BackOffice Pro’s BIM Experts Developed As-built BIM Model from Laser-Scan Point Clouds

Our Client – US-based Technology Company

Based in the United States, the client is a technology company with a special focus on providing surveying services to a plethora of clients. The company concentrates on institutional and industrial developments, providing drawings and as-built models by applying industry-leading laser scanning and UAV techniques. Initially, the company made use of CAD-based modeling and drafting techniques. With the evolution of newer, more advanced approaches, they have converted to a completely BIM-based delivery process.

BIM Modeling Requirement

BackOffice Pro (BOP) was contacted to assist with the conversion of laser scan point clouds to an information-rich BIM model. Due to our expertise in drafting highly detailed as-built drawings and models, we proved to be the best team for the job.

Ultimately, the model would be used to generate the as-built drawings for the renovation and conversion of a 4-story building into a 24-story superstructure. Additionally, the client wished to use the model as the base for the as-built information of the project.

Project Challenges that We Overcame

No project is without challenges, and this was no exception. BOP’s engineering team rose to the occasion, surmounting the following issues:

  • Scan Quality

    In several instances, areas of the scan were not of the required quality. As a result, we requested that the client provide picture references along with the point clouds. The additional references assisted us in ensuring that indistinct areas would be modeled with the same meticulous attention to detail.

  • Data Transfer

    With point cloud files exceeding 50 GB, data transfer was a significant issue. While we are equipped with a good internet connectivity, it was necessary for us to devise intricate procedures to break up the model. We were then able to access the information using advanced file-splitting application, GSplit.

  • Level of Detail

    As is often the case with laser scanning projects, the client was not always clear about the level of geometric detail in the model. While LOD specifications are available for conventional projects, the same is not true for laser scanning projects. Our team was able to hurdle this challenge by making our document, clearly communicating the level of detail which would be expected from the client as well as the number of hours required to complete each task.

  • Clarity of Scope

    When clients have the scan to BIM carried out for the first time in their projects, they tend to start out with a limited scope. After seeing the low level of detail - and understanding precisely which applications the model is suited to - agencies tend to request a new model with a higher level of detail.
    To avoid multiple iterations, our team explained the different applications which can be extracted from the model at different LODs. This allowed the client to decide on their required level of detail at the onset of the project.

Process Followed by BOP’s BIM Experts

During our step-wise process, our engineering team made use of specialist software including Autodesk Revit 2017, Autodesk Recap 2017, and Autodesk Navisworks 2017.

From requirement to delivery, our process was as follows:

  • Our team made sure to fully discuss the details of the project with the client, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the client’s vision.
  • Once project parameters were set, four dedicated resources were assigned to work on the project.
  • Laser scans were received from the client in 5 parts. Our 4-person team was split according to the components in the model, and different levels.
  • Floor-wise laser scans were received from the client and linked into a single Revit model, further enabling our team to understand the product as a whole.
  • A conceptual model was prepared by four expert resources.
  • The product’s mechanisms were discussed in detail with the client, and aesthetics were improved.
  • The client was given a window for feedback, whereafter highly specific LODs were used to perfect the model.
  • After an additional feedback period, client comments were incorporated into the model.
  • Final file transfer was carried out through Dropbox.


Benefits that the Client Received

By using a laser scan procedure and generating deliverables through an efficient BIM model, we were able to ensure not only the accuracy but also saving a great deal of time for the client. Our team was able to carry out the scanning process in a record time of 3 days, utilizing a further two weeks to prepare the model in its entirety.

The client was impressed with our ability to deliver the completed as-built information for the heritage building in 15 days, where other teams may have required several months to complete the same task. As a result of the client’s satisfaction with our work, we have completed a total of 10 similar projects for them, and all of which were done in record time.

Your firm too can be a part of this success story. If you want to know how, get in touch with us and receive a highly competitive quote from us.