Topcon helps developer tackle Ireland’s housing shortage with precision technology


Topcon GB & Ireland is helping Irish housebuilder, Cairn Homes, deliver over 1,000 quality new homes with greater accuracy via its cutting-edge positioning technology.

Included within the sites currently benefitting from this technology is Cairn Homes’ largest ever development – Parkside, in Dublin. The highly anticipated 50-acre development overlooks the newly upgraded Father Collins Park and offers space for a total of 430 three and four bedroom homes.

Due to the significance and scale of the project, Cairn Homes wanted to use the most pioneering construction technology to ensure accuracy and efficiency at every stage of the build. This was particularly important during the initial stages of setting out the house foundations.

Paul Filan, senior engineer at Cairn Homes, explained: “A key challenge in any new-build project is ensuring the highest accuracy when measuring out the legal boundaries of property lines. Legal boundaries show where one person’s land stops and another’s starts. It’s an invisible line, without thickness or width, but tends to fall along a physical boundary feature like a wall. In the case of Parkside, this was the garden fences.

“On such a large development, maintaining millimetre accuracy when it comes to setting out boundaries is no easy task. We needed sophisticated equipment which was both precise and easy to use.”

Following a live demonstration at Topcon’s Ireland headquarters, Cairn Homes opted for the DS-105 robotic total station. The DS series features automatic aiming equipment called XPointing technology. This means it independently seeks out prisms without the need for manual adjustments. Not only does this reduce the number of operators by 50 per cent, it also ensures the accuracy of measurements up to 1.5mm. Furthermore, with its integrated MAGNET Field software, the total station allows users to collect positioning data and perform a range of surveying functions – as well as GIS mapping – and then feed this data into modelling platforms such as BIM via the cloud.

“We wanted a total station that would give us more control so we could be confident that the quality of the build was up to scratch from day one. The DS-105’s millimetre precision gave us this,” said Paul.

“Topcon’s MAGNET Field software also had a big impact on the workflow. We were able to take the collected measurements and feed them straight from the total station to screens in the excavators. This gives the drivers immediate, up-to-date information without any delays and means they can start digging the foundations straightaway with accuracy.”    

Declan Byrne, sales and support at Topcon, added: “Housing is a critical area of investment in Ireland so engineers need to be using cutting-edge equipment that allows them to work in the smartest way possible. That means increasing accuracy, reducing manpower and improving communication across every phase of construction to ensure maximum efficiency across the workflow.”

Following the success at Parkside, Cairn Homes has rolled out the technology to its other sites which are currently in development. These are called Adamstown, Albany, Ashbourne, Hanover Quay and Marianella.

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