Eastcheap – Building Survey Scan to BIM Workflows

SolidPoint were recently asked to carry out a full measured building survey using Scan to BIM methods of a commercial property on Eastcheap in London. The purpose of the survey was to aid Architects with their refurbishment designs. There were 11 Levels including a basement and a flat roof area that need to be surveyed. The building is located in the centre of London on Eastcheap.

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The scope

The building was undergoing demolition works during SolidPoint’s time on site. Being a construction site means there are a lot more health and safety procedures in place to protect the SolidPoint team and other people on site. During the demolition and strip out phase, health and safety is key as the usual risks of accident are at a heightened level. All our team have their own cscs cards allowing them to work on a live site and were also inducted to fully understand the dangers of the environment they were working in

Working in London

Despite being based in the East Midlands our client recognises our skills and passion for meeting their expectations with regards to the quality and level of detail required. The site was in the centre of London and the client request was for us to be on site for 8:30am for a site Induction. to achieve this and be fresh and wide awake, we made the call to find accommodation close by the night before close to tube access, enabling us to easy transport our equipment to site and make full use of the site opening times to collect our data.

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Two Site Visits

We had to work closely with our client’s schedule on this project, this meant that the full measured building survey had to be captured over 2 visits with a maximum of 2 days on-site time per visit. This had its positives and negatives. Positives are that the job can get started sooner and Floor plans can be released to the client earlier than if we scanned it all in one visit. Negative is that for the first few initial weeks of modelling we would have some very large gaps in the data. We planned our first visit to ensure that all of the target control was in place, tied to GPS coordinates and that all information required to complete the first phase was captured to avoid duplicated efforts or assumptions.

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Large amounts of data

Having 11 Levels of Scan Data in one file would equate to a very large point cloud that would be almost unmanageable by even high-end desktops as the total size would be in the region of 75-100GB. To ensure an efficient workflow we subdivided the building into manageable portions resulting in 2 floors per data set, the data was then decimated to strip out a lot of unnecessary points leaving us with much smaller files to work with of around 4GB. This meant that the modelling could be completed without being bogged down by data that wasn’t relevant to the area our technicians were working on. It also meant that if our clients were working on a lower quality workstation, their experience wouldn’t be slow and laggy when analysing our data.

Conclusion

We completed the Existing Phase of the Revit Project within 7 weeks of registration of the scans. The Site time was 2 days on the first visit and 2 days on the second, with approximately a further 5 days to register all of the laser scan point cloud data. The delivered information included; DWGs, PDFs, BIM ready Revit Project and the Scan data in RCP Format.

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