Tech Trends

A Starting Point for BIM Models


When CGM Development in City of Industry, Calif., asked Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based WestLAND Group, Inc., for an as-built survey of an office building in early 2014 to support redevelopment of the site as a condominium, the project started out as a basic survey. WestLAND surveyed the building interior and submitted a condominium plan. CGM then asked the firm to provide a survey to support redesign of the exterior for ADA compliance and facade renovation. It was the ideal opportunity to apply the firm’s new total station scanning technology since the company was already going to be onsite.

Although the client wasn’t paying specifically for scanning, WestLAND had already learned that they could perform and process scans quickly using the Leica Nova MS50 MultiStation. On this project, the Nova MS50 provided a much better deliverable with only a small additional investment in time.

RELATED: Do You Need a Dedicated Scanner or an Integrated Scanner?

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The project also gave WestLAND Group the opportunity to see how scanning would support building information modeling (BIM) work. The company not actually create a complete BIM model, which would typically include a complete intelligent 3D model of the building exterior and interior with utilities, walls, structural components, etc. Instead, after processing the point cloud in Infinity and importing it into Revit and AutoCAD Civil 3D, WestLAND Survey/GIS Analyst Matt Corcoran modeled and rendered the building exterior and surrounding topography, and provided a deliverable to the project architect that was created in the familiar native Revit environment.

Basically, the idea is to scan existing buildings when appropriate, and deliver the data to the design firm as a starting point or “shell” for the BIM model. In this case, the client loved it. They were able to use the data for design and for presentation purposes. WestLAND expects the client to ask for similar models when requesting work for future projects.

LEARN MORE: Find out why WestLAND  Group invested in the Leica Nova MS50 MultiStation.


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