects customer service and increases costs for both the supplier and the client.

Anybody connected with design, construction, engineering, facilities management, manufacturing, mapping, real estate and related industries will know what we’re talking about. Local authorities, hospitals, schools, surveyors, facilities management companies – any sector involved in the management of multiple and large buildings that require compliance with Health and Safety regulations, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and those requiring Asset Registry services began looking at how to shorten the “field-to-finish” time and associated cost.

So, how far has the adoption of mobile CAD technology come, and how easy has it been to bring the construction industry into the 21st century? Has mobile CAD continued with what Blackberry started – and truly taken the technology out of the office and into the field?

“In order to tempt the surveyor away from the traditional pen/paper/laser approach, any solution offered has to be quick, efficient and truly mobile. To persuade the money men it also has to offer a swift ROI – laser scanning options were seeing an increase in adoption a few years back but were still costly, and did not create the “as-built” drawings and floor plans in the field that would significantly cut design and planning time and cost.

The answer lies in incorporating handheld devices, software, Bluetooth and wireless technology – to produce a CAD drawing in front of your eyes. The measurements taken by laser meter and sent via Bluetooth into the software installed on the handheld device, produce a pictorial representation almost instantly. Human error is completely eliminated – the surveyor can see immediately if he has taken the measurement incorrectly. The solution also needs to offer the basics for internal building design, down to such detail as furniture if required, thereby producing a finished drawing in the field that can be emailed back to the office.”

But doesn’t all this technology send the average surveyor running for the safety of his pencil and pad?

“Admittedly the biggest challenge faced will be persuading all involved to undergo a complete culture change! From our experience this has been less of an issue in the USA, Australia an the Far East but across Europe those we see as potential adopters just don’t believewhat can be achieved by implementing Mobile CAD Solutions until they actually see it in action, so uptake has been slower simply because it is harder to get through the door in the first place.

And surely the age old excuse of months of training staff on CAD related technology and the affect this has on productivity gives the procrastinating client an immediate get out clause?

“It certainly raises its head. They are most surprised when we can demonstrate that users can be up to speed with our system in 2 days, and producing plans of the same standard as using traditional methods within one week. This is a huge cost saving when we look at how quickly the drawing is produced – using
the “pointshootdrawn” principle within a week the surveyor can be measuring 400-500 square metres per day, make that 750-1000 square metres in 3-4 weeks and as much as 1500 square metres per day for super users!”

“The UK gives us a good example of this. To comply with government directives, many local authorities are facing a race against time to ensure they have accurate up to date drawings for premises like schools and nursing homes as well as offices – a race they can never win using traditional surveying methods.”

“So much information needs to be collected by a variety of people – fire inspectors and asbestos surveyors for example need large amounts of data; asbestos and water hygiene issues in older public buildings cannot be determined unless accurate measured surveys exist and are kept up to date. The fact that many local authorities do not have accurate, (or in some cases ANY), plans for many of their public buildings, is under the spotlight.”

Fire regulations and new laws to improve access to buildings for people with disabilities have also raised the profile of property asset management in many parts of the world.

Samsung Q1 ULTRA

Samsung Q1 ULTRA

“If we say the output is 100% accurate in half the time and at half the cost we’re pretty close. Productivity in simple terms is increased by 100% – the work is delivered in one day – therefore the profit is increased by 100%. Mobile technology has actually been proven to increase productivity by up to 1000% when compared to traditional design methods. And that’s not mentioning the less tangible increase in service level to the customer. A return on investment can be seen in some cases on day 1, but we say on average within 14-15 working days, including the cost of the hardware, software and training.”

“To illustrate; a subsidiary of T-COM measured and drew more than 1 million square metres – 13,778 rooms in 1,230 buildings across Germany. The target objective of the contract was not just measuring the exact area of the rooms with a tolerance of just 3% but also measuring mixed areas in just one “go”. The project was completed using a team of 25 in just 15 weeks.”

And the future?

“It is now possible to upload the finished drawing to a portal, and make it accessible from anywhere in the world, again increasing productivity by giving the client 24×7 global design capability at minimal cost.”

“Sector wise initial uptake by internal surveyors such as fire prevention, asbestos, asset management functions and disability access surveyors has been followed by planners and quantity surveyors needing accurate “lay of the land” drawings and external building representations in CAD. We see the internal surveying market continuing to increase, this is already evident in the USA, and the construction industry as being key in the future. Public services, as mentioned, and also utility companies and hospitals are all growth areas, plus banks in the USA as a result of ADA compliance. Geographically that change in culture is starting to happen across North America and Europe, and from Germany is spreading via the existing client base into Eastern Europe.”

Mobile CAD Surveying Ltd are the UK’s main and Graeberts preferred dealers of the Graebert suite of software in the UK. For more information on the Sitemaster Building software or Software and Hardware Bundles, please call us on 0844 567 2609 or email us at

You can also download a FREE trial of the software here and also Book a FREE Demonstration

Unveiling a new DWG-compatible CAD engine: ARES

July 20th, 2009 2 comments
DWG-compatible CAD engine: ARES

The NEW DWG-compatible CAD engine: ARES

Robert Gräbert, CTO at Graebert GmbH, last week participated as a speaker at the OpenDesign Alliance World Conference in Leiden, The Netherlands.

