3D laser image of industrial space

March 15, 2016

Case Study: How 3D Laser Scanning & BIM Informed Facility Design


What happens when you attempt an infrastructure improvement project without full plans and specifications?

For progressive design-builders, this is the norm and often not a concern. However, when Haskell’s Bryan Bedell and team were tasked with designing a solution without accurate measurements for a highly complex facility, they required more answers.

They needed a way to validate the as-built conditions in the facility without compromising their client’s schedule.

How accurate is 50,000 data points per second?

To confirm the BIM Revit model of the complex Frederick-Winchester facility, Bedell and his team applied a new tool - 3D laser scanning.

Laser scanning is a precise survey instrument that collects very accurate measurements in complicated environments like this one. It collects survey data points at a rate of 50,000 points per second and has an effective range of 400 to 500 feet.

By placing scan setups inside the facility, the complete 3D model can be used to create 2D civil or architectural drawings, 3D computer models and final survey documents.

The BIM model and laser scan disagree.

Take a look at the 3D laser scan of the Frederick-Winchester facility conducted by LandAir Surveying Company below.

Really detailed, right? This scan was so accurate that it revealed a major issue. After assessing the existing as-builts in the BIM model (in red below) on top of the laser scan, the team noticed the pipes were not where the model said they were. Upon evaluating several alternatives, the scan led the team to another pipe route option to overcome spatial limitations. Read more about the project here.

You may be one scan away from saving time and money.

Imagine if Bedell and his team based their design on the as-builts in the BIM model alone. They would have had to delay the project to adjust their design to reroute the piping. One scan avoided a misstep that could have dramatically impacted both budget and schedule. This is precisely why using BIM models and 3D laser scanning together has become a new industry standard.

When considering this new standard, ask yourself – what do you know about your facility? More importantly, what will you do once you know?

Are you considering infrastructure improvements to your existing facility? Feel free to contact Bryan Bedell to discuss how these applications helped his team, and what they can do for your facility.

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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