Home | Articles | How Hi-tech Surveys Help Renovation & Facilities Management

Our Articles

bim construction model
4 November 2022
Shalini John

How Hi-tech Surveys Help Renovation & Facilities Management

Out with the old and in with the new! Both renovation techniques and technology seem to be advancing at warp speed – so many changes at so fast a pace that it’s challenging to keep up sometimes. As Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology becomes increasingly established in construction workflows, its use is branching out from new building construction to renovation and facilities management. In today’s scenario, there is an increasing market for remodelling or renovating existing buildings, and it has long been recognised that accurate, measured surveys are crucial to redesign, renovation and facilities management. These surveys are incorporated into BIM modelling workflows to produce impressive results.

There are several ways to efficiently survey an existing building and make reports of the building’s layouts and current conditions to help with building maintenance and even help create remodelling plans. Advanced 3D cameras and 360° cameras take surveys of existing spaces and are used to easily create immersive 3D digital twins, which can be used for planning renovations, listing or appraising properties, making records for makeovers and more.

  • This method results in a cost saving of 80% on site surveying and as-built modelling.
  • Without interfering with the functioning of normal building activities, it reduces the time needed to create building layouts.

How does the new technology help facilities management?

  • Existing conditions are easily and accurately captured in the absence of other clear records and drawings.
  • Lengthy and tedious manual measuring is replaced with a 3D point cloud that can be directly imported and stored in BIM software for future use.
  • Rendered images can be created to show design modifications before construction for faster approvals and decision-making.
  • Data captured includes dimensions, structure type, utilities above ground and machinery.
  • It can create an inventory of existing equipment and help keep track of maintenance procedures.
  • It does away with hand sketches and the need to deliver floor plans.
  • Collaboration between teams in different locations can be facilitated by accessing a digital twin from anywhere.
  • A visual record of existing assets is created. Equipment can be labelled with digital tags to help record repairs, maintenance and training data.
  • There is no longer a need for many documents to locate and track maintenance data.
  • Specific personnel are not needed to find all relevant on where machinery is located.

How does it help with equipment installation?

  • The created 3D model can be used to measure distances between objects and see the machinery on the property.
  • It helps reduce or eliminate clashes between equipment and change orders of equipment that used to result from inaccurate site plans, saving money and time.
  • By scanning spaces and importing the data into CAD/BIM software, it becomes easier to place equipment during renovation design.

Can it help train new employees?

  • With indoor mapping, a 3D walk-through of facilities can be shared with new employees to quickly understand the space.
  • Helps new employees in complex facilities know how to access potentially dangerous and hard-to-reach areas.

How does it help during emergencies?
It improves employees’ situational awareness and helps first responders during an emergency by making it easy to pull out or create complete schematic floor plans, plan emergency routes and response strategies.

Why use BIM for renovations and facilities management?

  • Creating a BIM model, following hi-tech surveys of an existing building, helps generate accurate building data, including its physical and functional features, dimensions, geometry and inner spatial relationships.
  • In addition to 3D cameras, this can also be accomplished by using a terrestrial laser scanner. a total station and geodetic survey networks to collect accurate survey data, which can then be used to create a BIM model. Integrating the laser scan point cloud, any façade damage can be identified and detailed in the BIM model. This Scan to BIM process accurate and precise BIM-ready models.

How do asset information models help facilities management?

An asset information model is handed over to the client at the end of construction for efficient building operations and the maintenance of building assets. It typically includes:

  • A set of accurate 3D models, created from dimensionally accurate 3D laser scans which were recorded throughout the project
  • Data, both graphical and non-graphical, recorded and uploaded by the contractor
  • Floor plans and layouts
  • Maintenance schedules
  • Specific locations and requirements of materials, machinery and components

This is a single source of information for facilities management, allowing the scheduling of long-term maintenance and replacement of lighting fixtures, mechanical and electrical components, flooring materials or reconfiguring spaces for renovation.

How does new software make building data more accessible for renovation and facilities management?

  • Specialist software, such as Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM), can be used to plan, monitor and operate building activities. Advanced tools integrate with BIM technology and recognize BIM file formats, such as RVT, PLN and IFC. These tools can export geometry and data and develop dimensionally accurate 2D floor plans.
  • There are versatile 3D indoor visualisation tools online that can help visualise fully immersive panoramas of indoor spaces. These can be accessed through links embedded in 2D floor plans in CAFM software. Handy features help add and edit specific areas.
  • Facility management teams experience a new level of realism with facility management software without having to leave the office and visit it the building.

Has BIM also evolved to keep pace with new other technology and new software to offer long-term benefits?

  • Using fixed tripod systems, drones, mobiles or other devices, detailed 3D scans can be created to offer benefits after the construction process. A full building scan can be used to validate as-built products with their design models if a building project was not originally well documented.
  • Point clouds and BIM models can be viewed by architects and owners before planning or designing renovation work, such as building extensions.
  • Any renovations can be scanned and the data added to the original point cloud and BIM model to develop an updated and accurate asset version.

Thus, BIM can evolve from being used in one-off construction projects to help design connected buildings, such as hospitals, educational institutes or even districts.

Cities in the West have developed complex 3D models of their cities using advanced 3D capture methods and software, such as aerial scans and high-resolution photographs. These models can be used for city planning and development and decreasing energy consumption.

To know more about renovation & facilities management . . .

As owners and facility managers use Revit 3D models or AutoCAD 3D models and their data to coordinate maintenance, renovate or create additions, they will need reliable design partners to develop these construction drawings, as-fitted models and as-fitted drawings. The lasting value of scanned data from hi-tech surveys is that it remains reliable and useful well into the future.

XS CAD has valuable experience providing BIM modelling services and Scan to BIM services for general contractors and consultants.  Our range of services for consultants and manufacturers across the world include creating Revit 3D models, AutoCAD 3D models, as-fitted models, as-fitted drawings and construction drawings using Revit, AutoCAD and BIM 360 Collaboration Pro for cloud collaboration.