July 2, 2019

On Point Measurements Using Point Cloud Technology

Using the right technology can save you time and money in the long run when renovating a corporate interior space. Providing highly accurate dimensions of the space using Point Cloud will deliver the most detailed and accurate depiction of the reality of the space.

What is Point Cloud Technology?

Point Cloud technology utilizes 3D scanners that collect billions of data points on the external surfaces of the immediate environment, making it ideal to capture the bounds of an interior space. Think of it like A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte by artist Georges Seurat, one of the most renowned examples of pointillism in art history, but our canvas is not flat. It is instead a virtual 3D space where each individual dot of color, when viewed as a whole, makes up a cohesive image. Similarly, the billions of data points in the Point Cloud allow us to measure the totality of an interior or exterior space.

Using Point Cloud technology to take a 3D scan of a real-world space allows for a smoother transition into BIM/Revit – our primary design software. In Revit our designers can utilize the Point Cloud to model any building or space quickly and with the utmost accuracy. Designing a successful space can be demanding, so why not save time by using a technology you can rely upon?

Real world budget saver

Even the most accurate construction drawings are typically slightly different than what is built, due to site conditions or myriad of other small influences that are unavoidable in the field. Because of this reality, it is not unusual that a new set of drawings based on existing documentation and manual surveying will require necessary adjustments in the field during construction. These differences can be unsettling for the client and design team alike. Utilizing the accuracy of a Point Cloud based model can allow us to resolve these issues early on, and can bring the total budget for the design process down significantly. WHA’s team of designers found this to be true when redesigning The Salvation Army’s new headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, where the as-built drawings located some exterior walls nearly two feet from their true position.

When to consider using Point Cloud

As many in the CRE industry know; unexpected costs can come up between a project start date and completion date. Here are a couple questions to ask when considering if a Point Cloud is the right approach to creating base drawings for your next project:

Is this project on a rush schedule?

You and your team can save a lot of time when surveying an old building or existing site that requires renovation. Laser point technology can result in as much as a 40% reduction in field time versus traditional methods of measurement while providing a more accurate result.

 Would potential delays have significant cost or operational implications?

High precision and accurate data collection are among the most important advantages of Point Cloud. Previously, renovation or restructuring involved manual examination that would allow for some dimensional errors. These can be avoided when capturing with higher precision by a 3D scan. After the point cloud is created, the data points provide a more robust analyzation of interferences within BIM/Revit before construction begins.

The bottom line

Point Cloud technology saves time and money by ensuring accuracy, detail, and single-source access to information. As project budgets and timelines tighten, access to all the latest technology available can become pertinent to increase flexibility and meet ever-changing demands. More accurate information at the beginning of the project results in less surprises throughout the process.