Public Space Sketches

A quick set of sketches for the revitalisation of some local public space.

Increasing the viability/sustainability of a much loved local resource with some additional covered (both permanent and temporary) external space.

This development along with three new sites, a selection of small works and ongoing projects means January (and 2019) is set to be a busy one.


CLOCKWORKLIME – Party Wall Surveyor Services

Are you or your neighbour carrying out building works? There is a good chance that you or your neighbour will have responsibilities under the  Party Wall etc Act 1996.


What is a party wall?

The main types of party walls are:

  • a wall that stands on the lands of 2 (or more) owners and forms part of a building – this wall can be part of one building only or separate buildings belonging to different owners
  • a wall that stands on the lands of 2 owners but does not form part of a building, such as a garden wall but not including timber fences
  • a wall that is on one owner’s land but is used by 2 (or more) owners to separate their buildings

The Act also uses the expression ‘party structure’. This could be a wall or floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings in different ownership, such as in flats.

What the Act covers

The Act covers:

  • new building on or at the boundary of 2 properties
  • work to an existing party wall or party structure
  • excavation near to and below the foundation level of neighbouring buildings

This may include:

  • building a new wall on or at the boundary of 2 properties
  • cutting into a party wall
  • making a party wall taller, shorter or deeper
  • removing chimney breasts from a party wall
  • knocking down and rebuilding a party wall
  • digging below the foundation level of a neighbour’s property


If you think any of the above applies to you, please drop us a message here.

If you would like to learn a little more about the Party Wall Act and how it applies to you, please find a link the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Explanatory Booklet here.

How we do what we do – Tools of our trade.

In our experience, many architects, surveyors and designers keep the tools of their trade locked tightly away out of sight, for fear that letting competitors know what to use could damage their business. The truth is, your skill in using the tools counts for a lot more than what you use and should be all you really need to succeed. So in this spirit, here is a quick look at some of the equipment we use here at clockworklime ltd.



Our S120 laser scanner from FARO allows for the capture of measured survey information rapidly and extremely accurately. Once ‘stitched’ together, the scanned data reveals any given site, buildings or objects construction in ways difficult to imagine before, let alone measure. We strive to use this equipment to provide supremely detailed measured data to architects, design professionals, engineers, and builders alike.

For more info on 3D laser scanning please visit our website or why not read our article ‘What Is Laser Scanning & 3D Surveying’


Page Featured Images NX300

The main camera we use is the Samsung NX300 with a 18-55 lens. This allows for versatility in the types of shots and subjects.

The main specs are:
– 20.3MP APS-C sensor
– ISO 100 – 25600
– Full HD video capture at 50, 25 and 24p
– 3.3-inch
– 768k-dot AMOLED touchscreen

If your interested in a full review:- SAMSUNG NX300

As for what we think, for the money this is a great little camera. It has the ability to produce some really dynamic and professional shots. The colour reproduction is great and the auto focus is exceptionally responsive. Also, the movable touch screen really lets you get some great angles. But if you are looking for something that can take super-fast or snappy low light shots, this is not for you. We find that it struggles in low light situations, particularly when the subject is moving. Luckily, buildings don’t tend to move about that much!

You may have noticed a little ‘modification/addition’ in the form of a mini tripod. This also folds up into a useful little handle, great if you haven’t brought along a full size tripod.


Page Featured Images Theta S

Now this little piece of kit is magic. It can take 360 degree photos & video in 1920x1280HD. When mounted to a tripod and placed at the center of a given space, it can provide a truly immersive experience. Great for condition surveys and as builts alike.

So far we’ve found that its simple to use, easy to set up, but the battery really could be better. We predict that you’ll be seeing 360 cameras more and more over the next few years.


leica Green


No surveyor should every leave the office without one. The Leica X310 Disto is to us, the best value for money disto around. You get all the quality you’d expect from Leica, along with some extra features that the lower end distos lack, but without some of the super-high end features that most of us just don’t need.

One complaint we do have is, again as with most things electronic and portable, the battery usage is a little on the high side compared to some of the more simple distos Leica provides.

Laser Level

Something else we almost always bring along to any survey or even site meeting is our trusty little Leica LINO L2 laser level. Great for recording floor level differences and the like.


