Documenting the reality of construction for BIM and beyond

Without documenting the construction process, how can you truly understand what’s happening in your project?

In construction, the design doesn’t often meet reality. This causes costly mistakes, delays, and inaccurate as-built information. What’s more, increasing project complexity, limited skilled labour availability, and growing demand for more productivity are creating heavy demands in the construction industry today.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is becoming a real driver in the design and construction process, creating a need for new ways to document the process of construction. Mark King, 3D Laser Scanning Product Manager at Multivista, has a favourite saying: “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

In this blog, Mark explains how artificial intelligence (AI) and reality capture will help you reach new heights in your construction projects. He covers how you can gain insight into potential problems and create accurate CAD and BIM deliverables for better construction.

3D representation of the real world created by reality capture technology The value of reality capture

It’s increasingly easy to use reality capture technology to take information from the real world, but we need to measure that information in order to properly manage it. Reality capture data provides valuable information during the construction process that can be used to take action on your projects. At Multivista, there are three methods of capturing reality:

Archive solutions allow you to look back at your construction project data. Multivista captures the construction process in regular intervals and provides a visual record of what’s happening at a particular moment on the construction site. This enables you to create an archive of the construction process to know what was done, and when.

Active solutions allow you to look backwards and forwards in your construction project by capturing progression and key milestones. If anything critical happens on the construction site, we capture the data, organize it, and share it with project stakeholders through a unified online platform. This allows you to see the live progress of your construction project and identify problems before they start, or before they get expensive.

Intelligent solutions allow you to receive specific information about your construction project in an easy and digestible way. Multivista takes the reality capture data from thousands of photos and run them through our Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine to identify key problems relating to your construction process in a fraction of the time it would take a human analyst to cover that much data.

Using laser scanning to document a steel construction site Insights from AI

AI is transforming the construction process, providing vital insights into construction projects in the most efficient ways possible. Today, Multivista is using AI algorithms as a service for its Automated Firestopping Assessment. This is where we capture imagery in areas that may contain penetrations through walls and fireproofing systems. AI identifies areas where fireproofing has been successfully achieved or not. For instance, there could be 15 fireproofing problems within your project that need resolution for project sign-off. Rather than delivering thousands of images for you to manually look over yourself, AI algorithms identify and flag potential problems and deliver them to you in a digestible task list.

We’re currently developing exterior waterproofing observations — another critical part of construction and sign-off procedures — to capture information relating to whether windows and openings have been properly waterproofed. In addition, we are working on automated alerts regarding framing and MEP QA/QC to answer all-important questions about installed items such as sockets, framing, or plasterboard. AI can also help identify health and safety issues on construction sites — spotting problems live or soon after they occur — which is a critical issue across the industry.

AI is forecast to bring much more autonomy to the reality capture process. This technology allows us to see what work has been finished and exactly what percentage is complete at any given time. Ultimately, this all feeds into your schedule — enabling you to be on time with your project and increase productivity and profitability.

Accurate information displayed in a 3D CAD model A streamlined process – from reality capture to CAD and BIM

A streamlined construction project starts with having accurate information to generate drawings and 3D models — this goes for every project.

Large organisations are starting to understand the importance of reality capture. As BIM and digital twins move into facility management (FM) more and more, large asset owners like universities and hospitals want to have an up-to-date digital representation of their facility — whether scanned models or drawings — to feed into their FM solutions. If they don’t know what they have now, how can they plan for the future?

Regardless of project size, a true, complete 3D understanding of your build enables you to start your project off right. Using collaboration platforms such as Multivista’s Documentation Software (MDS), you can seamlessly share this data with off-site teams, owners, architects, or any other project stakeholders. With an unlimited number of users for each project, collaboration and interaction is easy, providing global access to the information you’ve paid for. The true value is that you can virtually visit the site whenever you need, from anywhere.

Another key aspect of professional reality capture is the ability to create CAD and BIM deliverables. Multivista takes 3D scan data and turns it into industry-standard deliverables such as CAD drawings, 3D models, or building information models (BIM) using popular software like Leica CloudWorx for Revit. Point clouds are still lesser-known in many walks of the construction and design industry, but Scan-to-Plan and Scan-to-BIM provide you with a ready-made BIM model or CAD drawings to start projects using the correct geometry for design.

It’s an exciting time for the construction industry, with more thrilling innovation set for the next 12 months. Moving away from terabytes of raw data and delivering actionable information you can easily use is streamlining construction projects globally and paving the way to a brighter virtual reality.

profile photograph of the authorMark King
Senior Product Manager – 3D Laser Scanning





To embrace AI technology and BIM for your construction project, visit:

Learn more about Hexagon Geosystems reality capture technology.

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