AECOM Uses Bluesky Tree Map to Assess Opportunities and Risks in Relation to Major Infrastructure Projects

20 June 2019, Leicestershire, UK – AECOM has developed a new service, based on Bluesky’s Tree Map on the UK, allowing for early assessment of arboricultural issues on development sites.

Using an in-house database of surveyed trees, AECOM has developed a unique methodology for determining the likely extent of a tree’s Root Protection Area (the notional extent of tree roots essential for tree health and function and a key spatial constraint in relation to existing trees). When combined with the Bluesky tree data, the findings are being used to assess very large or inaccessible sites, inform design choices and allow reduced, targeted detailed tree surveys to BS 5837, saving time and cost.

The site assessment methodology has already been successfully applied by AECOM on multiple large scale projects including major road schemes, large scale residential masterplans and regional utility infrastructure projects.

“Responding to challenging projects, our team has developed an innovative service that uses Bluesky’s National Tree Map data to provide an assessment of the likely spatial constraints posed by existing trees within areas proposed for development,” commented Andy Wakefield, Associate Director (Arboriculture and Forestry), AECOM. “This has proven to be invaluable for large projects and inaccessible sites with the key benefit of ensuring that trees are considered early in the design process”.

AECOM has developed a methodology to attribute approximate Root Protection Areas for defined tree height ranges, drawing on an extensive database of over 20,000 trees surveyed in accordance with BS5837:2012, the British Standard for trees in relation to construction. The Bluesky National Tree Map data is then processed to generate notional buffer zones for each individual tree and tree groups based on height. The Bluesky National Tree Map data is a nationwide database detailing the location, height and canopy cover of over 300 million trees.

Together with other available data and information, such as Tree Preservation Orders, Conservation Areas, existing survey data and observations made by on-site and desk based assessments, these datasets form the basis for High Level Tree Constraint Plans. In conjunction with supporting reports, these plans help to inform design choices and identify areas of potential conflict where further detailed on-site survey is required.

AECOM designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets in more than 150 countries. The business has global arboricultural and forestry expertise and the UK Team offers a full range of tree assessment and management services with a focus on managing trees as assets and providing pragmatic solution driven advice.

About Bluesky
Bluesky is one of the leading and most successful aerial survey and geographic data companies in the UK producing and maintaining seamless digital aerial photography and height data on a national scale in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Bluesky operates the worlds most advanced airborne sensor, which comprises vertical and oblique cameras as well as a LiDAR, to create accurate and detailed virtual cities.  Bluesky also operates the only LiDAR system in the world that incorporates a thermal sensor and survey grade camera. These combined with other systems puts Bluesky in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost-effective geospatial solutions. As well as being an established and respected aerial survey company Bluesky is also highly innovative and continually strives to develop new products and services by embracing new technology and methods. This has resulted in the development of some unique products such as the National Tree Map (NTM). These datasets underpin long term contracts with local and central governments and many major blue-chip companies from a range of market sectors including financial services, utilities, telecoms, web portals, construction and environment. Bluesky has offices in the UK, US, Republic of Ireland and a dedicated production centre in India. https://www.bluesky-world.com/