New Asbestos Imaging App to Take the Guesswork out of Safety
Emily Pollock posted on June 13, 2018 |
Lucion CEO Patrick Morton (left) with developer Alexei Holgate, who is partnering with the team to create an app that displays asbestos risk data. Both men are holding still images from their app. (Image courtesy of Lucion.)
Lucion CEO Patrick Morton (left) with developer Alexei Holgate, who is partnering with the team to create an app that displays asbestos risk data. Both men are holding still images from their app. (Image courtesy of Lucion.)

British risk management company Lucion Services has partnered with Northumbria University to develop an app that lets users view a building's asbestos risk data in 3D.

Lucion already has a BIM database that allows users to look up asbestos and other risk data, including site survey reports and historical data on the building. Their new app lets users create a 3D BIM model of a building, including floor-by-floor and room-by-room representations, and links the model directly to Lucion's database. That way, when users look at a building in the model, the risk information will pop up directly over any areas containing asbestos or other risk factors.

"It’s essential that clear information is provided to everyone involved in the supply chain or with access to a building," said CEO Patrick Morton in a company statement. "This can minimize the potential risks associated with exposure to asbestos-containing materials during refurbishment or building works."

The project is part of Innovate UK's Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) program, where businesses partner with the "UK Knowledge Base" to promote economic growth and social well-being. As part of the partnership, Lucion is working with developer and recent Northumbria graduate Alexei Holgate. Of the project, Holgate told the North East Times, "the partnership between Northumbria University and Lucion Services has allowed me to become lead software developer and engineer on developing the NexGen app, and I am delighted to be involved in this exciting project.”

According to Lucion, it is currently working with clients in the utility sector to help ensure that the app meets their needs, and is also working on developing integrated 360° modeling and industrial capabilities.

The app's release comes at a time when asbestos is back in the news: as of June 7, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will no longer evaluate the health risks of asbestos in preexisting buildings. While the agency will continue to evaluate the risk of installing asbestos as part of new construction, it does not deem already-installed asbestos enough of a health risk to warrant monitoring. According to Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, “The end result will be a seriously inadequate risk evaluation that fails to address major contributors to the heavy and growing toll of asbestos mortality and disease in the United States.”

Still, Lucion expects widespread interest in its product. “The new NexGen app is already proving to be a valuable weapon in the fight against the dangers of asbestos," Morton said, referencing the app's use in helping a national social housing provider perform a large-scale renovation program. "It provides surveyors working onsite with a better idea of potentially hazardous materials, cutting the risk to health and safety.”


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