16 July 2019

Online Cumulative Assessment Saves 40%

Categories: Budge PR | Published: 06/05/2015 | Views: 1565
Efficiency savings of more than 40% have been achieved by landscape architects using the UK’s first mobile visual impact assessment app for tablets which can now assess the cumulative effect of onshore wind turbines.

Developed by Glasgow based Linknode, the cumulative impact assessment service was used live for the first time by Brindley Associates, the landscape architects, working on a single turbine project at Auchenlosh, near Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway. The project is being developed by Inazin, and supported by Edinburgh based Energised Environments.

The new cumulative impact assessment tool draws on a database of 28,500 turbine locations across the UK. Access to the national turbine dataset makes cumulative capture easier, faster and cheaper. A search around proposed new sites will immediately return details for all relevant existing and planned wind farms. It can be used in a standalone capacity or is also available as part of VentusAR v2.3, the latest version of Linknode’s visual assessment mobile app, launched originally in 2013.

Typically, the process of cumulative assessment by developers or planners can be extremely costly, involving numerous time-consuming searches. This can make small projects prohibitively expensive and delay large developments, due to complexity.

Ross Wilkie, director, Brindley Associates said, “Our deadline for completing the visual assessments on the Auchenlosh project was very tight and our in house cumulative database for the area was not fully up to date. Adding the new cumulative assessment tool to our previously purchased VentusAR app allowed us to turn the landscape and visual impact assessment around very quickly to meet the deadline. We saved several days of consultancy time on what is a relatively small project, so the benefits in terms of time and cost saving are significant”.

Mr Wilkie confirmed that his firm is now using the latest version of VentusAR on all of their wind farm projects, to inform site scoping and site assessment work, as a discussion tool with clients and consultees in the field, and for informing and illustrating potential visual impacts on local residents.

He said, “VentusAR makes our site assessments faster and more robust, it allows us to quickly microsite viewpoint locations and it allows us to very quickly gain access to cumulative data”.

Crispin Hoult, Director, Linknode said, “As the number of existing and proposed wind farms across the UK continues to grow, the challenge of assessing cumulative visual impact has become increasingly time consuming and expensive for all of those involved in the development and assessment of wind farm planning applications. We believe that VentusAR successfully addresses these challenges. Communication is key, visualisation is king.”

Dr. Hoult is speaking at this week’s All Energy conference in Glasgow on May 6th on the topic of ‘Accuracy and Trust in Visual Impact Assessment Presentation Media’. Unveiling research by The University of Glasgow, the presentation will show for the first time how perceptions of digital versus traditional media change how we interpret data and is essential understanding for landscape professionals.

VentusAR runs on iPad and Android tablets, allowing fast, easy, effective wind farm visualisation in the field. This reduces development time and risk for developers and consultants during feasibility and site assessment. The app also supports the consultation process by increasing understanding and engagement and lowering uncertainty for planners and the public.

Cumulative data is instantaneously incorporated into the VentusAR 3D visualisations, or integrated with previously captured photography, to validate the overall impression of changes in the landscape or from residential properties. More information at www.ventusar.com


Linknode are specialists in creating fast, fluid and innovative cross-platform mobile applications and augmented reality systems using sensor integration (GPS, camera and phone orientation) for the renewables, culture & heritage, leisure and tourism domains with the convergence of 3D data, location and visualisation – GIality (www.giality.com).

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