Posts Tagged existing
Pointknown was tasked with capturing Ocean Spray’s HQ, over 160,000 SF of Office Space and Labs over 3 Floors set on hundreds of acres of woods and bogs in Lakeville, MA. Because of the nature of the building and deliverable we were able to capture the bulk of the features and geometry directly with PKNail Pro, allowing us to measure and model in real time in the field. Interior Wall Partitioning, Bathroom Layouts, Windows and Doors. After the geometry was completed we placed the acoustical tile grids, and placed objects directly with the Revit interface.
For surveying and documenting buildings having a set of tools allows a provider to offer the right solution set to your clients. Not everything’s a nail so carry more than a hammer. We first developed PKNail Pro because we needed another tool set in the field, and started offering it commercially because clients asked us if we would provide it. Does it do everything, no; it was intended and designed to capture typical conditions very well, and quickly by turning measurements directly into Revit based objects, walls, windows doors, locate / place wall based objects from plumbing to electrical to fire protection and it does that very well.
Quote of the Project Upon Early Arrival and Hearing Barking/Howling: “No…those aren’t dogs, those are coyotes.”
In my experience through a dozen plus years of the topic, these issues are best discussed and defined at the outset whether you’re outsourcing the work or doing it yourself.
- What is the initial use of the model?
Start with a MVM (Minimal Viable Model ), volumetrically correct and add detail from there. Interior designers will need different detail than someone implementing CAFM tools, then will an architect adding an addition or an adaptive reuse project. Custom windows, Wall Types, Beams, Fire Protection, Molding, etc. can all be added later so don’t pay for what you don’t need.
- What technology is being deployed?
There are a variety of technologies out there, what are you or your vendor using? How much experience do they have. Do not be afraid to ask for or create a technology road map and ask for demonstrations, experience, and documentation of previous projects. Technology and data capture can be and should be quite different for a 1000 rooms in a hotel vs. a theatre with non-orthogonal walls, balconies, and lots of trim detail. Will it be HDLS (HIgh Def laser Scanning), PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology or P2P), Photogrammetry, Hand measuring and graph paper? There are price considerations to be had with each.
- Architectural Intent?
Hard to believe this makes into the top 3, however, you need to discuss how you want to deal with non-conforming issues. For example, less than a .3 degree deflection of a wall in plan view will cause +6” over 100 feet. Who cares? Do you? It’s important. As non-ortho connections in Revit cause model errors, something in new construction Revit wants you to avoid, however when modeling existing not every building was built perfectly square. Would you rather see the building modeled with regards to architectural intent and have any non conforming issues annotated or do you want it modeled as it exists.
There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace with regards to laser scanning and modeling existing conditions as there are no standards in place, nor certifying boards for anyone doing this work so until that day happens the onus is on the consumer to ask the questions and help manage the process to get the model they need.
Co- Founder / CEO Pointknown
Pointknown provides services and software for documenting existing buildings in Revit. We also offer consulting to set up your own projects through enabling technology or project management.
Location : Amherst, MA (University of Massachusetts)
Client : Finegold Alexander
Interioreview / PointKnown was hired to survey/document and create an Architectural Revit model using generic components to accurate represent the building. Accurately locate and model interior timbers, chapel and steeple. Include all classrooms and offices.
Hardware : Faro 330 : Disto D8
Software: Autodesk Revit : PointKnown PKNail Pro
Scan and register pointcloud for exterior, chapel and timbers. Import pointcloud to Revit model architectural objects included in the scan. Measure and Build direct to Revit using PKNail Pro, extents of building footprint for quality control to compare with pointcloud data, and measure and model all rooms, offices, and classrooms. Include Kitchen and Bathroom layouts as they occur through out the building using PKNail Pro to place all wall based objects (Toilets, Urinals, Sinks..)
