Verified Views, A Guide for Developers

Verified Views, AVRs (Accurate Visual Representations), Certified Views, Visually Verified Monatages all names for the same thing – accurate visual representations of a proposed developed that are used as part of planning applications.  Often they are made to seem more complex and more costly than they could or should be and we wanted to prepare this guide for Developers to better understand the process and suggest some ways in which to potentially challenge the costs of the process.

The development of Verified Views uses normal architectural visualisation practices but adds in detailed surveying of the site, more sophisticated camera matching (integrating the 3d model into the photo) and a clear recorded methodology for the whole production.  Before starting, the appointed Architect should have a well resolved design, based on accurate survey information. In the rush to meet a planning application deadline this can on occasion present a problem as the Architect will need time to prepare these detailed drawings.

An overview of the process is as follows:

  • Planning Authority suggests critical views to be photographed.
  • DJS visit site to photograph from the agreed view points.
  • While the photography is underway the site is surveyed from the exact same view points collecting survey points for the foreground, neighbours and background.  These 3D points are then used to match between the 3D model, photo and the survey.
  • The accurate 3D model is created from the supplied architects info.
  • The 3D model is reviewed, checked and discussed with the architect for sign off.
  • The photos taken on site are chosen and used within the 3D Software to create a matched view using the camera match utility to prove accuracy.
  • Materials are added to the 3D model and it is lit in a manner to exactly match the date and time of the photograph.
  • The image in rendered and composited together with the photo.
  • The image set is combined into a methodology report detailing all relevant processes followed and any notes on the production.
  • The images are supplied together with the report for use as part of the planning application.

All developments no matter of the scale need the high degree of accuracy that is required for verified views and this process takes significant time and should not be underestimated.  This of course comes with a cost but in return the views assist hugely in the corresponding application giving the planners and public a clear understanding of the proposals and the assurance of what is being viewed is accurate.

The Developer may however be able to challenge the planning authority in conjunction with their planning adviser on the number and type of verified views.  If only one aspect of of the scheme is contentions it could be argued that other aspects don’t need verified views or if they do they could just be red line outlines.  If lots of verified views are required then it could also be argued that more distant views don’t need to be fully realistic – they could just be redline outlines too, the closer in views would give a clear understanding of the materiality thus some cost could be saved on the more distant views.

DJS have worked on many verified views in both the city of London and other London boroughs on contentious green field sites and areas of high sensitivity.  Some of our projects which we are able to show can be seen here. If you have a project you would like to discuss please contact Gregg Stone or Andy Butler via the main office number.

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