Silas Burke House – Using 3D Scanning for Historical Preservation in Fairfax County

At VIKA, we’re always finding innovative ways to use 3D laser scanning technology to serve our clients and their diverse project needs.

Recently, we prepared a final construction site plan of the historic 4.96-acre Silas Burke House property located at 9617 Burke Lake Road in Fairfax County, VA. VIKA Owned IMG_3759

The structure was the home of Lieutenant Colonel Silas Burke, his wife Hannah Coffer Burke, and two children, John Thomas and Ann Virginia. Silas Burke’s many accomplishments include being a successful farmer and inn keeper as well as owner of a store, grist and lumber mills, a blacksmith shop, and a brick yard. He held many County offices including Chief Justice of the Fairfax County Court, Presiding Justice and County Sheriff, Lieutenant Colonel in the County Militia, Commissioner of Public Buildings and Schools, road surveyor, and President of the Fairfax Agricultural Society.

Silas Burke donated the land for Burke Station on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, named after him for serving as the Director of the Railroad and the Fairfax Turnpike Company. At the time of his death on September 1854, Silas Burke was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Fairfax County’s history.

As part of the Silas Burke property development plan, the developer is working closely with the Burke Historical Society, Fairfax County, and local families to preserve the Silas Burke House and all additional existing structures on the property. Significant proffers required the preservation of the existing Silas Burke house (circa 1824) and associated out buildings, including easement protections. Interior and exterior upgrades are also scheduled for the historic homestead. VIKA Owned IMG_0701

VIKA used 3D laser technology to scan the existing residence to document the current condition. This scan will be used to preserve the current condition in perpetuity for future generations and provide a precondition report prior to performing exterior renovations. In addition, we’ll be scanning the buildings again after the construction is complete. This will allow the developer and contractor to have a precise snapshot of the house prior to construction commencement.

In the past, the existing conditions would have been documented from photos and minimal traditional survey locations. Use of the Point Cloud allows us to prepare very accurate 3D models of pre-construction and post-construction conditions. We can then prepare an analysis of any deviations that occur during construction activities, which will help our client settle any disputes, understand the amount of deviation, and prepare the necessary repairs back to the original conditions.

This procedure is starting to be used in urban construction, especially in areas with existing buildings. VIKA has performed these services in Arlington County and Washington DC, in places where the spacing between buildings range from zero lot lines to 50 feet apart and where new construction requires sheeting and shoring installation.