PointKnown Captures Existing Buildings
Software / Services / Consulting
I recently was invited to present for an IFMA Technology Council Webinar (Link to Deck Here). Both Carlos Vasquez from Epic Scan, the other presenter , and myself had come both mostly to the same conclusions having never met and working on two different coasts. “It really is the wild west out there.” For instance, there are no standards on deliverables or when putting out an RFP for this kind of work. Plus, there are a lot of people out there buying scanners and saying they can do everything that comes in the literature with the hardware. However, owning a piece of hardware and being competent at it are two vastly different things. Just because I own a pair of skates doesn’t mean I can get on the ice with the Rangers. Plus, if the firm you are hiring only has one piece of hardware expect that the quote you get will be one size fits all.
My approach to any given job is to have a detailed conversation with whoever is going to use the Revit Model or Data and what they need it for. For example, an owner doing due diligence on a property has vastly different need and budget then an architectural firm doing an adaptive reuse project on 200,000 SF of Industrial Mill Space. So we tailor the project and technology around their needs and budget. I would argue that an owner look at each project and start with the minimal viable product (MVP) or data set they need and then add details as the project warrants. With that said the base line product should still be solid. For example, we might be asked to come in to verify square footages of a building during due diligence. This is to make certain that the prospective owner has faith that the marketed 100,000 SF actually is 100,000 SF of rentable space. This might just require us to get the shell and cores correctly. But be certain that is done well enough so if going forward we need to add the mechanical plant, or interior partitioning, etc. we have a good foundation to start from.
If you are looking to document your building for almost any stage, due diligence, BOMA calculations, Interior Design, Adaptive Reuse there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
• Size and Complexity of the Project
• Deadlines and Time Constraints
• Budget and Available Resources
• Uses for Models
and when choosing a vendor or service provider…get references, see if they have done similar projects, ask them about their process and their technology. When done right having a model or your building documented properly, accurately pays dividends many times over, when done wrong it has Excedrin written all over it.
Are laser scanners and their resulting pointclouds right for you and your project? As with all lists, it is simplified and of my opinion. Whether you want to trust my opinion, well that’s up to you, but my company Interioreview has, for over a decade, surveyed / drafted / modeled hundreds of buildings and starting in 2006 delivered Revit Models of existing buildings. My company, PointKnown, has created an Add-In to Revit that allows you capture and model buildings as you measure, in real time with a hand held laser. Now that I’ve blown my own horn here are my top 3 Myths:
It’s Foolproof and Error Free.
Wrong. I have not once received a model from a ‘pointcloud’ surveyor without dimensional errors in the model. Not once. Only because of our internal controls and surveying was I able to call out the errors and was not satisfied with other companies internal controls that the errors would have been found if my company had not found them. Such that we now will do all the modeling in house. Just because someone has a scanner does not mean they do it well.
it is concluded that features such as reflectivity, color, and brightness of the object surfaces have impact on the quality of the data, therefore, although 3D point cloud data is very useful it should be considered that the data can be sometimes irregular and corrupted and thus not exactly reflecting the features of the scanned object.
It’s Easy to Produce a Model From a Pointcloud.
Holy cow, no. How many technologies come into play to get a scan created, consolidated, registered, exported, modeled? First the hardware/scanner, whether it’s from Leica, Faro, whoever, they have their own software to manage the scan/cloud, and then you can export/import to Revit to use as a background to model over. You can use other technologies to help with this process such as Scan to BIM, or to cut portions of the pointcloud you can use ReCap, export to Autocad and re-import that data into Revit, etc. My point being there are a variety of methods to get from here to there but they are not necessarily consistent and have their strength and weaknesses, but you are using human power to make those decisions at each step. And then you are essentially using the pointcloud to ‘trace’ over. That is, you cut sections of the pointcloud in what ever view you are working in and trace over them. Has the person ‘modeling’ the building ever surveyed a building? Or have construction or architecture experience to know how a building should be put together. Does the architect really want to see a wall with a .08 degree deflection of wall off 90 degrees because it will create numerous amount of Revit errors, and was it really there or was the pointcloud interpreted incorrectly? There is no easy button.
