Building Renovation

  1. It is difficult to demonstrate the ROI for laser scanning on a building renovation project.
  2. There are challenges in the field due to demolition and in the office with the CAD software.
  3. The GSA is holding a 2 day conference to discuss barriers to implementing BIM.

I was in a discussion with a service provider concerning how to cost effectively make use of laser scanning on building renovation projects. He brought up a number of issues that make this a real challenge, yet this is the majority of the type of project that the GSA and other major real estate owners are going to be developing.

Let’s start in the field. The question there is how much information to collect. If a major part of the as-found interior is going to be demolished, what is the point of scanning it? As I have stated in the past it could become an important digital record when and if there is some type of dispute, but time is money. Perhaps the scanning can be done, but the data not processed unless there is a need.

The next issue that was identified is that in most cases the as-found condition is not going to be compatible with most CAD software packages. As I have noted, these systems never anticipated the use of millions of 3D points, but it is not only a data type and quantity issue.

CAD systems expect walls, floors, doors and windows to be planar and orthogonal. Bad news, in the real world they are not. I was going to say especially in an older building, but often the quality of workmanship was higher in the old days.

So we find ourselves in a difficult position when it comes to demonstrating the ROI for laser scanning. This is in part why the GSA Mid-Atlantic region is sponsoring a National GSA BIM Workshop in Philadelphia on May 19 – 21 entitled, BIM – Overcoming the Barriers of Adoption. For more information all I can find is this email, gsabimconference@gsa.gov.

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