Vertical construction refers to the taller structures where the height in most cases is more than its width. When it comes to horizontal or vertical construction there are certain differences between the two. The variance could be with regards to spatial relations, funding sources, experts involved etc. In the current article we look at the differences between horizontal and vertical construction and also state how modern technologies like BIM, Scan to BIM Services can today be advantageous to both these kinds of construction.
What is Horizontal Construction?
Horizontal construction also known as heavy civil construction can be defined as the construction of structures that are longer or wider than they are taller. They can be infrastructure and transit projects like roads, bridges, railways etc. They can be projects with regards to power and communication like transmission facilities, electric lines, fibre optics etc. Horizontal construction can also be subterranean projects like pipelines, waterlines etc. These projects are generally massive and they tend to run along the ground surface even when they are not touching it.
What is Vertical Construction?
These are structures or buildings which have more height than length i.e. they are usually taller than wider. Vertical construction can include buildings like skyscrapers, offices, apartments etc. These structures are in most cases designed by architects and to a certain degree are aesthetically appealing. The architect obviously works with structural engineers, builders, MEP engineers etc. to ensure that the building is structurally sound and can operate properly.
Differences between Horizontal and Vertical Construction:
There are some key differences between horizontal and vertical construction. The first difference lies in terms of spatial relation. The horizontal construction is very wide and lengthy and requires space. A railway line or a bridge of 10 miles will require a space of 10 miles. Vertical construction on the other hand requires more height. With more technological advancements architects and engineers are able to construct tall buildings even in small spaces. The trend of super slender skyscrapers in more populated metropolis like New York or Hong Kong is one such example.
The second difference is the source of funding. Most horizontal projects are infrastructure projects so they are funded by the government. Vertical construction projects are usually owned privately or by a trust. Even the purpose of both is different. Horizontal construction projects are more for the benefit of citizens of the country. They aim to provide them with a better standard of living may it be by providing better road connectivity, installing proper railway network for transport of goods etc. Privately funded vertical projects in most cases have some aspect of monetary gains involved.
The final difference is in the role of construction professionals during the project. Though architects, structural engineers, contractors etc. are all involved in both these projects they have different levels of importance. In horizontal projects the civil or structural engineers provides key insights while in vertical projects the structural engineers, MEP technicians all work according to the design and vision of the architect.
Technology for Horizontal and vertical construction:
The construction industry has been traditionally slow in implementing technology into their process. However, the past few decades have proved beyond a doubt that technological advancements only benefit the construction industry by bringing more accuracy, increasing productivity and helping them augment their margins. The benefits of technological advancements like BIM, drones, robotics, immersive technologies, laser scanning has become more popular for vertical construction. However, the same advantages can be seen for horizontal construction. BIM Services can be integrated with GIS (Geographic Information System) to properly examine spatial relationships, trends or patters. Using the data rich 3D model can help in effective and clash free planning. For instance, while constructing new roads it is important to see that the new proposed design is not clashing with any existing underground or overhead facilities. 3D laser scanners can be used to get accurate conditions of the area and the BIM model based on the point cloud data can be used for a smooth onsite construction. Since there are many parties involved in an infrastructure project from governmental agencies to suppliers to engineers and contractors, BIM could be instrumental in ensuring proper collaboration between all of them. Moreover, a lot of existing infrastructure in many developed countries is due for upgradation and using Scan to BIM can enable a proper renovation process. The information included in the intelligent 3D model could also be useful in effective maintenance and operations of facilities. Beyond BIM Services, drones can be effective for site analysis, monitoring of work etc. Immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality could lead to a proper presentation and as well as aid in getting project approvals.
Thus, both horizontal and vertical construction are essential for the development of any country. Each type of construction serves its own purpose and both need to coexist in order to maximize an areas development.
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