Posts Tagged Point to Point Laser Technology

Revit and Rockband

No the two do not have anything to do with each other but just describing my day.  It started to get on the road early to get to a site an hour away where we are creating a Revit model of an existing building.  The building has 5 structures inter-joined over the years with the oldest dating to 1761 and the youngest being a large  addition in 1984.  Multiple construction methods, floor levels, etc. make it a challenge but utilizing our PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology) made the base model creation pretty quick, considering.  I then realized I signed myself up for two engagements, one was the Boston Revit User Group meetup hosted by Shepley Bullfinch and the other other was a Tech Tuesday hosted at Microsoft’s NERD (New England Research Development) Center, clever, no?

I was impressed with the meetup group because you had a large amount of people from different companies and disciplines discussing Revit and best practices.   While I was only able to stay for one of three presentations everyone was open in discussing the project and how they went about it, how to set up projects for programming and even rendering tips were coming out of the audience.  I think any environment where people are freely sharing ideas a great place, and it seems Revit and BIM requires this kind of collaboration and it was refreshing.  I then hustled across the river to Cambridge and the NERD center to see what was up, collect my free drink ticket and take part of the free pizza. Harmonix was there and had set up Rock Band- Beatles on the main part of the floor which was being displayed on a huge screen, I would recommend playing rock band in this format if you can swing it.  Lively crew and I saw some gray beards walking around which I believe were some of the original engineers at BBN.

Also found out the first project from GSA award should be out by Friday.  I feel fortunate to be part of the team that won one of the awards but its going to be interesting to see how the multi-disciplinary jigsaw puzzle is going to be put together.  And got a call from Australia, at my house, from a person about PointKnown, the pencil scratched note from my wife mentioned ‘distribution.’  Saddle up.

Share

, , ,

No Comments

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.

Share

, , ,

No Comments

IT Spending down at Design Firms except for BIM

Recently posted by Jeff Yoders and available at Zweigwhite form their 2009 Industry Survey it stated that while most design firms are cutting their budgest an IT investments, upto 65% will be increasing their use of BIM in 2009.  Autodesk had the lion’sshare of CAD users with 81% penetration and Revit leads BIm with 61%.

Share

, ,

No Comments

Huge BIM Solicitation by the GSA

The GSA (Government Services Association) perhaps the biggest landlord in the world recently released 2 solicitations for BIM creation of existing properties and Laser Scanning.  5 years, $10 million per year.

So while there may be a lack of tools in capturing the built environment there is a building demand for these types of services.  And with GSA on board this is akin to McDonald’s asking that all their chicken be fed corn and named ‘Albert’, which is to say a lot of companies will be getting on board to offer these types of services, which will help differentiate them, which will force everyone to catch up, which will shift the target of services to BIM.

Share

, , , ,

No Comments

FMJ Article: BIM How It Has Changed FM

A recent article discussing the benefits of BIM within the FM (Facility Management) World.

BIM How It Has Changed FM

http://www.fmlink.com/ProfResources/Magazines/article.cgi?FMJ:fmj051409-1.html

Share

, ,

No Comments

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.

Share

, , ,

No Comments

Why the movement to BIM

To quote one of the construction managers we do work for, ‘we now have the time and inclination to do things right.’  What he was referring to is the use of BIM (Building Information Models) in all phases of construction.  What is this stuff?  It’s a way of not only looking at building in 3D but designing, building and managing in it in 3D.

Previously, everyone worked on paper with pencil.  This was better than a stick on dirt as it communicated what people needed and what their intentions were.  With the advent of CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) designers, builders, developers used digital documentation methods but it was essentially still drawing albeit with a much faster and more collaborative tool.  When the world of 3D came many people had the reaction…well to sum it up I’ll use what a designer said to me at one of our presentations or dog and pony shows, ‘we don’t want any z-axis information.’  It was a new way of doing things, and in the era of free money or easy credit no had the time or inclination to do things differently as you always have to take productivity hit when learning how to do new things.  However, now with the most recent implosion of the real estate and financial markets professionals are looking deeper on how to repair margins, work faster, and work better, hence…BIM.

BIM tools and platforms allow users to communicate and desgin visually.  So that’s cool but why should we  spend a lot of money for it?  I’ll give you an example, at an association meeting sponsored by MGH they said they found over 30,000 collisions digitally.  That’s when a proposed pipe, or plumbing stack ‘collides’ with an HVAC vent or similar type of interference.  There are estimates of $3,000 to $5,000 per collision.  These are real world problems have construction people figuring out and addressing problems on site  is tremendously expensive.  Figuring these problems out digitally, not so much.

To view the McGraw HIll 2008 BIM report go here ( http://construction.ecnext.com/mcgraw_hill/includes/BIM2008.pdf )

So this BIM stuff sounds great, now what.  Where there are competing technologies out there of course.  Companies like Autodesk, Bentley, and Nemetschek have their own platforms and engines to work with, but there is more than lip service being paid to an emerging open standard called IFC-XML, that stands for Industry Foundation Classes.  The dream is to have a transportable model across platforms so it should not matter which you are using.  Think of the BIM model as a web page, and it should not matter what browser you are using, or better the BIM is the operating system.

Share

, ,

No Comments