Archive for category Point to Point Laser Technology

Laser to Revit : Laser to BIM

PointKnown website www.pointknown.com has its splash page up and expects to be in beta within the next 6 weeks.  PointKnown has developed a system that takes laser range finder data and builds Revit models in the field.  Point to Point Laser Technology (PPLT)  increases the capture of existing conditions,  speeds the production of BIM and Revit Models of the built environment and decreases data gathering and draft time by over 50%.

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Building Green with BIM : Existing Conditions

I wondered ho much of the green movement would get sidelined due to the tanking economy, and how much acceleration LEED certified projects will continue to get.   Regardless of LEED though going green is proving to be cost effective, so effect on the bottom line are always going to get noticed.  BIM allows option analysis from an energy perspective.   You can perform solar analysis, heat gain/loss, options to replace glass with low-e, double paned, or triple paned, and run your ROI on a project by project basis.  What is the payback by re insulating  or  upgrading the power plant is much easier calculated with a BIM.  A recent article by Karl Heitman in the REournal goes on to say that you need to take into account the “embodied energy” in a building and that it would take 75 years of LEED Platinum Certified Building to repay the loss of tearing it down.  So need to refit and reuse, create great projects with your existing conditions.

How you can capture existing conditions in a BIM format?  So far, not so easy.

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BIM Required on Alteration and Adaptation over $2.5M: Wisconsin

So the GSA took the lead and states are starting to follow. Wisconsin announced that on all addition and alteration projects that require $2.5M or greater that a BIM is required. With this announcement they also released there own set of guidelines. Interesting note is that both the GSA and Wisconsin are platform agnostic and refer to software as BIM authoring software or discipline specialty software, and that it must be IFC compliant.

So when does the movement around IFC begin like Linux?

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OGC 3D Fusion Summit @ MIT

This event is being put on by the Open Geospatial Consortium, tough to type, tougher to say but it is one of many pushing for open standards and interoperability.   They will be speaking about these issues and new tchnologies.  I hope to stop by for some afternoon sessions and our lead technologist will be going so I hope to post on the presentations and findings.

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Glucophage weight loss

So I am reading this article on ‘GM Embraces BIM‘, and wondering if I should post it, becuase, well, GM has had better days, but the points they made such as “…GM estimates that they are able to construct a building 25% faster, saving 10-15% of construction cost. And they can do this much safer than in the past, setting industry records on safety.”  Is worth mentioning.

I have been reading a variety of articles recently that mention laser scanning, including this one, matter of factly, on how to capture the built environment in BIM, when in fact it can be a time intensive and laborious practice.  While we are looking forward to the day when anyone can walk into a room and wave a wand and have a BIM pop out you need to look at the technologies available today, they type of project and what your deliverable needs to be to make the most informed decisions.  Many times using PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology) can be the most cost effective option.

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Sustainable Buildings By Design

The AARA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) is now law and now the federal dollars are starting to spill into the economy.  The effect on BIM and its growth can be shown by the GSA solicitation.   Autodesk has been delivering 2 page white papers, one of which is Sustainable Buildings By Design.  While they mention 2 ways to get the built environment, tracing and laser scanning, they have failed to see the new technolgies and methods that will be chasing this new market.

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Methods to Capture the Built Environment

It is estimated that the world wide construction industry is $4.6 trillion dollars, over $1 trillion in the US alone.  However, upto 80% of that construction is performed in the built environment.  Adaptive reuse, tenant improvements, renovations and the like dominate especially in older cities and especially in Europe.  The big question is how to take advantage of all the benefits of BIM in the built environment.  There are different technologies at use that I believe are more complimentary than competitive.

Graph Paper and Pencil

Graph paper and pencil is still the most used technology today.  Why?  There is little or no technology to learn much like  going out for a run where all you have to do is put on your sneakers and head out the door.  The problem is it is time intensive.  The process involves drawing the building and then placing measurements on each architectural feature.  When thatis completed you have to translate all of that onto a CAD workstation.  Inevitably there are missed measurements and the surveyor/drafter will need to revisit the site, or make an educated guess at what is happening inside the building making it time intensive or error prone.  More often than not these as-builts get a VIF (Verify In Field) stamp which then puts the onus on the construction manager to get it right in the field causing work delays as they repeat work that has already been done.

Point to Point Laser Technology (PPLT)

This technology translates laser range finder data directly into a CAD or BIM enabled work stations.  This allows the user to build models or capture a building geometry in real time while in the field.  By building in real time the user knows if the building is being captured correctly.  With real time feedback they know if a room is dimensioned correctly simply by looking at the model, and an incorrectly drawn room will not close.  The relationships between rooms are captured and the envelope of the building is determined and drawing on site.  Additionally, the user walks out of a building with a model that is close to complete needing much less post processing than other methods.

Laser Scanning

Equipment exists today that will scan buildings creating a dimensionally correct point cloud of a building.  Users can query the model to develop features and their relationships.  While we dream of the day when these scans can be converted instantaneously into a BIM model the reality today is that intensive post processing is needed to turn them into a model than can be used inside a BIM package.  After collecting the data the operator needs to take cross sections of the building in multiple views to bring into a BIM program.  They use these sections as backgrounds to build a model so a lot fo tracing needs to be done, inserting another user intensive process into BIM creation.  Uses for this technology can be excellent where data collection is difficult or MEP intensive projects.  There is excellent case studies (I will find them later and post them) where when using this technology to capture an MEP intensive project like an oil rig retrofit minimized or even eliminated reworking on the site.  That all the piping and equipment was designed and engineered off site and fit perfectly. The ROI can be immense when you imagine a full construction crew on site, and the as-builts pay for themselves, many times over.

The Right Tool for the Job

When starting a job a surveyor, architect, engineer, etc.  must decide what technology to use based on the job.  Many times what is needed is the correct geometry of the building is needed, in this case, PPLT might be best employed other cases laser scanning is needed and in smaller jobs even graph paper and pencil might be best employed.  Most importantly is to create dimensionally correct data so everyone working downstream can work more effectively and problems or any other issues are solved digitally rather than on site.

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