Visualization of environmental impact assesment

Photo: COWI A/S
In connection with civil engineering projects requiring preparation of environmental impact assesment (EIA), you need to assess and illustrate the impact of projects landscape, environment and surroundings, including neighbours and communities.

In this view, visualizations are a necessary and indispensable tool. Credible and precise illustrations of projects are needed for EIA reports and in the communication with politicians, authorities and the public. Furthermore, consultants and clients often use visualizations for internal preliminary clarification processes.

Clarity on how projects visually impact their surroundings

When preparing an EIA or SEA for a project, visualizations are a strong tool, both to those preparing the EIA/SEA and to the recipients. If you want a precise illustration of the before and after that is easy to grasp, visualizations by means of still pictures is the obvious choice. The method is relatively inexpensive, entailing that also small projects can benefit from the possibilities of visualizations.

Specifically in connection with projects under vast public attention, it is necessary to ensure clear, plain and uniform communication of the preconditions, data and assessment that form the basis of the decisions on the project. Visualizations are just as much a tool to those preparing the EIA/SEA, as they get a clear picture of the project's visual impact on the surroundings.

Visualizations and photos By combining a 3D model with photos from the location, you are able to relatively quickly produce visualizations that show the project in its future surroundings. A combination of a 3D model and photos from the area is the method most often used for visualizing construction projects in landscapes and urban spaces. The method reduces the work of creating the surroundings in 3D as only the new elements are to be created in 3D.

Landscape models with orthophotosWhen dealing with projects covering large areas in an open landscape, a combination of project, height model and orthophotos can produce pictures similar to aerial photos in which the new project is placed. This type of model is an obvious choice if you want to show projects in the open country. Models are created, e.g., in the Skyline programme (link). We have successfully used this both internally in project organizations and in communication with the public.

LAST UPDATED: 03.10.2016