It’s Cost Effective
Putting a scanning crew on site for a day is going to cost you between $3K-$4K typically, just to get the exterior of a building, with the pointcloud only, expect at least a 2 day buy in for between $6K and $8K, and that’s typically without going inside, and at the end you get the point cloud, not a Revit model. So a typical house, modeled from a point cloud, inside and out, best guess $8K-$10K. 12 Story Commercial Office Building, $50K+ and so on. Maybe that’s in your budget, but if so why? Why would you need to spend thousands of dollars to be told a room is square and has a 10′ ceiling?
Once dealing with the pointcloud, if you are dealing with it yourself, I hope you have a box/computer that is going to have a minimum of 16GB RAM, multicore XEON processor, etc. and ideally has a solid state drive, this is recommended by Autodesk for ‘pointcloud’ interactions.
You as a consumer of this data need to know what technologies are out there, your choices and their cost. I have seen circumstances and white papers where laser scanning pays dividends many times over, most consistently in existing exposed MEP intensive facilities, think utilities, drilling platforms, power-plants and the like where having a accurate representation of all that data can allow people to retrofit power-plants with few change orders or zero defects. Imagine an offshore construction platform that can lease for $100’s of thousands a day finishing early because of the accuracy of data, very good investment indeed even if it costs $200K to model it accurately. However, do you need that kind of data for a commercial building or an adaptive reuse project? How are you going to capture the interiors? There are methods to capture the built environment accurately for your needs without wasting money and effort.
Start with the simplest model you need, dimensionally accurate, volumetrically correct using whatever technology that gets you there cost effectively and with a level of confidence. Adding details to the model should be done dependent on scope and need. Power-plant of a building, you may want to bring in a scanner to model the piping package, etc. Accuracy of a historic structure that you may need to impact because of a project, sure scan it, but to scan an entire project is overkill in many circumstances no matter what you are told. Scan where you need details added. Know your options. Your tool box needs more than a hammer.
“As ASHRAE President Gordon V.R. Holness noted in the ASHRAE Journal, “Approximately 86% of building construction expenditures relate to renovation of existing buildings, not to new construction.” Holness estimated that “over the next 30 years about 150 billion sf of existing buildings (roughly half of the entire building stock in the United States) will need to be renovated.” Historically, new construction only adds about 2% annually to the U.S. commercial building stock, so the real opportunities for reducing operating costs must be found in building retrofit and renovation.” – Glumac Blog.
Buildings are the major source of global demand for energy and materials that produce by-product greenhouse gases (GHG). Slowing the growth rate of GHG emissions and then reversing it is the key to addressing climate change and keeping global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
To accomplish this, Architecture 2030 issued The 2030 Challenge asking the global architecture and building community to adopt the following targets:
- All new buildings, developments and major renovations shall be designed to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% below the regional (or country) average/median for that building type.
- At a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
- The fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations shall be increased to:
- 70% in 2015
- 80% in 2020
- 90% in 2025
- Carbon-neutral in 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate).
These targets may be accomplished by implementing innovative sustainable design strategies, generating on-site renewable power and/or purchasing (20% maximum) renewable energy.
Please visit Frequently Asked Questions section for more in-depth information on the 2030 Challenge.
*Note: This was stated in the January 2008 Edition of the ASHRAE Journal. When we polled permitting for Boston, we found 75% for construction in Existing Buildings. 25% New.
“Jim your a go….” 2:40 PM, New Years Eve 2012. Text from our client; Mark at Looney & Associates
Our work window was January 3rd through January 9 2013. Travel arrangements and team needed to be assembled for flights in two days. The only thread holding this together was PKNail Pro.
Team members included individuals from Langan Engineering, Turis, TrueScan3d, LandAir Surveying and my company Interioreview. The Job: Survey and Document Floors 2-7 of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon Street. Include structure, electrical objects (Duplex, Com Ports, Thermostats, Wall Lights, etc) and Fire Protection. 450+ Rooms, Common Spaces, Administrative Spaces, +200,000 SF. 1 Week. From Blank Screen to Floorplans and RCP.
