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Energy infrastructure

Refurbishment scoping on White Bay Power Station

In 1983, after almost 70 years in operation, Sydney’s White Bay Power Station ceased its operations. For almost 40 years it has stood overlooking the Anzac Bridge, unused, except for the occasional open day when even Hollywood actor Mel Gibson stuck his head in for a peek at history.

In 2021, a number of specialist consultants were engaged by Place Management NSW, to undertake the challenging task of inspecting the dilapidated structure to prepare and protect the Power Station for future adaptive re-use, as part of the Bays West Place Strategy . We met with a representative from the Project’s team.

About the project

Why did you choose to work with Trendspek on the White Bay Power Station project?

Initially we were engaged to complete a constructability report for the remedial works at the White Bay Power Station and reached out to Trendspek for its drone capture management.

During procurement it was an added bonus that Trendspek could host the footage within a 3D model, and having had previous experience with LiDAR and BIM technologies, we immediately acknowledged the benefit Trendspek could provide.

What began as a need for a traditional report and photos, led to the ability to virtually fly around to look at different aspects of the asset that we were unable to physically reach and inspect. On a site that requires such extensive conservation works, having the ability to easily inspect out of the way areas was invaluable.

Services

Precision Reality Twins (PRT), Data Acquisition, Reporting and Project Management

Cost saving

2 days

Capture time

Versus the traditional capture time of weeks

24 hours

Model creation

Versus the traditional “No model, photos only”

20 million+

Data points

Versus the traditional data points of up to 50

Interactive

High res model output

Versus the traditional output of photos and report

60%+

Cost

Versus the traditional high cost

Low risk

Safety Risk

Versus the traditional high risk manual rope inspection

“We went through the procurement process evaluating three competitive responses, where Trendspek provided the best option.”

“We went through the procurement process evaluating three competitive responses, where Trendspek provided the best option.”

What made Trendspek the best and safest option for your inspection?

On this site, there were many hard-to-reach areas that require repair and as a result, certain locations were physically inaccessible. The use of the drones and Trendspek’s model minimised the need to bring in mobile plant equipment and mitigated the associated risks.

We could minimise the risks associated with mobile plant and equipment, while also giving our architect, structural engineer and contractors access to areas of the asset they needed to see, in full context. Our next step after preliminary scoping works was to go out to tender for the remedial works. We gave access to Trendspek’s model to each contractor intending to respond to the RFQ. This enabled them to virtually fly around the asset, and inspect physically inaccessible areas virtually.

How did you learn to use Trendspek’s PAI software?

A lot of people working on the project had some experience with modelling technology, so actually using the software was easy – there were no issues at all.

Using the geospatial data in the model, the team’s Quantity Surveyor was impressed with the ability to measure to a high degree of accuracy. This allowed them to complete take-offs of the required work to build up a project budget.

Contractors logged into Trendspek to inspect the asset, using it to support the development of their methodologies for the proposed work. It was used to measure the height of various parts of the asset, allowing them to analyse what type of access methodology they may need to adopt to complete the conservation works.

Additional stakeholders were also interested in the project, so, with our permission, the team at Trendspek gave them access to, and supported them in extracting the data from, the model, to use in their own investigations.

Trendspek’s interface was user friendly, those that had access were incredibly quick to take it up.

For Place Management NSW, the models and detailed images also provide an opportunity to enhance stakeholder communication about an asset that is highly visible and of interest to the community.

Contractors logged into Trendspek to inspect the asset, using it to support the development of their methodologies for the proposed work.

Contractors logged into Trendspek to inspect the asset, using it to support the development of their methodologies for the proposed work.

What were previous challenges for a project like this?

For this piece of work, we haven’t used a platform like this one before.

Previously, when we have completed dilapidation surveys, the supplier would provide us with a long detailed report, requiring detailed knowledge of the site and how the report was compiled. The report generally took multiple weeks to compile. Without context, trying to understand where each picture came from is a challenge, so having the geo-data from Trendspek stitched into a model for this project was really useful.

How did the Trendspek process compare?

Capturing the asset by drone and using Trendspek to process the very high-resolution model was smooth, fast and comparatively more cost-effective.

In this instance, utilising a traditional approach would have taken a longer time to produce a result that could have been completed more efficiently. When we used Trendspek, we came to the realisation that scoping up the works through drone capture and modelling gave us the information that we required.

Will you use Trendspek again?

For applications like this one, we’ll definitely be seeking to use this type of technology again. Access to areas on site can be prohibitive, the ability to fly around the model without needing to physically access the areas has been fantastic!

There is also an opportunity to recapture the building again in the future so we can assess the state of the asset after the remedial works have been completed.

Beyond that, working with the Trendspek team was excellent. There was an instance where we were unable to fly a drone up inside a narrow, physically inaccessible space and Trendspek were transparent about their inability to do that, happily recommending someone else who had the ability to do that part.

In terms of capture, after we had inducted the team into the site, we felt comfortable to leave them to scope it out and complete the job.

Better. From every angle.

At Trendspek, we understand the importance of assets, because to us, our clients are our most valuable assets. We have worked in close partnership with some of the world’s biggest asset management companies, delivering our service, their way.

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