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BIMForum Webinar on Laser Scanning

This was set up so last minute, that I didn't even have time to blast the link for sign-up. I will make sure I do it for next's month - which will be the ConsensusDocs BIM Addendum.

Here are my notes/thoughts on the webinar (copied from the Q5 blog..do you really expect me to write a unique post?)

Today, the BIMForum Constructor’s Subforum held its first monthly webinar, discussing laser scanning. The BIMForum decided to tackle this topic because, in the words of Pat Carmichael from HKS, it enables a “level of detail of built analysis that you can’t effectively get any other way”. Pat gave the architectural perspective on laser scanning. He walked through several of HKS’ use cases, mostly stadium projects, and addressed the value that they get from the process.

Mario Mazzi, from one of Turner Construction’s West Coast offices, outlined their process for planning laser scanning. It is similar to one that we would recommend, so we added some Q5 advice in context:

Step 1: Plan

Determine the end use for the laser scan data. Do you want to coordinate new design with existing conditions, compare as-built conditions with as-designed data or something else entirely? Will you convert to BIM or use in native point cloud format?

Step 2: How to Collect?

You basically have three options: subcontract the laser scanning, rent a laser scanner or purchase your own. Some general criteria:

If you have over 6 months of laser scanning to do, buy. Why? Because laser scanners cost $120K to purchase and $20K/month to rent.

So how do you decide if you want to subcontract or rent? It really depends on your organization and your project. Do you have surveying capabilities in-house? Can you dedicate a team to laser scanning? Do you want to train staff in data collection or modeling? How large is the space? What type of scanner will you need? Since many projects require multiple types (for close-up and distance), it may not be cost effective to rent.

Step 3: What to Collect/Model?

Determine your level of detail. What objects do you really need to capture or model? Although a laser scanner will capture everything in “line of sight”, you may not need to convert everything to Building Information Model format.

Step 4: Map Your Schedule

Create a schedule that includes time to capture data, which may be based on when you can access the space. Map out how and when data will be sent, and if data will be sent intermittently or only when complete.

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