Posts Tagged laser

Revit As Built : Field BIM : Existing Conditions

While I don’t usually take the time to pump my own gas with this blog I wanted to share the complete reversal in our deliverables over the last year.  It used to be, way back at the end of 2008 that we delivered most of our building surveys in 2D AutoCAD format, now we would build in 3D, normally in ADT but our clients wanted 2D AutoCAD.  From a surveying perspective a 3D object oriented universe worked better for us because essentially all the views were coordinated, that is build it in the floorplan directly, it is represented in elevation correctly.  Anyone who has keyed up a plan in 2D knows where I am coming from, which if you are here reading this, means you know what I am talking about.  Now, however, the bulk of what we do is deliver as-builts in Revit.  The GSA requiring BIM has a lot to do with it, I believe, and Autodesk being the biggest player in the US means Revit becomes the default.  Whether you like that or not does not matter, that’s the reality.

Recently we have performed as built surveys at Phillips Exeter and Emmanuel College and we were field testing our laser to BIM technology, PKNail.  It was created to capture typical conditions quickly and accurately.  If you wanted to capture the Capitol Dome, I would suggest laser scanning, for capturing most situations Point to Point Laser Scanning (PPLT) should work just fine.  PKNail converts measurements directly into a Revit workstation-wirelessly, measure a wall that wall is entered into Revit, encounter a door, window, Fire Extinguisher Cabinet, sink, if you can measure it, it can be placed quickly and easily into the model.

Lastly, if the deliverable is 2D CAD, exporting views from Revit to AutoCAD sheets is a snap. Here’s a long winded Autodesk treatise on the subject or well, it looks like I will need to update with a screen capture video the quick process but the resulting CAD contains some of the meta information collected in 3D, such as 30″ Door, rather than creating anonymous objects.   Next post will follow in short order with a sneak peak of some of the features and the connectivity between Revit and a Leica Disto enabled by PointKnown surveying software.

Thanks for tolerating some self promotion.

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Rapid Energy Modeling : Sustainable Retrofits : The Market, Tools & Techniques : BIM

There is a virtuous circle afoot and it’s not just how you spin social networking to acquire traffic it is sustainable retrofits and if you wonder what’s the next big thing, what gets us out of this economic tailspin, or at least malaise  too many data points are starting to point in the sustainable retrofit direction.  ARRA (American Relief and Recovery Act) money points that way, the President speaks about green jobs,  Autodesk is hyping it and I am being constantly contacted from firms wanting to use our technology, PointKnown , to augment their green building practices.  And the best thing about it, it makes sense, unlike pets.com which use to ship dogfood to you via fedex.

Here are some stats, most of them gleaned from an Autodesk Paper, (from the I read it so you don’t have to category).

  • Approximately 75 percent of buildings globally will be either new or have undergone significant renovation by 2035 (1)
  • About 150 billion square feet of existing buildings (roughly half of the entire building stock in the United States) will need to be renovated over the next 30 years. (2)
  • A recent analysis estimates that green building retrofits in the United States represent a $400B market in the next 20 years. (3)

(1) http://www.architecture2030.org/ (2009)

(2) American Institute of Architects (AIA) COTE (2009), Ecology and Design: Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education.

(3) Pike Research (2009), “Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Commercial and Public Buildings,” Executive Summary.

That means work up and down the line from surveying and modeling buildings, through energy analysis,  the design process through constrcution.  But the reason it makes most sense is that there is viable and real ROI not just from the environmental benefit but also from the energy savings. Autodesk’s argument, while self-serving, provides some valid points.

• Supplement energy benchmarking by providing numerous design alternatives to users.
• Democratize the energy and carbon footprinting process by making it accessible to a wider audience of practitioners.
• Make modeling faster, cheaper, and more likely to be used.

Autodesk’s work flow utilizes image modeler to be imported into Revit for modeling.  While personally am not a big fan of introducing another piece of software into the workflow I can see where some people will be more comfortable using photos, etc. to create geometries.  PointKnown takes a different tact in utilizing PPLT (Point to Point Technology) to define objects directly into a Revit work station.  That way a user can further leverage their existing software, draft in a familiar platform, and leave with a dimensionally correct model.  At the end of it you can choose to leave the generic walls, windows, etc. in place for gbXML export, or energy analysis, or begin the process into defining the elements.  Your choice, but you have a dimensionally correct model in the field, with no intermediate translation step.  Now to get technical PPLT is best used for planar surfaces that have minimal variation, that is a wall, that’s straight, but then again typical conditions dictate most surfaces of walls be straight or are at least intended to be. And for energy analysis this could be a powerful tool to jump start the modeling, and actually make it ‘Rapid’

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Public Beta Open in January : Capture as builts in Revit in the field: #Revit #BIM #asbuilt #laser #pplt

We will be opening up our beta to public testing in January and we are asking for volunteers.   Our product PKNail allows a user to use a hand held laser, Disto D8, and measure and build Revit models in the field.  The measurements are transmitted via bluetooth to a mobile workstation which allows the user to quickly and accurately captures a building geometry and features.  On board intelligence allows users to determine wall thicknesses, wall angles, toggle accuracy, attach notes to objects and more.

