Better design with Laser Scanning and Building Information Modelling

Scan to BIM: A guide.

So, what exactly IS Scan-BIM? And what will it look like for me and my client should I choose to enhance my project with it?

BIM model of the Garvan Institute
BIM model of the Garvan Institute

What is Scan-BIM?

Scan-BIM is the culmination of modern technological advances and traditional building design practices. It’s the process of using Laser Scanning Data Capture (point clouds) to capture the physical dimensions and details of an existing structure or environment, then converting that data into a digital Building Information Models (BIM).

What is Laser Scanning?

Laser Scanning uses the latest Lidar, slam and photogrammetry technologies from both terrestrial and aerial platforms. It captures vast amounts of 3D as-built data more efficiently and with far less disruption than traditional measurement practices.

What is a point cloud?

A point cloud is a collection of data points in space, produced by 3D scanners, which represent the external surfaces of objects or environments.

What is BIM?

Building Information Modelling (BIM) uses the captured data to create accurate 3D as-built models (Digital Twins). Due to the extensive data capture associated with point cloud data sets, consultants can create highly detailed models and 2D documentation This allows for informed design decisions and less issues as the project progresses.

What problems does Scan-BIM solve?

Surveying traditionally makes up a small percentage of a projects total budget, but the quality of the initial data capture and as-built documentation dictates the efficacy and outcomes for the entire build. The number one overhead encountered in any Civil project is onsite fitment issues, caused by inaccurate design. Scan–BIM will set the stage for an efficient, sustainable project with less expensive mistakes, from beginning to end and beyond.

Scanning is the quickest, and most precise way to capture detailed data about a structure. By starting a project with a survey accurate BIM model consultants can design with far greater confidence, speed and accuracy than traditional design practices.

Your cloud-hosted 3D Model allows relevant stakeholders to have access to a common source of truth for the duration the project (and afterwards). Architects, engineers, facility managers and more will be able to efficiently access this essential information as needed, improving communication, transparency and accountability.

Scan-BIM is particularly useful when designing new infrastructure that must meet/ attach to existing walls, roofs, steel, services etc. A survey as-built model will show the deviation/ irregularity of the built structure to an extent that cannot be achieved with 2D survey methods. Laser scanning is also far less intrusive and quicker when conducting the onsite measurements, this reduces the impact to working business/ tenants and oftentimes allows us to access areas that simply could not be surveyed traditionally.

A digital twin (BIM model) goes beyond design. Rather than capturing data for single-use during the design and construction of a property, BIM is commonly used for ongoing facilities management. Future design works (structural redesigns, extensions, roadway upgrades, leasing plans etc), maintenance checks, site meetings and inductions can all be planned or carried out remotely using the existing 3D data sets. This results in resource-light site management, saving time and money.

So, what does this actually look like?

Once your model has been built, we’ll send you a link to your model in Pointerra (our preferred digital twin hosting platform). You’ll be able to share this link with whomever you choose.

Here’s an example of what you’ll receive when your model is complete. You can follow the link below to see a real example. Feel free to click around, move things and explore.

 Click here: CMS Surveyors – SCAN – BIM – Demonstration Project

  • The RED section is where you can view the various project data sets, including the point cloud and LOD (level of detail) 100 – 400 modelling examples.
  • PURPLE shows you pre-made sections and plan views of the 3D data sets
  • GREEN shows an example of data tagging within 3D space. You can use this to tag points of interest such as services or amenities or discussion points.

Once we’ve handed over, you’re you’ll still have access to our team should you have questions or need support.

Examples of past work

Interested? We can help.

Ready to explore the power of BIM for your architecture business? We’d love to help. Our Sydney-based team of BIM experts are ready to add new dimensions to your project and beam you into a whole new world of efficiency and collaboration!

Interested in learning more?

Find out how CMS Surveyors can support you with your project.

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