Viewshed Planning and Analysis Services

Helping Our Clients See Beyond the Horizon

Pre-construction sales of proposed penthouses with rooftop gardens, or communal outdoor spaces, depend on the quality of the outdoor space. Gusty winds, dark cold shadows, blocked views, belching chimneys, lack of privacy, commercial kitchen exhausts, and 24/7 HVAC noises are all negative aspects for a client expecting a rooftop oasis . Each element can be a potential deal breaker for the purchase of a proposed multi-million dollar penthouse. However, these environmental elements are often not known during the design review and pricing process. They are not even known until after the completion of building. We can provide these critical design tools years before a building is designed and constructed.

It is impossible to judge the quality of a proposed rooftop space just from the architect’s blueprints. For this reason we would offer a unique rooftop preview and simulation service and advice. Our aerial data directly supports your pricing and sales of key units. in proposed residential towers.

As a landscape architecture-focused consulting firm, we are able to predict and document many negative environmental influences in advance. We can capture the decibel level and direction of nearby noise sources. We can measure and predict the relative wind speed, gusts, wind direction, and direct solar exposure for a particular balcony or penthouse unit. These microclimate studies are critical for predicting the success of comfortable communal spaces, solariums, pools, and productive gardens.

Aerial 360 Viewshed Studies and Interactive Panoramic Mapping

We are able to simulate 360° coverage from specific locations above proposed skyscrapers. We help our Clients determine the best way to capitalize on their views by analyzing sun angles, local winds, nearby noise sources and future blockages. Our unique aerostat balloon technology allows us to simulate the proposed height of cell towers, water tanks, power lines or skyscrapers. The public can see the height of a proposed structure in context to other adjacent structures. This accelerates zoning board decisions. This saves our clients time & money. Our aerial 360° tours, crane photography, real estate drone photography, balloon photography, and other aerial tools will take your development marketing and analysis to the next level.

Sound Pollution Analysis

DDIS can capture the ambient sounds one would hear when they step out into a proposed rooftop garden. Our high definition recordings let our Clients know if future tenants will hear the mechanical sounds of air conditioners, the honking of taxi’s or quiet rumble of a cruise ship steaming up the Hudson. The audio information would be captured with a directional decibel meter and a comparative recordings from different altitudes and directions. These audio instrument would be carried aloft by our trademark tethered aerostat balloon. (UAVs generate noise that would ruin a sound recording.) Our aerial recordings and noise measurements are then paired with our standard viewshed panoramas from key floors. Knowing and proving which side and floor is the quietest would give your agents a distinct consulting advantage. Quiet living and bedroom spaces are obviously more valuable than noisy spaces.

Solar Impact & Shadow Analysis

DDIS can forecast time-lapse sun and shadow visualizations for proposed residential towers. This is not an abstract architect’s illustration showing that the sun theoretically comes from the south. Rather it shows the shape and track of the shadow cast on balconies. This factors in the future build out by the current zoning codes. These future visualizations of shadow patterns gives your agents scientific evidence showing future scenarios that may devalue a prime penthouse unit or balcony. This solar-tracking ‘future cast’ would be supported by annotated simulations atop our aerial panoramas. Long term investments in rooftop gardens demands such solar and wind forecasting.

Aerial Thermal Imaging

DDIS can detect which adjacent smokestacks are emitting pollutants and hot HVAC exhaust through the use of our high-resolution aerial infrared cameras. The exhaust fans from a nearby tower’s furnaces have negative impacts to residents with open balconies and rooftop terraces. Our platform’s aerial infrared camera gives valuable planning intelligence about the air and exhausts in the neighborhood. This includes finding and documenting the exhaust vents for commercial kitchens. Since the predominate wind direction is from the West South West, chimney emissions upwind can negatively affect a resident’s health as well as the general cleanliness of an outdoor space.

Microclimate Wind Analysis

DDIS can accurately analyze the winds and eddy patterns around buildings, which can make outdoor living/gardening spaces inhospitable. Sometimes, nearby buildings block powerful winds and allow desirable calm air flow at a penthouse level. Since DDIS has flown tethered balloons above urban sites for the last 14 years we have a good sense which proposed balconies and rooftops will be ruined by cold gusty winds, even in the summer. This micro-climate knowledge requires detailed study and time-lapse observation using anemometers. We can design on-site sensors that can help predict which weather patterns will generate a gusty and unpleasant rooftop space. Our wind gust and temperature prediction data, while not perfect, can give our Clients an honest assessment on how valuable their balcony or rooftop is likely to be. This site planning data is also collated with our visual viewshed panoramas.


Click here to download a pdf version of our Viewshed Planning Brochure!