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Laser Scanning

6 Uses of 3D Laser Scanning in Construction Projects

Reetie Multani
March 30, 2022
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Laser scanning is a highly accurate methodology that captures all details of an existing building or a construction site. Through laser light, advanced construction laser 3D scanners help to create 3D representations called point clouds, containing data for creating a map of the accurate shapes and sizes of physical objects. Since the technique is quick and efficient, AEC (Architectural, Engineering and Construction) stakeholders always get accurate laser scanning for construction applications.

Let’s explore the 6 uses of 3D laser scanning in construction:

1. Mapping of Existing Site:

Architects build their design based on the as-built drawings of the building owners, but sometimes these drawings are not necessarily accurate. These errors, when not caught early on, can (and probably will) cause problems at later stages of the construction workflow, resulting in change orders, project delays and some additional costs. Implementing a 3D laser scanning process, the contractors confirm as-built conditions and divulge design issues at the preconstruction stage.

2. Design Validation:

By performing a quick 3D laser scan of a construction project, building contractors can create a 3D model of existing site conditions, which they compare to as-designed drawings or models for quality assurance. BIM engineers will mark up the model to represent varying degrees of deviation from the design in order to help the building contractors know exactly what needs to be fixed before it becomes a serious issue later.

3. Progress Evaluation:

When 3D laser scanning is used throughout the construction project, project stakeholders are provided with an accurate record of every phase of the building construction. The conditions of the walls, above the ceilings and under the floors are recorded and the project management team refers to these records throughout the whole lifecycle of the project. In this manner, 3D laser scanning provides added value in the closeout package of the contractor.

4. 3D Building Model Creation:

Architects often communicate complicated design ideas to the project stakeholders, like investors, who don’t have any design or construction experience. Often, it’s easier to create a 3D model for effective design communication to the stakeholders. Using 3D laser scanners, the process of virtual model creation gets quicker and more accurate with quick 3D data capture.

5. Coordination & Collaboration on Construction Site:

Laser scanning facilitates streamlined coordination and enhanced collaboration so that the AEC stakeholders ensure better and faster decision making. When all project stakeholders collaborate, there’s improved communication and transparency for a successful project execution.

6. Matching Project Plan with Output:

3D laser scanner for buildings based on cost reduction constitutes the dynamic deployment of scans for evaluating various stages of a building project. Scan-to-BIM is used for all applications of scan, uploading data directly in BIM schematics. When used in conjunction with the Building Information Modeling technique, scan data helps to compare various stages of project development directly linked to the project execution stages. These comparisons enable the team to immediately spot and remediate errors.

How does Laser Scanning Work?

  • Scanning of building object
  • Capturing point cloud data
  • Processing the point cloud data
  • 3D model creation

Examples of 3D Laser Scanning Projects:

  • 3D Scanning for Building Information Modeling Project based in Baltimore, USA:
    BIM (Building Information Modeling) engineers captured comprehensive information about the building elements of the projects in physical space and enabled accurate BIM modeling and coordination. The 3D scanning technique facilitated different stages of the commercial construction, including 3D modeling, visualization and quality inspection. Find out more details about the project on Point Cloud Conversion to 3D BIM model.
  • BIM As-Built Modeling from Point Cloud for Washington DC Project:
    Engineers executed an as-built model from the point cloud for the 1155 23rd Street Northwest project in Washington DC. As-built model from point cloud saved time and money for the project, notifying the management team about project development progress. The clients benefited from as-built drawings with a detailed record of improvements during the construction. The spotted complications brought about changes in the building and resolved them before becoming a problem in the long run. Know more about the laser scanning construction project.

Key Takeaways:
Use 3D laser scanning technology to enable smooth, efficient and faster project execution compared to the conventional construction process. Laser scanned point cloud data helps BIM modelers to develop an accurate virtual 3D model, providing the overview of the entire building from the stage of early design development and construction to the final stage of delivery.

Key uses include:

  • Mapping of existing site conditions
  • Design validation for project execution
  • Evaluation of project progress
  • Generation of error-free data-rich 3D Building Information Modeling
  • Better onsite team collaboration and coordination
  • Matching construction plan with output

About The Author

Reetie Multani is a content creator having a background in construction, Building Information Modeling and other technologies like 3D laser scanning services. She writes for Tejjy Inc.’s 3D laser scanning services to remove all cost barriers faced by Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) firms. She provides readers with insights, updates and information related to construction that help the AEC industry professionals to achieve goals and reach the next level of growth.

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