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Point Cloud Modeling: 5 Reasons Why it is Important for General Contractors

Published on February 24, 2022
Point Cloud Modeling: 5 reasons why it is important for General Contractors

Point cloud modeling empowers general contractors with the right tools to conduct detailed building analysis and identify discrepancies between as-built and as-designed models. The detailed insights enable informed and smarter construction decisions.

Soaring renovation costs by up to 50% in the last decade has compelled contractors to walk a tight rope on resource utilization. Whether it is renovation, conservation or restoration of buildings, cost and time overruns are suicidal. The need to preserve aesthetic and structural value for as-built structures further adds to the challenges.

A 360 degree visualization of the entire renovation area with a detailed and accurate building assessment gives clarity of scope and specifications and paves the way for minimal iterations. Contractors today are increasingly relying on point cloud technology to drive high quality, resource- optimized restoration and renovation projects for as-built conditions.

Point cloud scans converted to 3D Revit BIM models provide enhanced visualization with detailed damage analysis. Extraction of accurate and detailed construction documents and as-built drawings from the models offer greater project clarity, enhance collaboration and save on cost and time.

renovation-challenges-faced-by-contractors

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Top 5 reasons why point cloud modeling is important for general contractors

1. Greater accuracy with detailed scans converted to 3D BIM models

Documenting maximum corners of the renovation site with granular detailing is crucial for contractors to build optimal designs. Non-invasive techniques like point cloud scanning help contractors develop a future-proof layout by capturing detailed dimensions, materials and position of building objects.

Point cloud scans converted to information-rich 3D models, offer a 360 degree visualization that enables contractors to gain error-free layouts of the area to be reconstructed.

Accurate point cloud to BIM documentation improves collaboration for an education institute in UK

Scan to BIM Conversion

A UK based company needed conversion of laser scans to a point cloud BIM model for an educational institute.

The team at TrueCADD created a coordinated 3D BIM model to help client save on cost and time with detailed and accurate documentation. The digital documentation further helped increase collaboration among stakeholders.

2. As-built drawings improve area planning for renovation projects

Point cloud modeling converts scans of curves and extrusions of areas to be worked on, into precise As-Built 3D models with detailed size and shape. With accurate space and area calculations, contractors can make informed decisions such as reusing MEP piping etc. to gain a more cost-effective construction process.

Point cloud to BIM modeling increases construction speed for a heritage building in Milan

Point cloud to BIM modeling

Milan’s Cathedral is a classic example of how point cloud modeling can be used to renovate or restore a heritage building using various software such as Rhino, Grasshopper, ArchiCAD, and Revit. The goal of this point cloud modeling project was testing the performance and behavior of these tools based on parameters like import, view, editing, 3D modeling, parameterization, interoperability, etc. Based on results observed whilst working on these tools, Revit was the most effective and efficient platform for augmented visualization, modeling speed, 4D capabilities, data management, and parameterization.

Source: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/55259888.pdf (Milan’s cathedral)

3. Better damage analysis with enhanced visualization

For effective and accurate renovation it is crucial to assess the damage of the built heritage over hundreds of years. Visualizing the entire monument site in 3D space helps contractors get better damage analysis. Major structural deformation, or building object placements can be viewed through millions of points visualized and highlighted in a coordinated 3D model.

Accurate and detailed visualization supported by 3D modeling enables effective and efficient decision-making.

Accurate damage analysis saves construction time for architectural company in Europe

point-cloud-to-3d-cad-revit-model

Revit experts at TrueCADD created a 3D CAD model with architectural modeling for a Europe based company. With a need to demolish a section and renovate it based on a new design, the precise 3D model helped the client save construction time, and achieve accurate load calculations for the new building.

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4. Improved planning with as-built drawings extracted from 3D Revit models

Contractors can leverage 3D model-extracted section drawings to create site plans, ceiling plans, etc. As-built drawings provide contractors with information such as plans, sections, and elevations which are important for building restoration. Plan drawings include all details such as plan details, site plans, roof plans, etc. while elevation drawings include interior elevations, elevation details, etc.

As-built drawings extracted from 3D models are accurate and detailed and enable contractors to improve planning and decision making to optimize the building reconstruction.

52% of rework is caused by poor project data and miscommunication. Autodesk + FMI

Accurate conversion of laser scans to CAD drawings saves time and cost for a company in France

Point Cloud to CAD Conversion

A French company required data of a mining site that was scanned by drones to be converted into CAD drawings.

The team at TrueCADD created accurate documentation as per required standards. This helped the client save time and cost using an easy and safe workflow for mine digging operations.

5. Digital reconstruction using 3D models preserves aesthetic value

3D models built on standardized industry codes promote higher accuracy and efficiency. Contractors can generate construction plans and layouts without destroying the integrity of the building. Annotated 3D visualization to add or modify the existing site helps contractors focus on alterations, repairs, occupancy, etc.

Digital reconstruction to achieve fully-functional building integrated with real-time walkthroughs enables stakeholders to interact with building components before actual renovation begins. With greater project clarity, stakeholders can make more informed decisions and ensure that the aesthetic value of building is maintained.

3D Scan to BIM model ensures timely and within budget completion of renovation for a heritage building

bimcs-point-cloud-bim-modeling-16th-century-heritage-monument-uk

A laser scanning service provider from the UK approached TrueCADD for scan to BIM conversion of a 16th-century heritage monument. Navigating around renovation challenges, the team built a LOD 400 Revit BIM model for improved renovation purposes and facilities management. Built on the pre-existing layout, the client was able to use the 3D model to extract accurate material quantity, manpower budget, and restoration timelines.

Futuristic view: Reinforcing point cloud to BIM with AR/VR to enhance project speed and accuracy

VR has become an invaluable addition in the field of construction. AR/VR visualization of 3D point cloud to BIM models enables contractors to understand context, emphasize collaboration, and diminish ambiguities. Contractors working on the renovation of complex monuments can validate point cloud to BIM models in an immersive 3D representation through detailed realism.

Collating data from a BIM mock-up with 3D point clouds in a virtual setup improves the renovation or restoration process. Real time visualization of the renovation site at a 1:1 scale helps stakeholders merge planned and actual workflows. VR software helps visualize the duality of data sets in a virtual environment.

Contractors can boost their business bottom lines by visualizing schedule and cost data in real-time following an immersive experience. The adoption of AR/VR drives multi-stakeholder collaboration for renovation reviews, better cost management, and faster decision-making. Democratizing data on a single platform helps architects convey what has been built as per the actual design intent.

Conclusion

The potential of point cloud modeling is limitless for contractors. As greater number of buildings require renovation or restoration, contractors need to adopt point cloud to BIM modeling at the earliest to check the feasibility of extension or expansion of projects.

Reality data capture reinforced with BIM modeling will benefit contractors in providing cost-effective services with quick turnaround time and gain a competitive edge in the AEC sector.

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Author Harika Singh

About Author: is an academician and published writer. Her passion for engineering and technology reflects in the in-depth coverage she provides on technology trends. 20 years of work association with institutes of repute across India and the US positions her to provide valuable insights to business stakeholders on achieving scalability and operational efficiencies through digitalization.

Vineet Patel

About Author: is a BIM manager and a “Performance excellence” awardee working at TrueCADD. Having worked on multiple MEP and Scan to BIM projects globally, Vineet has successfully enhanced design quality and project productivity through the latest BIM tools and technology interventions. From smart Revit content creation for products to clash-free MEP layouts, his exposure to various residential and commercial sectors makes him a go-to authority for MEP BIM.

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