Project Design and Planning in a COVID-safe Environment

The utilisation of 3D Laser Scanning Technology for project planning is a must for COVID-safe operations

3D laser scanning and associated technology has been in adoption phase across key industries in recent years, but the arrival of COVID-19 and the added emphasis on health and safety has made this technology a necessity in the safe management of the design and planning phases of any project.

Typically, 3D laser technology is used to provide assurance in project design and planning as well as to document existing facility and equipment conditions. The captured data is highly accurate and detailed, providing project stakeholders with the necessary information to make informed decisions. However, this year it is the field process for capturing the scanned data where companies are really seeing the value of utlising this technology.

Traditional methods of on-site surveying and measurement require a high investment in labour and time, with some projects taking several site visits to complete. However, 3D laser scanning enables a fast and accurate means of collecting millions of points of data with far less labour and often with only one or two site visits. As well as being efficient, the 3D models generated by the data allow for virtual site visits, vastly reducing the health and safety hazards associated with managing external site contractors, stakeholders and other visitors.

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How it works.....

3D laser scanners digitally capture the dimensions and spatial relationships of objects by emitting millions of lines of laser site. The captured data results in an accurate depiction of the object, called a “point cloud”. This point cloud can then be used to create a 3D CAD model for use in BIM workflows.

3D laser scanning can vastly improve efficiency in project outcomes such as:

  • As-built modelling
  • Concept, scope development, trade packages and performance
  • Process systems surveying and diagrams
  • Detail design and coordination of all scopes
  • Clash detection
  • Post-civil/structural installation and dimensional compliance
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM) – concept/scoping through to detailed design.
  • Virtual Design Construction (VDC)
  • Quality control, safety and regulatory compliance

3D Laser Scanning Process Flow


Download our fact sheet on 3D Laser Scanning

The key benefits.....

1. Improved Risk Management and Site Safety

The field process required for capturing 3D laser scanning data not only requires less personnel than traditional methods but also eliminates the safety hazards of traditional field data entry. The remote sensing ability and quick data capture of laser scanners minimises exposure to hazardous environments, such as accessing difficult places to take measurements. The technology is also non-intrusive, which is particularly useful in complex structures where work by multiple trades may be on site simultaneously.

The 3D models generated by the captured data can also assist in reducing the requirement for key stakeholders to be on-site during critical phases of the project by providing virtual site access.

2. Improved Planning and Quality Control

The accuracy of captured data from 3D laser scanning is far more reliable than traditional methods with measurements to within +- 5mm, leading to improved confidence in decision-making. The high definition detail of the 3D models generated also assist in clash detection between the as-built environment and preliminary designs, vastly improving the coordination and accuracy of the prefabrication and installation of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems. The 3D models can also be used for project quality assurance by quantifying variations between the approved design and the final construction or fabrication phases.

3. Cost and Schedule Reduction

3D laser scanning can reduce total project costs by as much as 5 – 7% and the project schedule by as much as 10% on industrial projects. Much of this cost reduction is achieved through efficiencies in the labour and time required for the surveying and measurement process. Further savings can also be realised through better management of construction materials, providing exact measurements for prefabrication, minimising site works as well as unnecessary waste and changes in the field.

4. Improved Asset Management

The information provided by 3D laser scanning can assist with plant asset management activities such as asset documentation, condition monitoring, maintenance support and intelligent process modelling by providing an accurate and reliable source of highly detailed data. This modelling can lay the platform for the implementation of Digital Twin technology used in real-time remote management of key assets and infrastructure.

To learn more about the benefits of this process see our Featured Project on laser scanning.

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