80% Reduction in Scan-to-Model for Medical Office Conversion

One of the largest survey engineering firms in Seattle, Bush, Roed & Hitchings, Inc. (BRH) was recently subcontracted to provide laser scanning and 3D modeling services for a medical office conversion of the Earl Davie building in Seattle. The General Contractor needed to know where the existing HVAC ducting, water pipes, and columns were located so that they could retrofit and build laboratory spaces to the pipes.

The two-story building contained many small, one-inch pipes in a congested area, which can be difficult to scan. The first floor was primarily clean water pipes and HVAC ducting. The uppers story had many small pipes, as well as ductwork and cages. The scans were shot with a Leica 3000 scanner at chest height and above, as the piping and ductwork were in the ceiling.

The project deliverable was a 3D AutoCAD model. According to Taylor Schulte, a BRH project manager, Using previous methods, this job would have taken 3 days, tediously modeling one pipe at a time. For this project we used EdgeWise Plant (www.clearedge3D.com), software that automatically extracts CAD geometry from laser scan data. With EdgeWise we were able to model a whole room at a time and reduce our scan-to-model time to 5 hours an 80% savings over the old workflow.

In addition to project turnaround savings, BRH cites other benefits from incorporating EdgeWise into their project workflow. Drafting services comprise much of BRHs billable work. With EdgeWise, the firm is able to reduce man-hours, making it possible to bid competitively on projects and handle more projects simultaneously. Another benefit is the ability to purchase EdgeWise on a per-project basis (as scan-bundles). Currently we get projects that would require scan-to-BIM every 2 months or so, reported Mr. Schulte. With our previous solution we had to pay an annual licensing fee, in effect costing us money when we werent using it. On the Earl Davies building conversion we purchased a 25-scan bundle and were able to ascribe the cost directly to the project, greatly increasing our bottom line.