The process of creating highly detailed digital 3D models of construction projects is a process that’s relatively new – likely less than seven years old. By importing photographs and laser scans into reality capture software, a firm can preserve current conditions of every feature of a jobsite, whether it is new construction or a remodel. The resulting data forms a point cloud or mesh that can be further refined with CAD and Revit building information modeling (BIM) process tools.
One Louisiana firm, PACE Group LLC, whose story was described in the StrXur article “Technology-Driven While Staying Reality-Based,” embraces 3D digital model technology as one of the selling points of its construction business.
The 3D digital modeling process begins with scanning the building using a 3D camera/building scanner. The resulting data and photographs are then stitched together in order to create an immersive 3D model. The camera records all the features of the building – cracks, angles, damages – and, at the same time, provides accurate measurements. The combination results in a precise representation of the job. Capturing exact data about a project also helps mitigate risk. If there is a dispute, the camera footage can be used to determine what defects existed before or after the job. The 3D model provides a level of transparency before, during and as-built.
In the case of PACE Group, the 3D model is tied into Bluebeam Revu. Using tags on the building that correspond to tags on the Revu document, issues can be tracked using photographs that can be hyperlinked to the PDF or site plan. Concerns can be addressed, even offsite, using this reality-based evidence. Bluebeam also offers collaborative Studio sessions where teams can see each other’s comments and communicate with everyone involved in real-time. The trail of activity is preserved in the record of comments and actions to correct the issues. By centrally locating the 3D model and laser scanning data activity, teams can come together and work in one collaboration space.
PACE Group says this technology is driving business and helping the company win jobs, so much so that digital workflows, reality capture, BIM, and VDC (virtual design and construction) processes are listed as innovative services on the PACE website.
Architects, for instance, appreciate having access to the accuracy of laser scanning. In addition, more and more building owners want a 3D model upon project handover because of its usefulness in facilities management. In some cases owners will go a step further and have a digital twin of the Revit model created so the building’s systems can be monitored long term. And at a basic business level, integrating and using the most advanced technology on the market enables forward-thinking firms to create better buildings in less time within budget.
If it’s time to put Bluebeam Revu to work in your firm’s company-wide workflow, you can download a free 30-day trial of a full-working version of Revu. Then contact Applied Software for a quick discovery call with the Applied Bluebeam experts. They will partner with you to find the solution that best fits your firm’s individualized situation and integrate it in the way that best fits your needs.