Over recent decades, building information experts have repeatedly faced an aggravating question: How can BIM benefits be attained retrospectively for existing facilities?
3D-scanning of legacy facilities and enriching the resulted models with the required information is one of the most viable solutions.
In 2015, SISAB adopted 3D-scanning as a modern alternative for traditional point-to-point measurement methods. Our legacy facilities are often scanned prior to reconstruction and extension projects when existing documentation is not of the desired quality. Examples of such insufficient documentations are TIFF drawings retrieved from paper sheets or DWG drawings that do not reflect the latest alterations.
Our common routine for 3D-scanning is placing a stationary lidar scanner containing laser triangulation sensors at several spots inside and outside the building. The resulting point clouds are then integrated into one using reference points. The captured point clouds could be alternatively draped by an RGB texture map for adding a realistic touch for virtual navigation and investigation purposes.
Initially, we also procured BIM models (often in Revit) produced out of the captured point clouds. The BIM-modelling and objectifying work was done through manual and semi-automatic methods by scanning firms. Later on, however, based on the feedback from our architectural firms, we concluded that the BIM models produced by the scanning firms were often not fully appropriate for design workflows. Architects would rather import the raw point cloud (often in RCP format) directly into their BIM applications as a background framework and model old and new components as they wish and with their preferred level of detail.
New scanning techniques
In January 2018, I presented a brief account of our 3D-scanning praxis as clarified above for our experts committee at SISAB. I concluded my presentation with few slides on further potentials envisioned by 3D-scanning in production (namely QC/QA) and FM as well as new scanning techniques such as mobile scanning equipment and airborne laser scanners (drones). The committee representatives from our FM department found it interesting and I was thereupon given the opportunity to run another presentation this time for all employees at the FM department. The latter talk covered the broader topic of BIM in FM with a highlighted focus on the potential benefits of the 3D-scanned building models for increasing efficiency in FM.
At the next stage, the internationally reputed digital content management firm, BIMobject helped us taking a tangible step and scanning one of our day care centers in Stockholm using the recently developed fast and economic Matterport equipment. I published a brief account of the experiment at my LinkedIn feed a while ago.
Quick exchange of reflections
In August 2018, we held a second workshop on 3D-scanning of existing buildings. In addition to the participants in the first workshop, our FM and operation division managers, Mari Lindén, Rolf Amble and Lars Johansson, our authorities coordinator, Johanna Erlandsson and our BIM experts, Madeleine Lilja and Victor Cabezas were present and indulged in some hands-on experiments including attaching information points to the scanned model and sketching model-aided workflows. The session was rounded up by a quick exchange of reflections and thoughts.
The participants unanimously believed that our current FM and operation processes could be made more efficient using scanned models of facilities enriched with the required information and linked documents. The case scenarios addressed by the participants ranged from reducing the time for reporting the location and nature of the occurring failures to more accurate area retrieval and more gratifying tasks for employees. The findings could form the ground for further introduction of more efficient FM and operation practises using scanned models at a larger scale at SISAB. Such attempts may turn to be a prelude to the plausible transition in the FM sector from Building Information Modeling, BIM, to Facility Information Modeling, FIM.
Originally published at the author’s personal blog
P.S. You can check out and navigate through the scanned model of the daycare center through the link below:
Pouriya is a building information strategist and BIM-specialist at the municipal client organisation, SISAB. He has previously worked as an architect (2001-2008), spatial planner (2011), course administrator, lecturer and researcher at the departments of Urban Planning and Development and Real Estate and Construction Management at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) (2013-2016) where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the subject area of lifecycle-oriented building information management.
He also serves as a board member of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and is actively involved in several technical committees of BIM Alliance Sweden – the non-profit organization aiming to promote and coordinate BIM-development in Sweden.