One of a series of preliminary site models made for Colimore Architects, this project, depicting an area used by Harford County as a maintenance yard with stockpiles of materials forming an odd initial topography. The model combines a simple rendered plan built from Harford County GIS data with topographic info and is overlaid with the topography from the civil drawings to get an accurate representation of the existing conditions that he architects can use as a base for their building designs.
Simplified contour lines are first traced from the CAD or PDF files and elevated to the proper height. These lines are then used as the basis of a triangulated mesh, which the rendered site plan can then be projected onto. Above, the plan shows the projected PDF civil drawing over the site mesh. Below, the same grid has an aerial image from Google Earth projected onto the mesh.
Not only does an accurate site model provide vital context to the architects’ building model, but perhaps more importantly avoids misrepresenting the building as sitting on a completely flat plane or floating unanchored in space.