“This is innovative stuff…”, Greg Jensen, Langan Engineering
“…Boom, your done.” Brady O’Brien, Turis Systems
“This certainly opens the door for future teaming efforts, and we’ve already begun to push PK Nail on some of our interior projects – integrating it with scanning and traditional survey.” – Paul Fisher, VP Langan Engineering.
This project could not have happened without the participating firms willingness to deal with such a tight deployment deadline and with the excellent individuals that arrived in New Orleans. It also could not have happened, and I do have a horse in this race, without PKNail Pro and Revit. There was simply no other way to coordinate multiple personnel field surveying without both. We were able to deploy resources as needed since everything was being surveyed and modeled in real time. 4th Floor, South Wing, Greg get on it. Brian, 2nd Floor with Nico etc. This also allowed us to create a punch list in real time. Reflected Ceiling on 3rd Floor, etc. as all the files were compiled daily, if not more often into a central file. Although the deliverable will eventually be in 2D Autocad, all the initial documentation will be in Revit, so even though it was not part of the scope, we will be able to deliver a typical section through the building with only a small post processing effort.
Lastly, thank you to the good folks at The Royal Sonesta, New Orleans for treating us so well. They understand hospitality and have a great team.
More and more firms are relying on PKNail Pro for documenting buildings whether they need the final deliverable in Revit or 2D Autocad. PKNail Pro can deliver.
Interioreview, utilized PKNail Pro, an add in to Revit, combined with Leica Disto D8 laser range finders as the main surveying tool and software for capturing and modeling the 28 Story DuBois Library at UMass Amherst. The structure designed by Durell Stone in 1966 is tallest library in the United States. While intially considering combining LIDAR and creating a pointcloud for the exterior and utilizing PKNail Pro for the interior it turned out the exterior was the easiest part of the job and it was interior that was the most difficult. Every 3rd floor contained 90+ rooms with study carrels combined with classrooms where very few technologies would work well. Nico Martinez, a Project Manager with Interioreview, commented,”Without PKNail the survey work could have taken 5 times, 10 times what it was.”
The project was completed to support the design and retrofitting a fire protection system.
Interioreview, an architecural surveying firm founded in 2003 specialzies in documenting the built environment in both 2D CAD and 3D Revit formats.
PointKnown, a software firm, founded in 2008 develops productivity tools for the built environment / AEC (Architectural, Engineering, and Construction) Industry
PKNail Pro, allows a user to measure and model objects in real time directly in Revit.
Autodesk® Revit® software is specifically built for Building Information Modeling (BIM), helping building professionals design, build, and maintain higher-quality, more energy-efficient buildings.
I was at the recent Autodesk University in Las Vegas and sat in the session for Reality Capture for Rapid Energy Modeling by Jess Miller who discussed the current technologies and work flows to document existing buildings digitally in Revit. As it stands the 4 available today are:
- Satellite Imagery
- Laser Scanning
- 123D Catch (aka Photofly)
- PKNail Pro
All of these technologies with the exception of PKNail, yes I do have a horse in this race, require a user to extract geometry from one program and draft in another. PKNail allows a user to survey and model directly in Revit. However, the most important task is choosing the right tool for the job and usually this is driven by the scope of the project/deliverable, what the model is going to be used for, and conditions and access of the building. First, let’s look briefly at the current technologies and how they work.
this requires getting oblique images from a source such as bing maps or Pictometry, that then can then be scaled and traced over in Revit. While it could be the least expensive of the methods it is generally a lot less accurate, requires something that allows you to scale the photos properly either on site measurements, existing plot plan, or CAD floor plan and any real details will not be included. This might prove to be an okay method to extract geometry for energy modeling but the model would end there, you could not use it to move forward with an architectural model. Additionally, it requires a sophisticated users knowledge of Revit through linking photos and extracting geometry.