Mount these instruments to a tripod like the TRI70 or TRI100 (both of which are in our kit bag) and you have a powerful set of measuring tools, if you know what your doing.

*FYI – We’re not sponsored by Leica, but if a Leica rep is passing by. An S910 or D810 would be lovely.


Page Featured Images Structure

The structure sensor is a great little gadget for quickly capturing objects in 3D. If you’d like to know more about how it works, has all you need to know.

We’ve used the word ‘gadget’ deliberately, as compared to professional 3D capture hardware like those manufactured by FARO, the Structure Sensor is light years behind. But if you need to grab a little piece of architectural detail to add in to a 3D model prior to rendering, it can be very handy to have this in your kit bag.


Page Featured Images Nix

Another great little gizmo to have on you as a surveyor or designer is this little thing. The NIX colour sensor does exactly what you would expect, it can accurately detect the colour of almost any surface and record the data to your smart phone (It will even let you know where the closest place is that can mix paint for you!). Very handy for matching objects, materials and surfaces to RGB, CMYK or Hex colours.


Page Featured Images Phantom

Now here is a controversial but exceptionally useful piece of kit.

Our DJI Phantom 3 Professional allows for capture of up to 4K video footage at 30fps and 12 megapixel stills that provide an amazingly clean, crisp and dynamic images with over a 90 degree field of view, all shot from a 3 axis gimbal, ensuring perfect stability. Extra batteries are a must for this piece of equipment, even though each battery can supply up to 24mins of flight time, in our experience in the real world you’ll see 20, but will want to keep 5 of that in reserve just in case. This amazingly stable and advance piece of equipment also allows for topographical data acquisition using specialized software, which can be used to generate site maps or even 3D scale models.

But do think that anyone can go and buy one of these and start working the next day, because you can’t (sorry). At the moment (as of 20/05/16) it is illegal to conduct aerial works without a license from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).

So there you have it, a quick run through of the tools we use day to day. Obviously this doesn’t include software etc, but we’ll leave that for another day.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. If you found it useful, we’d really appreciate it if you’d ‘like’ and ‘follow’

What is Laser Scanning & 3D Surveying?

‘Laser Scanning’ & ‘3D Surveying’ read as though they’re from an Isaac Asimov novel, and tend to invoke images similar to those seen in the film Prometheus, of a floating ball firing lasers in all directions.

Although technology isn’t quite there yet, I think those who aren’t already familiar with the discipline might be surprised to know how close imagination is to reality.

In very simple terms, the majority of today’s laser scanning instruments work similarly to a total station or a high end disto, in that they use a laser and some clever maths to judge distance, direction and elevation to identify a point in 3D space.

Where the laser scanner really takes the lead is in the sheer amount of points it can record in a relatively short time frame. This mass points allows for the creation of point clouds, where several individual scans are stitched together to create an accurate model of the scan target and it’s surroundings. These point clouds can (amongst other things) then be used to take measurements, generate renderings and create very high accuracy drawings.

So why would you want to use one?

The reasons (in my perhaps bias opinion) are extensive, but two key selling points are; if used correctly, these instruments capture the world in 3D accurately and effectively. It’s almost like bringing the site back to the office with you, almost.

Here are just a few things I use ours for:

  • Floor plans
  • Elevations
  • Sections
  • Topographical surveys
  • Heritage Surveys
  • Fly-troughs
  • Visualisations

So…. sold on 3D Scanning yet? Wait a moment. As with anything, these instruments do have their drawbacks. The top four for me being; weather resistance, mirrors, range and cost.

Firstly, weather resistance, or lack thereof dependent on the model. Although it is definitely possible to conduct a laser survey in the rain, I would recommend waiting for the weather to clear up. As amongst other things, point data can become degraded, as the wet reflective surfaces can interfere with the laser.

Which brings us neatly on to mirrors. Laser scanners hate mirrors. As the measurement of each point is reliant on the accurate calculation of a laser beams flight, mirrors pose a bit of a challenge. As when the laser is reflected off a mirror, the instrument can return some very ‘interesting’ results. For example, I’ve seen large areas replicated ‘through’ a mirror and positioned several meters down the road, just because it wasn’t covered correctly.

