Case Study: Documenting 3 Million Square Feet Across 6 University Campuses

 The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has ambitious plans to grow and update their six campuses throughout the Metro Vancouver area. To achieve these plans, the BCIT team plans to implement smart building practices which will help them manage costs and schedules, adhere to environmental regulations, and pursue their innovation and social impact goals. 

To put this plan into action, BCIT needed comprehensive visual documentation of their existing facilities. But with 56 buildings and 3,000,000 square feet to document, it would be one of British Columbia’s largest-ever documentation projects. 

Hexagon’s Building Solutions rose to the challenge, bringing two decades of experience and a suite of advanced documentation solutions to the project with the As-Built Verification workflow.


By the Numbers 

  • 6 Campuses
  • 56 Buildings
  • ~3,000,000 sq. ft.
  • 10 Reality Capture Specialists
  • 40,000 captured images
  • 1,500,000 images for 3D models
  • 3 years


The Challenge 

Educational institutions often have busy schedules, high building occupancy, and unique lab and lecture hall structures. When updating or expanding educational buildings, it’s valuable to have detailed documentation of existing assets in the form of plans, 3D models, and photographs in order to implement smart building practices. This documentation also allows for the optimization of building operations and preventative maintenance processes. 

The main challenge with documenting BCIT’s campuses was scale. Due to the size of the project, providing all of the documentation BCIT needed in order to achieve their goals would require advanced reality capture technology, and keeping all that information organized and accessible would demand cloud-based solutions. 

In addition, BCIT had a problem with outdated floor plans and asset information. As is often the case with large, long-standing institutions, BCIT has undergone many undocumented physical changes over the years. 

BCIT also wanted to integrate their new 3D models and plans into their facilities management software, Archibus. 


The Solution 

BCIT selected Building Solutions due to our advanced service offerings and decades of experience with construction documentation. The As-Built Verification workflow includes the Multivista team, who was tasked with laser scanning 56 buildings across six campuses and creating 3D models and CAD plans of each structure.  

Over the last two years, a team of 15 Multivista professionals (including 3D scanner experts, drone pilots, and an experienced operations team) has spent over 1000 hours capturing BCIT facilities using 360º cameras, Leica RTC360 laser scanners, and Phantom 4 RTK UAVs. This has resulted in over 40,000 images, terabytes of 3D point cloud data, and dozens of hours of UAV flight time. 

Importantly, all of this captured data is hosted on and easily accessible via Building Solution’s unique cloud-based online viewing platform, MDS.

MDS enables project stakeholders to view, navigate and extrapolate data directly from the captured information. Users can view 360º imagery, navigate and measure from point clouds, and analyze aerial images all from one integrated system. 

And, thanks to the close collaboration that ensured we were capturing fit-to-purpose information, BCIT is also able to download 3D models and CAD plans from MDS for integration into their Archibus facilities management system. 

When the project is complete, Building Solutions will have created a full digital twin for each of BCIT’s six campuses, enabling their architectural team to easily visualize and plan for future growth scenarios in both three-dimensional space and real-world dimensions. 


Building Solutions Services Deployed 

  • Photo documentation for progress tracking
  • Exterior progressions
  • Interior progressions
  • 3D laser scanning & modeling of finished conditions
  • Pre-slab documentation
  • MEP Exact-Built
  • UAV services for aerial progressions



Though undeniably complex and massive in scope, Building Solution’s professional team successfully planned and executed the documentation of BCIT’s campus buildings while streamlining access to files for project stakeholders. 

With a 3D Building Information Model (BIM) for each building, BCIT can better understand how they’re utilizing existing space and plan for future renovations and space repurposing. The building operations team is also now able to remotely walk through each of their buildings and measure and tag every asset virtually.  

BCIT’s facilities management system, Archibus, has also been updated to reflect recent updates to each asset on their campuses, enabling the team to implement smart building practices like combining 3D models with scheduling and cost perspectives. 

As an educational institution, BCIT even discovered one additional added value from the project: The data will be used in the future for academic programs such as construction management, architecture, interior design, and surveying. 

The following deliverables have been created for the project, all hosted online: 

  • 40,0000 photos including exterior and interior progressions, pre-slab documentation, MEP Exact-Built, and UAV aerial imagery
  • 3D Point Clouds in E57, LGS, RCP/RCS formats
  • 3D models in RVT and IFC formats
  • 2D CAD floor plans in DWG, DXF and PDF formats



To find out more about Hexagon’s Building Solutions, visit




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