Laser Scanning in Architecture

Author:

Rachael Cierniakoski Marketing Coordinator Clayton Lounsbery Designer

Category:

  • Building Performance
  • Design

Posted:

October 28, 2020

As our resident architectural technology guru, Designer Clayton Lounsbery was happy to sit down and chat about our FARO Focus 3D laser scanner and its practical application on projects. As one of the primary users, Clayton has great insight into how the technology works and how it has positively impacted our projects. It was exciting to sit down with Clayton and discuss something he is clearly passionate about: utilizing cutting edge technology to create a better client experience.

Briefly explain the process of scanning.

We’re sending infrared scans to collect data points across various planes in a 360-degree direction. This allows us to create a digital landscape to use for our modeling purposes. Once set up on-site, our FARO scanner collects massive amounts of data quickly and efficiently.

What do you do with all the data?

After collecting the data on-site, it is registered into our system and converted into a point cloud. This process takes the individual scan points and links them together to become one comprehensive point cloud. Revit imports these systems, allowing me to input the point cloud into my model directly. Once it’s in a Revit file, we have an accurate 3D image with snapping points, so we have precision modeling!

This data directly translates into construction documents. We’re taking the real world into the modeled world by creating a snapshot of the existing conditions and their impact on the project.

As a designer, how does this help? What’s the appeal of laser scanning?

Firstly, the amount and accuracy of the data collected are incomparable. And the more data we have on something, the better we can utilize it. For example, if there is something as small as a slight curvature in the wall, we will have exact points dictating where that curvature exists. With information like this, we can better serve our clients by proposing the proper solutions and using the data to foresee potential pain points that we can tackle head-on.

Secondly, since we scan a full 360-degrees, we’re getting accurate dimensions and a complete view of the space. This provides a “walk-through” function of the project. We no longer have to physically be in the area to walk someone through a project. We can virtually present our model, showing the space as it currently exists and talking through proposed changes.  In a world where coming together in person has become more complicated, this presents an excellent communication and collaboration tool for our projects.

What are the positive impacts of laser scanning?

The utility is undeniable. It creates a one-trip-fits-all solution. By scanning an area on-site, we have precision data to reference throughout the project’s entire life-cycle. This can eliminate the need for multiple site visit trips. We achieve an accurate picture of the space and dimensions, measurements, and essential details in one site visit. Not only does this save time and keep costs down, but it is also an enormous resource as the project develops.

What are the benefits for clients? How do you see this impacting workflow and communication?

Some major benefits for clients include:

    • Increased data accuracy
    • Reduced travel to a project site
    • Having an exact 3D model for future reference/work
    • Quick visualization of a project in reality

On the flip side, there are benefits for designers and firms using this technology too! We’re experiencing things like the ability to safely measure difficult to access areas and increased productivity and efficiency.

Having the laser scanner in-house pushes us to stay ahead of the technology curve and continue to advance our capabilities, which is a benefit for everyone involved in our projects.

What projects can benefit from laser scanning?

Any and all! There is no reason not to utilize laser scanning on any project, big or small. We’ve applied our scanner for everything from a full façade inspection to lobby upgrades to a new virtual training center, and the results continue to be positive, effective, and efficient.

Author:

Rachael Cierniakoski Marketing Coordinator Clayton Lounsbery Designer

Category:

  • Building Performance
  • Design

Posted:

October 28, 2020