PKNail was developed by field surveyors and software engineers to help the AEC Community quickly and accurately capture a building’s geometry in Revit.  This tool used alone of in conjunction with HDLS (High Definition Laser Scanning) can let you start any project in BIM / Revit.  Proven ROI in as little as one project, and speed gains from measuring to model of over 200%.

With the majority of construction projects happening in the built environment, and in cities like Boston almost 80% done in the built environment start them in BIM and help everyone downstream.

This a powerful tool in capturing as builts in Revit and beta testers will be eligible for a substantial discount when purchasing.

info@pointknown.com

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BIM As Built : Laser Technology

Speaking to a colleague from Europe who moved to the US because he stated, ‘there’s a survey shop on every corner in the UK, I could only find a handful here.’    However, that’s changing.  HDLS, high definition laser scanning is starting to take off, especially now that the GSA issued the laser scanning awards.  Additionally, more and more people are reworking existing assets / adaptive reuse projects so it is becoming more and more important to get the existing conditions data.  While everyone is waiting for the day we can walk around with a magic wand and wave it around the room we have to build a bridge from here to there.  HDLS in creating a 3D database is an excellent start.  I believe HDLS, from firms like Leica and FARO,  performs fantastically in certain circumstances such as inaccessible or difficult geometry, exposed MEP intensive projects, however, for typical conditions especially the interior of buildings it might be akin to using a sledgehammer rather when you need a fly swatter.   We, PointKnown, have been developing a product that bolts on to Revit and takes laser range finder data and builds objects as you measure.  This has been defined as PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology).  It allows a surveyor to move quickly and accurately from room to room or object to object.  We do not intend for it to usurp laser scanning but rather augment current surveying teams, allowing them the most flexibility depending on the situation.

Most importantly is to define the deliverable and type of model needed for the project.  This can start at the basic architectural model using generic library items to, well , anything goes but most of our clients want dimensionally correct space and then they apply the material and details they need as that is what they want to control.

We are now accepting people and firms into our public beta that starts January 2010, if you have any interest please feel free to contact us at info@pointknown.com and put beta in the subject line.

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Revit Existing Conditions and As Builts Picking Up Pace : #BIM #Revit

My company’s primary focus is to document existing conditions and deliver to the client ‘something’ dimensionally correct.  This something has typically been 2D drawings, floorplans, elevations, sections, etc.  We have utilized Revit on jobs that have required such extensive documentation that it was simply more efficient to create a 3D model and export the 2D data then document and draw the traditional way.  In fact, we have documented existing conditions in 3D since 2003 because it was always simpler to be in and object oriented environment.  However, the deliverables remained in 2D.  However, almost everything we have done in the last 3 months has been Revit and delivering existing conditions building models in Revit.   And the uses of the model vary widely.

  • We surveyed and delivered a Revit model of two dormitories for a University in Revit, even though they did not have an installed seat, because they wanted to prepare for the future.
  • We completed a Revit model of a single floor of Class A Office Space to be used for new interior layouts and design
  • We are in the process of surveying and creating a model of a sprawling historic in built in parts starting with the main building in 1760 to a new hall built in 1984. This is to be used for master planning of the site which they will use for rendering and analysis and to integrate a new building that will house a new lobby and 50+ guest rooms.

So the uses of Revit are expanding, and even if they are not being used for 4D and 5D purposes its benefits for visual communication, analysis, and increased speed of design/drafting cannot be discounted.  However, when integrating among all disciplines the results can be outstanding across the board.

We were fortunate enough to be part of the successful team, through a fantastic effort put forth by HNTB, that will be involved with the GSA and surveying and modeling their properties nationwide. What we have seen is either through the ripple effect or from other companies just being proactive that Revit and BIM are making a lot of headway into the community.  Companies that we work with report that they hope to be doing all their projects in Revit by this time next year and with new ways of doing work, and changing workflow and even the environment comes opportunity.

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Interioreview, as part of the team with HNTB Federal, awarded GSA BIM : #BIM #GSA

Found out last week that HNTB and the team they put together, which included Interioreview, was awarded the national BIM solicitation.  As far as I know I have not seen such a group of professionals brought under one umbrella to create BIMs of the existing environment.  I think it will be a great experience and petri dish for integrating technologies and capturing the built environment.  From what I understand they want to put these groups into play because funds are available.  From  conversations I’ve had with people within the GSA is that with the AARA funds there is a lot of money to put in play, and they are trying to do it in a short period of time.  I believe this will be an interesting ride from building the BIMs with an integrated team approach as well as working with the GSA.

From what I understand the full award list is not to be posted until October, so it will leak out with press releases, and blog posts like this one.

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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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