This is generally done as a service, that is you hire a company who has a laser scanner to create a pointcloud of the building you need. Estimates range from $3-$5K per day to have someone scanning a building. I know from experience that I have been quoted almost $60,000 to scan the exterior and interior of a single story industrial building and that did not include the Revit model we needed. We would have to build that ourselves from the point cloud. However, if you need an accurate 3D data set of an existing structure it is an excellent resource. You will need to import the pointcloud into Revit and trace over it to create the geometry making it at least a 2 step process. There are some technologies available such as Imaganit from Rand Technologies that will allow a user to extract some geometry to Revit but it is still a manual process. I have seen excellent use of this technology is extensive exposed MEP projects, think boiler room or oil rig, or difficult and inaccessible geometry, such as the Capitol Dome.
is a program that allows you take pictures of building, send them up into the cloud and have them stitched together and served back to you as a 3D Photo model that you can then scale and extract geometry from. I have not had success using this product. I want to be successful using this product because I think it would be awesome but the few times I have sent something up to the could I get back something that looks like I am looking through a kaleidoscope. I highly recommend you take a look because as the technology progresses and computers get more powerful this will only get better.
this is an add in to Revit that allows you to create real Revit objects, driven wirelessly from laser range finder (Disto D8) and from measurements in the field. That is measure wall, press a button and the wall is created directly in Revit. This is the only software that works within the actual BIM software so there is no need to translate or extract geometry. PKNail Pro automates current workflows and data capture and allows a user to finish the model on site. It excels at creating dimensionally correct 3D models of the both the interior and exterior. However, if you need a lot of exterior detail you may want to pair it with another of the technologies to create gutter sweeps, cornice work, etc. if that is needed on the project. PKNail also recognizes any Revit wall so you could another technology/method to create the exterior and use PKNail Pro to capture all the interior fit outs.
What it boils down to is what is needed based on the scope of the project and your budget. Choose the right tool for the job and don’t limit yourself, because who wants to use a hammer when you need a screw driver, or use a jackhammer when you need to hang a picture. I’ll work on my metaphors, you work on capturing reality.
So we have been working on PKNail for close to forever. Its intent is to capture existing conditions in Revit quicker, easier, better, faster etc. In theory, simple idea. In practice, much tougher. The product was born from my Architectural Services firm, Interioreview and from the need in creating a product/process that creates repeatable results. Have the knowledge in the software rather than with ‘Bob’. PKNail aids someone on the ground capture key data and tie out the model/dimensions on site rather than having to collect data and then sit in front of a computer off site hoping the whole thing goes together right. Using Interioreview as a skunk works to continue testing PKNail in the field to go against real world situations, fine tune features and in general try to break it so it will be rock solid when it hits the field. We have been persistent in our goal. I read somewhere recently that the first 90% takes 75% of the time, the last 10% takes the other 75%: It would not be unfair to put us squarely in the this math challenged adage.
Until recently when using PKNail in the field we also used products/techniques side by side to capture the same information. This was so we can compare results and make certain we never get hung up. However, I am proud to say we started and completed a complex project using only PKNail in the field to capture the majority of structure, walls (exterior/interior partioning/etc.) windows, doors, etc. PKNail allows a user to communicate/drive Revit wirelessly through a bluetooth enabled range finder. That is, press a button to measure a wall, take measurement, press another button and the wall gets built in Revit, add a window, door same things, move room to room, floor to floor. Can it help you put in complex gutter or roof sweeps? No. Can it it help you knock out structure and jump start your project, you bet.
The Deerfield Academy Arts Center is a series of interconnected building design/built over the past century. Incorporated into the strucutre is an Art Gallery, Theatre, Studios, Auditorium, Architecture Studio, etc. PKNail was used to capture the shell/exterior of the building and then used to move inside the structure to capture all the wall partioning, doors, etc. The exterior detail was modeled back in our office from field data, like stone work, exact window profiles and roofs.