BIM survey benefits – your handy guide (SlideShare)

Clare Montgomery
Survey Insight by Clare Montgomery Head of Operations 29/03/2018

Watch our handy guide about BIM survey benefits to learn how they can add value to your client’s project and the key deliverables to expect from a survey


BIM Survey Benefits of a Building Surveyor

Guide to how a BIM survey adds value to your client's project

In this handy guide you will find out about the key deliverables you should expect from a survey. See how a BIM survey is the first stage in the cradle to grave lifespan of a refurbishment or redevelopment project. And how data accuracy gained from the survey allows designers to work with greater confidence and certainty – ultimately reducing commercial risk.

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How a BIM-Ready Survey adds value to an architectural project

  • What is a BIM-Ready Survey?
  • Why is it so critical to the lifespan of a building?
  • How does a BIM-Ready Survey benefit a project?

Why is a BIM Survey so critical to an architectural project?

  • DEFINE – Defining the project requirements helps set out the parameters for how the building will be created.
  • PLAN – Strategic planning starts the chain reaction of the building design process.
  • APPLY – The speed, accuracy and detail of the data can be applied to create a virtual build before the physical.

Background of BIM

  • BIM principles have become the starting point for all construction projects across the UK.
  • BIM enables the delivery of projects in an informed, collaborative and efficient way.
  • The UK government has played an important part in kick-starting the popularity of BIM through its Digital Built Britain initiative and the 2016 BIM Level 2 Mandate.

A BIM Survey delivers many benefits throughout a building project

  • Necessitates definition of the project’s information requirements.
  • Captures accurate and valuable data on site.
  • Enhances the collaborative design process.
  • Facilitates testing the project’s design integrity in a virtual world.
  • Provides valuable information and verification data during construction.
  • Data forms basis of FM model for the building’s lifecycle.

BIM-ready survey facts

  • It is the first stage in the ‘cradle to grave’ lifespan of a refurbishment or redevelopment project.
  • It plays a key role in providing the base data and reference points on which subsequent activities can be developed.
  • A BIM survey captures the data of an existing building using a laser scanner and converts it into a point cloud data file.

What is a Point Cloud?

  • A point cloud captures valuable and useable data. A point cloud (or point cloud survey) is a set of data points captured by a 3D laser scanner.
  • These laser scans record three-dimensional data points identifying the x, y and z coordinates of individual elements of a building’s surface.
  • Post survey, these laser scans are “knitted together” (known as registering) into a point cloud data file of the building.
  • The number of laser scans taken depends on the size of the building and level of detail required.
  • Once imported into a design package (Navisworks, Revit etc) the point cloud data file can be interrogated and used as both a visual and physical reference from which accurate measurements can be taken.
  • The number of laser scans taken depends on the size of the building and level of detail required.

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Key Deliverables of a BIM-Ready Survey

A BIM-ready survey provides:

  • A point cloud data file delivered almost immediately to the desktops of the Design Team.
  • A 3D parametric model constructed from the point cloud forms the base model for the design.
  • 2D plans, sections and elevations, if required, are defined in the survey specification.
  • BIM-Ready data in the form of a point cloud is a powerful, quick-to-use visual and measurement resource, which removes the need for repeated site visits.

What are the benefits of laser scanning?

  • Delivering a more comprehensive data set than a traditional survey.
  • Faster to capture data on site and physically process, speeding up release of information to client.
  • Quality of the site data is pre-qualified and less likely to involve human error or inaccurate assumptions.
  • Providing the basis for a more authoritative 3D model.

What are the benefits of point cloud data?

  • Allows for a more meticulous modelling process.
  • Provides the Design Team with a visual and measurable reference source of the site.
  • Removes the need for costly return visits to site.
  • Provides a historic record of the structure.
  • Meets the needs of Clients who may prefer to take delivery of the point cloud data and construct the model themselves.

What are the benefits of digital construction?

  • 3D modelling provides a more complete picture.
  • Digital information is quick and easy to distribute, share and access on a regular basis.
  • Working digitally facilitates collaboration and implementation of rigorous BIM processes.
  • Using trustworthy digital data reduces commercial risk.

Why Have a BIM-Ready Survey?

Seven reasons for commissioning a BIM-ready survey.

  1. Closely working with professional surveyors from the outset helps define the required level of building information.
  2. Immediate access to the data means architects can start the design process straight away.
  3. Capturing a permanent historical record of the building. This is particularly valuable if the building is ‘listed’.
  4. Information can be used as a reliable source of accurate data at all stages of a building’s life.
  5. Data accuracy allows designers to work with greater confidence and certainty thereby reducing commercial risk.
  6. Effective collaboration using a single accurate data source improves information management reducing mistakes.
  7. Significantly improves cost, time, scope clarity and quality of a project.

How does a BIM-ready survey adds value to an architectural project?

  • Considered – Pre-planning ensures the data captured is fit-for-purpose.
  • Speedy – Swift delivery and access to site data for the Design Team.
  • Accuracy – The Point Cloud provides a valuable, data-rich site reference throughout the design process.
  • Confidence – Accurate site data reduces commercial risk.
  • Client Satisfaction – Commissioning a BIM-Ready Survey provides critical value via accurate scope definition, capturing quality data fit for purpose, controlling costs and improving use of time.

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