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Laser Scanning & BIM or Scan-to-BIM

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Published on 16 Mar 2018 / In Music

Lead-8, Engineering Surveys & InteliBuild video on the benefits of laser scanning, point clouds & BIM. How owners, developers and architects can use scan-to-BIM for design visualisation, area measurements, facility management & more.

At Lead-8, we are always looking at how we can use technology to
enhance our work flow. We invited InteliBuild, with the assistance of Engineering Surveys, to scan our studios as a demonstration to
understand the potential of 3d laser scanning.

The device basically shoots a laser at the target and then captures the data in return. It scans a vertical line and it then pivots a small degree, then scans the next vertical line and continues around. So it does a 270 degree scan and picks up a 360 degree space.

When the instrument is setup, everything it can see, it records. It will pick up the surface of an aluminum frame, a plastered wall, it will pick up the details of a door knob or switch. So every object it can see, it can survey.

The scanner picks up millions and millions of points and the points are registered, so we can register the points to a survey grid. We can use the raw data, the x,y,z co-ordinates to build 3D geometric models or we can use the image captured model to do visualisations, walk-throughs and understand the actual overall picture of the site.

When we do the post-processing, we convert those x,y,z’s to true world co-ordinates. We can tell you where the point is in the real world and we can look at those point clouds in a 3D environment. We can review the model. We can spin it around. We can zoom into an area. Then we can use that information to build design models, BIM, building information models, that we can use for floor plan drawings, elevation drawings.

We can cut sections thru the point cloud. We can generate traditional documents very quickly. We know the drawings are true representations of the actual space.

Then from a design perspective, we can design a new system inside that point cloud. We can put a new ceiling into a space. Maybe it's a retail space, we can put in a new shop front in, so we can see what they look like in that space. It is handy for visualisation and understanding design concepts.

When we do the laser scan, we are getting all the information we may need throughout the life of the job. On a project, we might be doing a new build or might be doing a refit. If we are doing a refit, we will scan an existing building, so we had a record of what we are keeping and an accurate survey. Then we could figure out, if we will demolish these rooms then we can refit them this way. So, then we knew the new systems would fit inside the old systems

We can get very detailed accurate surveys during the construction phase, which the contractors like, because it does not slow down their progress. All the data can then be used for measurement, for building models, for calculating floor areas, for calculating heights. There are many many uses for the actual point cloud information.

We may be surveying steelwork because we have to attach a cladding system to it, or a railing system to it. So we capture the survey information and then, a couple of weeks later, somebody says, “well actually we need a measurement for the internal systems, for wall system.”

We don't have to go back to site and survey again, we've already got all the points. So we can basically go back and re-measure the scan for that. It is essentially a very powerful survey tool.

But you may want to use the data for something else, you may want to use it for facility management. So you've got your building and you don't have a BIM system. You could actually survey the facility, capture all the information in 3D
and it is still a good foundation for facility management.

For the developers, I think the biggest benefit of this is, basically, surveying existing spaces. In a couple of hours, we can create a survey of an existing facility, which is an exact representation of what's there. We can measure the floor areas for the developer. We can calculate how much space they've got. They can use that then for negotiating leases, etc etc

So it's a very powerful tool just to get an as-built condition of a space that a client already owns or that an investor is planning to purchase or invest in.

I think people are starting to realise, that they're asking for the scan for one reason, then they are uncovering, that we can actually make use of it for two or three other purposes. So it is getting re-purposed as well. That's where it gets very interesting.

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