To bring a century-old former gas-fired power plant into the information age, Spatial Acuity employed the latest tech in laser scanning and drone intelligence. This initial, detailed documentation and resulting Revit model became the starting point for San Antonio’s future new energy innovation hub.



Decommissioned industrial sites can make for some of the most dramatic and inspiring candidates for a residential or commercial remodel but they come with their own challenges, and a lot of that stems from the simple fact that original plans for the building are usually nowhere to be found.

A historic power plant in San Antonio was the perfect spot for a new innovation center focused on the future of energy. Built in 1909, CPS Energy’s Mission Road Power Plant was advanced for its time. Steam turbo generator units were cooled directly by water from the adjacent San Antonio River. The facility remained in operation until 2003, but this steel-framed brick building will not be vacant for long. Soon it will house EPIcenter, a new nonprofit featuring a think tank, start-up business incubator and accelerator, fabrication laboratory, exhibit space, and conference center – all focused on new energy innovation.

One of the first steps on its path from power plant to innovation center was hyper-detailed laser scanning and aerial documentation. Spatial Acuity sent in a two-laser crew and drone to the scene. Just six days later, they had captured an unprecedented 1000 individual color scans and extensive aerial data.


The laser scanning data was then used to create a highly accurate Revit model of the power plant structure and surrounding property. The level of detail was breathtaking, especially considering the sheer number of steel columns that required absolute accuracy in their documentation.


With this model in hand, the client was able to move forward on its ambitious vision with full confidence.




The Revit model was placed in a VR engine for thorough inspection and Spatial Acuity’s experts guided the client and project consultants through the site digitally. They were able to see the structure top to bottom, up close and personal – this allowed them to notice details you might not catch even at the site itself. On top of providing necessary insight, the drone photos and videos made their way into the client’s capital campaign marketing materials.

You can take a little tour of the building yourself right here. It’s not quite the same as the virtual reality presentation, but it’s highly cool nonetheless.


In partnership with EPIcenter