As we all sat and watched the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burn, we cried and almost became physically sick. It was hard to stomach as centuries of history, art, and relics in one of the most beloved cities in the world were being destroyed on live TV.
Working on and in a historic building is tricky. It requires you to think like an old-world craftsman while utilizing innovation and technology of the 21st century to be efficient, informed, and precise.
Notre Dame Cathedral is not a total loss. The damage is horrific, but French President Emmanuel Macron vows to rebuild; he's already set the goal, five years.
How is this possible? The Cathedral initially took over 200 years to finish. Construction started in 1163 and wrapped up in 1345. We design and build a lot differently today than they did 800 years ago but how in the world do you take 195 years off a schedule?
Luckily, Notre Dame Cathedral has been digitally recorded through 3D high definition scanning. Watch this video produced by National Geographic to get a better understanding of the process.
The pinpoint data collected by these scans is the key to President Macron's goal of a five-year rebuild. You see, every angle, every measurement, every detail is captured and can now be reproduced to its original state. Can you imagine if this digital clone did not exist? Architects, engineers, and builders would have been left guessing, using old and outdated blueprints, photos, and memory to resurrect Notre Dame.
This blog post may come off as a little self-serving, but it's important to point out that we work on a lot of historic buildings. Five years ago, we made an important decision to invest in a high definition scanner, the exact one used in the National Geographic video. This scanner is one of the most valuable tools that our Virtual Design and Construction team uses. We use it for much more than scanning old buildings and preserving history. Its applications are endless, and the data we collect lasts a lifetime. Check out our White Paper on the advantages of our scanning services; you will be surprised by how we use it.
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