Virtual Design and Construction

Posted by LSA on 10th Aug 2014


It’s no secret that BIM is currently the most ridiculously hyped buzzword in AECO community. As a revolutionary practice that’s spread to almost all corners of the design and building management world, the fact that BIM is still a buzzword is somewhat confusing. The focus of the BIM conversation should not be “Are you using BIM?” but rather “How well do you use BIM”. If focus remains on the first question, the industry stagnates without the opportunity to explore new ways of seeing like reality capture. If intelligent designers and builders can shift the conversation to the second questions, this opens the door for disruptive technologies (such as reality capture) to again revolutionize the way design is made a reality. Laser Scanning lends itself to resolving the previously tenuous relationship between design and actual construction in such a way that makes BIM not just more useful but an indispensable tool for Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Owner/Operators.

BIM is perhaps better understood when paired with Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). A substantial amount of a project is digitally “executed prior” to its implementation in the field; design, construction documents and schedules are almost universally produced via software. BIM acts as the primary conduit for consolidating the different avenues of building construction into one streamlined process.

How Terrestrial Laser Scanning plays a role in BIM and VDC.

Whether a project is concerned with the construction of an entirely new site or modifying an existing one, there needs to be adequate documentation on the site in order for the initial design process to be executed. For an existing structure, it’s uncommon that the As-Built documentation is enough to work with, and even rarer that it’s in a BIM-friendly format. The Scan-to-BIM workflow provides the necessary data to start the design process in a format easily translatable to BIM platforms such as Revit. In addition, MEP fixtures (which often present the most tedious part of as-built documentation) can easily be documented, isolated, analyzed, and correctly applied.

Knowing and understanding the complex interrelationships of a building system is perhaps the most powerful tool available to AECO professionals. Not only does it offer cost effective (and often profitable) solutions, but also minimizes the potential for things to go horribly wrong in the long path between initial designs and final punch out. As BIM stands today, it seems that in the near future it will become completely ubiquitous for AECO applications (if it isn’t already). Using laser scanning to implement a Scan-to-BIM workflow can streamline our business and produce a higher quality of work. Email us for rental or service options to see how laser scanning can improve your BIM and VDC options.