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WeWork is Leveraging 3D BIM to Fuel Its Rapid Expansion

Scan of WeWork Office Space
WeWork Office Space

Not familiar with WeWork? They are like ride sharing companies Uber or Lyft, but their game is sharing downtown office space. Since this blog was first posted WeWork has had some major issues with corporate governance and now the Covid pandemic. It would be interesting to know what the latest business model looks like.

Co-founders Adam Neuman, who had started a baby clothes business and Miguel McKelvey an architect worked in the same building in Brooklyn, NY. They both noticed that a large part of the building was vacant. After a lot of effort they convinced the landlord to let them open a co-working space for entrepreneurs in 2008.

They named the company Green Desk. The focus of the company was sustainable coworking spaces featuring recycled furniture and electricity that came from wind power.

The company took off. They each pocketed a couple of million on a quick exit and used the proceeds to found WeWork in 2010. In 2015, WeWork had a $10 billion dollar valuation and was one of the most valuable start-ups in the world.

As of early-January 2019, WeWork had a valuation of roughly US$47 billion and managed 10,000,000 square feet (930,000 m2) of office space. WeWork designs and builds physical and virtual shared spaces and office services for entrepreneurs and companies. Their main focus is on community which they work very hard at creating by designing and transforming new and old buildings into dynamic work spaces.

This is what leads to their significant investment in 3D laser scanning. They need highly accurate space information to properly bill their clients.

They have recruited a team of 20 reality capture specialists and own more than a dozen laser scanners. Their culture is to do things in-house.

Thad Wester, Head of Reality Capture explained,”“We’re looking into the prefabrication of components and the transformation of the construction site into more of a manufacturing site. We’re talking about how to leverage this technology to manufacture components in an assembly line process, rather than a lot of custom work that is carried out on site today. That gets us excited and gets the industry excited too.”

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