Next, range. It’s a little ‘apples say hi to oranges’ and is completely dependent on the instrument. But as a rule of thumb, a scanner’s effective range will not match that of a total station’s. Particularly one in the same price bracket. For example, the X330 scanner from Faro boasts an extra-long range of 330m, but a FlexLine TS06plus total station from Leica at less than a quarter of the price can survey in excess of 1000m.

Finally, cost. Yes, I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now, these instruments aren’t cheap. For example, at the time of writing this article the previously mentioned X330 laser scanner from Faro would set you back over £41,000 (inc. VAT) and this doesn’t include all of the ancillary kit/software required to start scanning.

So, in conclusion. Laser scanning may not be a replacement for the more traditional measuring techniques and instruments in all situations, but it is an extremely effective way to measure at very accurate levels.

If you have any questions regarding this article, or have a project in mind that you think the Laser Scanning team at could help you with. Please feel free to get in touch.

Thank you for taking the time to read this piece, but please note, this article has been written form experience and is in no way infallible. I would be happy to hear and learn from others experience if offered.



Some Rendering Practice & Walk Through

Its been a while since i put together an architectural render, so i thought to myself ‘Steve, you should really get some practice in’. So while my better half is on a night shift i decided to put this together.


Now, its not perfect, as this is more a practice piece and experiment than a clients work, but to build the model, render and finish via image editing this took about 7 hours in total. And to be pretty honest, i wasn’t in much of a rush. But still, i think thats a pretty respectable time.

The model is loosely based off of the Stradthaus building in Hackney, which is a personal favourite of mine. So much so it will more than likely feature quite heavily in my Hons dissertation. For anyone interested, the Stradhaus is the tallest timber building in the UK and is a very interesting construction when looked at from not only an aesthetic view point but also an engineering one too.

Heres the photo i used as the basic back/foreground


So heres how it was done, first i build a pretty simple rough and ready model in sketchup.  Apart from the ground each floor is an identical component simply rotated to provide the desired layout.

SH ol

From there i simply added a few very basic colours, notice i haven’t added any textures, this could have added a little extra detail but on a model like this i didn’t feel it was necessary. Although a little superfluous, there is one material which is used for the windows.

SH Colours

Now the sketch up model is ready for a speedy render (+alpha render) in indigo RT. Heres the result.


This is where i now import everything into my image editing software. Up till now only 2 or so hours have gone by, editing the image into something useful takes by far the longest amount of time. And there you have it, the ‘finished’ piece.


If you would like a break down of any particular techniques or a run through of what i get up to in the image editing software please leave a comment below or drop me an email, i would be glad to help out (thats if i can), and on the flip of that, i would appreciate any critique, so if this is your bread and butter i would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!

More Container Technical Drawings

If you’ve been following clockwork lime for a while now, you’ll remember that iv mentioned my intention to design a new construction project(s) based on the use of shipping containers. Well here is another technical preparation drawing detailing the possible lining of a 40′ container in an exploded view.



This is now a full (and solid) component model in sketchup, which will allow for the generation of very detailed models and drawings.


20ft container

Just a quick post this time, continuing on from yesterdays about shipping containers. Iv had some time free this morning so also drew up/modelled a 20ft iso container. This will give me the option to use both 20’s and 40’s in my future designs.


Technical Drawing & Renders

For quite sometime iv been interested in the concept of reusing shipping containers as a construction material. Now im not going to try and claim any originality as there has been a lot of development over the years, but still, i’m going to have a little explore.

My main inspiration for starting this little side project is the ‘pop up mall’ BOXPARK in Shoreditch, it a great use of containers and space, generating a completely original concept. Haver a google, theres some great images and info out there all about it.

Well to start with I’ve spent quite a bit of time not only looking through existing projects and development. but also getting to the basics of it all by sitting down and researching as much information about the construction.manufacture and use of shipping containers. Now, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t fun, it was extremely dry, but i didn’t want to jump in and start cutting up containers (virtually) without understanding their construction and the possible consequences.

Once i felt that i had a reasonable understanding i decided to get started and find an accurate model of a iso shipping container, but surprise surprise, non were really up to the standard i was looking for. So i set about finding the construction/manufacturing details for a standardised container.

and heres what I’ve come up with:

Container Line

40ft exploded

Container render

Now on to the fun part, actually creating something with it.