Oct. 18, 2022

Using 3D laser scanning in project life cycles

  • Article
  • 3D laser scanning
  • Reality capture
  • Pointcloud

3D laser scanning is a powerful tool that can be used in all project stages, ranging from planning, concept design and detailed engineering to construction and operations.

  1. This article will focus on how using 3D laser scanning can be beneficial by reducing:

    • risks during detailed design
    • cost overruns
    • requests for information and turn around time during the construction phase

    As facilities and infrastructure age, existing documentation can become inconsistent with what is truly on site or, often times, does not exist at all. With access to many sites being logistically challenging at times, multiple and unplanned site visits are not always a cost-effective solution.

  2. Reduced risks

    With 3D laser scanning, we can capture current site conditions, which allows us to confirm against documentation. When there are no documents or drawings to refer to, importing a 3D point cloud into design software, creating 3D models from the point clouds and extracting 2D drawings has proven to be highly effective. This reduces design risks and ensures the accuracy and constructability of modifications to existing elements and of new elements.

  3. Through this workflow, all parties, including the engineering, design and management teams, can access data from a single source. This removes any inconsistencies that may occur when using multiple sources; it also mitigates the risk of data inconsistency.

    Reduced cost overruns

    Cost overruns can occur for many different reasons, two of which being incomplete data and unexpected or unaccounted-for site visits. This can greatly impact your project when the site is remote or the design team isn’t nearby. To help mitigate this, deploying a 3D laser scanning team during the early stages of your project will allow all stakeholders to better understand challenges and have a clearer picture of site conditions. This will allow the design and project management teams, as well as the client, to confirm details through the point cloud at any given time, thus eliminating, in many cases, unaccounted-for and non-budgeted site visits.

  4. Fewer requests for information during construction

    As mentioned, we know that having a highly accurate point cloud, along with photorealism, during the engineering and design phases of a project can greatly benefit these phases. This is also true for the construction phase. Using a 3D scan can affect requests for information (RFIs), in both the amount of RFIs received and the response time, as well as any given solution. In fact, 3D scanning allows office and field staff to work with the engineering team in real time, no matter their location. Thus, the engineering team can review the situation, discuss possible solutions and find an appropriate approach to reduce response time and, in some cases, even prevent work stoppages.

  5. As BBA maximizes the use of reality capture tools, such as 3D laser scanning, its teams will continue to design innovative ways to support clients by offering cost-saving and efficient solutions.

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