3D Scanning services for multi-story buildings

When multiple floors need scanned

As a 3D laser scanning services provider, It is fairly often that we are asked to scan buildings with more than one floor. These can be a basement and a roof or a multi-story high rise building. 

two approaches

Scanning buildings with multiple floors comes with a decision to make. Do you want to see all of the floors stacked on top of each other in perfect alignment? Or do you prefer to receive the result from each floor separately, treating each floor almost as it’s own separate project? These two approaches require different methods of alignment. If you align the scans for all floors into a single coordinate system, depending on the situation it is sometimes possible to connect the floors solely through the stairwells. Occasionally it is not practical or possible, so we must find an alternate means of aligning the floors together. This must be done using survey control using total stations or other methods. 

cookie cutter rooms

Sometimes when 3D laser scanning services are applied to these types of facilities with many rooms, the rooms are similar enough that the customer is fine with assuming a typical floor plan. This is a way to save cost as we then only need to scan a single example of each typical room or suite, and when producing the CAD results we can just duplicate that room or suite where needed. 

are there people inside?

An important factor when utilizing 3D laser scanning services for apartment complexes and other living spaces is whether they are occupied by people, especially if it is where they live. Asking to enter someone’s home requires advanced notice and is an invasion of their space so it must be quick to minimize the time spent inside these rooms. Sometimes people are not available on the day of the 3D laser scanning services to allow you into their premises. This perhaps causes the need to return on a different day. On rare cases, sometimes the tenants are for whatever reason unhappy about the situation, for example if they are being evicted or otherwise compelled to leave. This can present some security challenges. One of our 3D laser scanning service technicians was once chased down the hallway by a guy with a knife. 

Mobile scanning – a great asset

To minimize time in the residential quarters, a mobile scanner is often a great way to go. There are several options for mobile scanning. a good one we find is the Navvis VLX unit. It is quite fast, it takes photos and it has high enough resolution and accuracy for CAD modeling. We have also tried the Leica BLK to go, and the results were less satisfactory. 

COVID impact

Another possible factor when utilizing 3D laser scanning services in people’s residences is COVID. Situations often arise where we are not allowed into an area due to COVID related restrictions. 

An incredible value

In the right circumstances, 3D laser scanning services for a large multi-story building can be very very valuable to architectural, engineering and construction firms. It allows the customer to collect vast amounts of measurement information in a very short period of time. It allows them to use this data for planning and engineering purposes, as well as verification. 3D laser scanning services can bake the difference between an easily successful project and a difficult one. 

secrets and Surprises

There are often many surprises found by 3d laser scanning services, especially in older buildings. The surprises seem to be changes that have been made over the years that were not documented. Perhaps some secrets are revealed as well. There are things that a laser scanner will pick up that you might not notice, like the floor being 4 inches higher in one room than the other. 

Which value in 3D laser scanning services would help you the most in your project? Give us a call at 866-687-7784 and we’ll be happy to discuss your particular situation

Leave a Comment