The Architectural Applications of 3D Laser Scanning

3D Laser Scanning has immense potential for aiding the process of architectural design from the early stages of site documentation and conceptualization, to monitoring construction progress and verifying as-built accuracy. Aside from the obvious benefits of quickly and accurately creating detailed as-built drawing records of a site, the data acquired through the process of laser scanning has a continued value throughout the basic services required for an Architectural Services Contract.

Point Cloud to BIM

Building information modeling is exploding in the AEC (Architect, Engineer, Contractor) industry. Implementing 3D Laser Scanning creates a smooth BIM workflow, from the acquisition of data to a polished 3D Architectural Model. Scan to BIM services are becoming more popular as the need for intelligent 3D CAD models grows.

Schematic Design

For projects requiring a remodel or addition to an existing space, the point cloud data acquired in the scanning process provides various environments to develop, refine, and effectively communicate emerging design ideas. Use Laser Scanning to aid in creating anything from an initial massing study to a refined rendering of the site. 3d laser scanning provides the data needed to create a polished and precise deliverable, such as:

  • Site Plans (registered to global survey coordinates)
  • Floor plans
  • Sections
  • Elevations
  • 3D renderings

Design Development

As a project matures, there are often details and elements left undocumented in the original phases that take on a new significance. A professionally acquired and registered point cloud will contain the minutia needed to promptly address problems that arise in the design phase, as well as propel the production of new drawings such as mechanical, electrical, structural plans. This eliminates multiple, repetitive trips to the site that eat up time and resources. The high precision of laser scanning buildings allows architects to work with the finer details of a jobsite without excessive documentation.

In addition to the pragmatic applications in planning, point cloud data and the BIM features extracted from it provide an important edge in project presentation to a prospective client. Use point cloud data and the CAD/BIM features modeled from it to create:

  • Detailed Renderings
  • 3D Flythroughs
  • Light Studies
  • Energy Efficiency Studies
  • Utility Schematics

Construction Phase

Laser Scanning, as an unobtrusive measurement method, allows one to monitor construction progress and verify the accuracy of work. Whether employing it as an instrument of quality control, verifying contract fulfillment, or identifying and resolving clashes between plan and reality, laser scanning provides a comprehensive documentation of the site unmatched by other technologies. Existing reference points from the original scanning and registration process allow for seamless integration and immediate clash detection.

Scope of Deliverables

  • Site Plans
    • Globally georeferenced site plan
  • Site Sections
  • Floorplans
  • Reflected Ceiling plans
  • Sections
  • Elevations
  • Details of existing Features
    • Window and Door
    • Columns
    • Casework
    • Stairwells
  • Equipment Fixtures
  • Extracted BIM
  • PDMS Documentation
  • P&ID Schematics