The Open Design Alliance is a non-profit membership-based consortium of software companies, developers and users committed to promoting the open exchange of CAD data now and in the future. In addition to setting standards for CAD data formats, the ODA also focuses on the practical matter of developing software libraries of exceptional quality that enable ODA members to develop applications capable of reading and writing the popular DWG and DGN CAD file formats.

More than just speaking about the enrichment that mobile CAD is in daily work today, Robert Graebert proudly talked about the new CAD engine named ARES. A pre-release of ARES Commander Edition, part of a whole new Product Range, was presented live in front of the CAD industries’ top companies and the response so far was overwhelming. Over the last year more than 500 user have tested ARES under the code name ARGON, that Graebert GmbH has nowadays spent more than 5 years of development on. ARES will be released soon to the public and be available for purchase.

Here is what Ralph Grabowski wrote about ARES in his well-known CAD-Blog

In case you want to read through our ODA presentation and check out the speed comparison with other CAD engines available on the market, please don’t hesitate to write us an email. If you want to exclusively test ARES write an email as well.

Government has named the first four eco-towns

July 17th, 2009 Comments off
Eco Towns

Eco Towns

The government has announced the location of the first four eco-towns.

They are to be  Rackheath in Norfolk, the China Clay Community at St Austell in Cornwall, North-West Bicester in Cherwell and Whitehill-Bordon in East Hampshire.

The first batch, which were announced by housing minister John Healey today, represent sites whose green credentials have been passed by an independent panel, responsibility for their development will now pass to local planning departments.

They are set to go on site by 2016.

According to the government, eco-towns will provide between 5,000 and 15,000 new homes that are affordable, well-designed and “green”.

In a separate announcement, environment secretary Ed Milliband said Wednesday this week, that 15 villages, towns or cities would become test-beds for piloting future green initiatives.

The plan was announced as part of the government’s “carbon transition” white paper, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 34% by 2020 against 1990 levels.

Around 15% of the reduction is set to come from improving household energy efficiency. The document also launched a consultation on the details of a government scheme that will pay people and businesses a premium for generating low-carbon electricity.

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Green light for another Peel development

July 16th, 2009 1 comment

greenlightPeel Holdings has had its application for a 2,200+ sq m business and distribution park in Greater Manchester approved.

Rochdale Council’s Regulatory Committee gave the green light for the £15 million project to take place at Hareshill, creating up to 500 jobs in nearby Heywood.

Peel Holdings development Manager, Richard Mawdsley said: “We are delighted with the decision made by the Regulatory Committee.

“Our development will increase the industrial and distribution offer of the area and will attract new businesses boosting the employment opportunities in Heywood.”

This site has been earmarked for development for some time, but getting approval for the outline planning application has taken the scheme past major hurdles, opening up new opportunities for the area – including creating new jobs.

The application, which was submitted in May this year, has also received backing from the Rochdale Development Agency.

Property and transport group Peel, advised by Indigo Planning, must now submit further detailed planning applications before work can begin on the site, and these are expected to be lodged shortly.


Deutsche Telekom – Germany

July 15th, 2009 1 comment

Deutsche Telekom 1Mil Sq M in 15 weeks

Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom | Germany

1 Mio. square meters surveyed within 15 weeks

Vivento, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, measured and drew more than 1 Mio. square meters within 15 weeks. The project was to verify the technical area of a real estate subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. 25 team members recorded a total of 13,778 rooms in 1,230 buildings.

1 Million square meters in 15 weeks, simply amazing!!

Find out more about this amazing software that was used to carry out this amazing survey, Sitemaster Building


Graeberts at Intergeo 2009, Karlsruhe

July 15th, 2009 Comments off

Graebert CAD Anywhere

Graebert CAD Anywhere

Intergeo 2009, Karlsruhe

Please come and visit our booth “Hall 1/1.639” at Intergeo from the from the 22.09 – 24.09 in Karlsruhe, Germany and meet with our team. They will be looking forward to discussing and or demonstrating personally our software product range, “SiteMaster” as well as our brand new CAD engine ARES.

In addition to the development and sales of software, Gräbert offers surveying services for medium and large scale projects. With its unique solution, our flexible surveying teams are able to survey on a worldwide basis and ensure that there is consistency and conformity to client specification. Come and discuss with us some of these case studies and see how they can be relevant to you.

For more on the Graebert suite of software visit the UK’s leading Graebert Software Dealer

The Mobile CAD Surveying Knowledge Base

July 14th, 2009 Comments off

Mobile CAD Surveyings Knowledge Base

Mobile CAD Surveyings Knowledge Base

Mobile CAD Surveying Knowledge Base

The Mobile CAD Surveying Ltd Knowledge Base is produced for customers and the general public who wish to learn more about surveying, surveying equipment and procedures. The Knowledge Base is regularly updated with useful and factual information by Mobile CAD Surveying staff in direct response to customer enquiries.

If you have a question and can’t find the answer here or would like to contribute to the Knowledge Base please email them with your enquiries.

Surveying & Triangulation

Moisture Meters – The Key Facts

What is a Dumpy or Automatic Level and a Laser Level

What is GPS & Glonass

What is RTK

What is a Theodolite

Gradient Reference Chart

Laser Measures v’s Ultra Sonic Measures

Which Leica Disto Do I Require

Leica Disto FAQs

IP Ratings Explained

There are more facts being added all the time, so check back often