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Seaver Lee

Civil 142
Olympic Stadium
I reviewed the article Scanning Londons Olympic Stadium by Alan Barrow. This article is
about the building of the East Londons Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Summer Olympics and
Paralympics. Team Stadium was selected to plan and build the stadium. The stadium was to host
the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and also the athletic competitions inbetween. The design of the stadium was to be built from prefabricated components. Prefabricated
parts gave some problems to the designers and the surveyors monitoring the construction. Parts
that are prefabricated off site requires the parts to have exact dimensional control of the mating
surfaces. Even though there were surveyors with years of experience; the stadium covered a very
large area and required the joining of 224 components that have infinite combinations of
tolerance and fit, even being affected by the weather, made the final design of components hard
to determine. Because of such unpredictability, every final detail design had to be carried out
after the completion of each stage.
Before construction, Team Stadium had designed models and simulations of the stadium
under load to test tolerance. However, it was already known that data needed to be obtained ongoing of each stage. It was the only way that construction could proceed safely. ABA Surveying,
Inc. were the overseeing specialists of the project. They used laser scanning technology to
accurately and rapidly capture survey information that would otherwise be difficult by traditional
means. They operated three Leica HDS6100 phase scanners. Monitoring tubular shapes are
difficult to survey with total stations so Leicas Cyclone software was used to model the stadium.
ABA took a total of 20 scans using high-resolution, low-noise settings that generated a point
spacing of about 7 mm. Each scan contained about 20 million points of data, containing location
and intensity levels.
ABA would compile all the data gathered from the onsite surveys into a single database.
Importing, unifying, and general processing of point cloud data is time consuming so, ABA used
hi-spec machines running overnight for processing data while CAD operators to extract and
process data during the day. Team Stadium would then compare the on-going, as-built data to
their design models and figured that the as-built steelwork was performing as expected in their
simulations. Any adjustments could also be made if they felt the need to. Models are great to try
and simulate predicted events. However, the effects of real-world conditions can change things
I was amazed that a stadium this large was able to be built in a timely manner with the
need of on-going data. Every stage and step needed to be precise for the project to be built in a
timely manner. This project shows the necessity of modern surveying technology. Without
modern technology ABA would have not been able to closely monitor the building of the
stadium. Using laser technology, they were able to run many scans to gather data from a large
range. It was not only fast but accurate. This shows the benefits of new technology being used in

the field. Something as large as the Olympics, where the whole world will be watching, it is
important to build something that is not only grand but safe and lasting for years.

Professional Surveyor Magazine, August 2012 Issue, Scanning Londons Olympic Stadium by
Alan Barrow