Adding Value to Laser Scanning Surveys

Adding Value to Laser Scanning Surveys

If you are using laser scanning surveys don’t expect new technologies to work with old processes. The “added value” can only be realised by applying some “original thinking”.

In a market facing tightening budgets, shortening construction programmes, technically demanding and complex design requirements and high-performance buildings it is inevitable that designers, contractors, building operators and occupiers will increasingly need to rely on technology to achieve results.

The emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is forcing systemic and organisational change throughout the industry. But while technology can help it is not the answer. You must look at designing effective workflows and processes before you will realise a return on investment.

New technologies offer new opportunities but you will only understand what these are if you apply some new and original thinking.

Laser scanners have revolutionised measured surveys but simply replacing an old tool with a new one is not innovation and cannot deliver improvements in efficiency and accuracy. For value adding you need to develop a comprehensive understanding of the technology and its capabilities, the workflows it supports and the processes that are required to make it function effectively.

Using a laser scanner to survey an existing building can save time; it can enhance the quality of the data and improve the accuracy of the measurements. The real opportunity lies in applying that technology in completely new ways to deliver improvements in information sharing that had previously been impossible.

The laser scanner transmits and receives around one million laser measures per second providing an exact digital representation of the surfaces that it comes into contact with. Used correctly the speed and accuracy of the data collection is already a significant advance on the traditional surveying methods. However the real advantage is the ability to rapidly share vast amounts of survey information in a collaborative way.

View of 3D laser scan locations and plan views – outputs of the Laser scan survey
View of 3d laser scan locations and plan views – outputs of the Laser scan survey

By seeing the Point Cloud data as a design tool rather than simply as survey data, the design team can gain early access to site information. By using our web-share services they can obtain immediate access to the survey using the photographic and dimensional information held within the Point cloud. This information is available within hours of a survey enabling the design process to commence much earlier than would be possible within a traditional process.

The web-share gives access to detailed views of the survey area, potentially negating the need for further time consuming and costly revisits to site. It enables the design team to navigate three dimensionally, zoom in to view details, take measurements and calculate areas. The Team can also import the data into 2D CAD or 3D modelling software to commence with the project development.

View of Great Yarmouth’s historic town wall accessed via webshare
View of Great Yarmouth’s historic town wall accessed via webshare

Therefore, if you are looking to achieve the best value out of using a new technology you must challenge your traditional practices by applying some original thinking.

If you’d like to discover more about the full range of Survey Services offered by C A Design Services, please contact Mark Johnson or Iain Tubby on 01493 412806 or email