Report: Is Laser Scanning a perfect BIM accompaniment?

Credit: Arup
Credit: Arup

Building Information Modelling is often touted as a revolutionary way to see what a construction project will look like before a single brick is laid on site, ‘building before the build’ if you will. However, a BIM process can easily be applied to a current building already in existence in a response to plan any future developments to a project or keep a record of up-to-date fixtures and fittings.

2D drawings take a lot of time to edit and are immediately outdated once a change to a building takes place. With BIM software able to account for lifecycle management as well as building tasks, how can BIM become the definitive option to surveying buildings? Arup Associates’ Kate Fletcher believes she has the answer.

In her latest blog post on BDOnline, the Associate Public Health Engineer describes laser scanning as a potential “utopian solution”, which sees a building be scanned, creating a ‘point cloud’ of data that can then be transferred to BIM software to create a model. Fletcher cites an Arup case study in which the process was used. She said:

“The whole of the Broadgate Circle building was laser scanned. This included the basement service road area, which serves several adjacent buildings, containing extensive building services of which many were being retained. The resultant data was used to create an Autodesk Revit survey model as a true and accurate representation of the entire building.”

Laser scanning is a process that can also be used effectively in not-yet completed construction. “As costs have come down, some of our clients are now using laser scans regularly and building up a BIM of their existing stock for future planning”, notes Fletcher.

Click here to read the entirety of Fletcher’s thoughts on laser scanning and BIM. Although the aforementioned relationship is of common knowledge, it is highly interesting to get a company’s perspective from their point of view. Although not always perfect, it is obvious laser scanning is a very useful tool to have at your disposal.

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