3D Laser Scanning: How Does It Benefit the Construction Industry?

Since its introduction in the late 1990’s, laser scanning-also referred to as laser surveying-has offered a way to record spatial data and present it in the form of editable data models. In this article, we look at six ways laser surveying benefits the construction industry.1. Shared information between architects and engineersScanned data allows builders to share information with architects and engineers through scanning generated data models. Engineering firms, architectural firms and construction companies can compare construction scans to engineering and architectural scans. This allows them to work together to reduce rework, allowing projects to be completed on time and within budget.2. Building and site modelingBuilding and site modeling assesses whether building plans will work in relation to the proposed location for a building and the surrounding environment. Scanners simplify building and site modeling by allowing construction companies to: (a) observe their modeling plans in the form of 3D data models and (b) make changes to the models as better modeling plans become apparent.3. Erosion measurementsConstructing a new building can involve broad landscaping measures that change the original terrain for a site. As a result, erosion becomes a primary concern during the construction process. Scanners measure erosion in more precise increments than traditional surveying technologies.4. Building height measurementsThe construction of multi-story buildings brings the risk of construction cranes colliding with construction cranes. 3D laser scanning measures the precise height of buildings that surround a construction site, making it easy to implement cranes of the right height.5. 3D representation of building sitesViewing a building site three dimensionally from multiple angles makes it easy to identify areas for improvement. Representing a site three dimensionally also allows the builder to compare the progression of a project to the original plans. When changes are needed, they can be implemented in the building site 3D representation to understand how they affect other elements of construction.6. Laser scanning for construction errorsResolving problems as they occur is key to preventing bigger problems down the line, such as building collapse, unfit for occupancy rulings, and improper construction according to environmental design. Scanning makes it easy for builders to compare a project’s completed work to the original plans. By resolving errors as they occur instead after a project is completed, builders can keep projects on budget, on schedule, and safe from dangerous errors that could cause injuries or fatalities.