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Take Advantage of Point Cloud Modelling for Heritage Restoration Projects

Author: Kuldeep Bwail
by Kuldeep Bwail
Posted: May 04, 2014

Needless to say, conservation of national heritage structures demands special attention from the respective governing bodies. After all, these heritage buildings, structures and sites are far more than just physical entities located in a particular region. Having left a rich legacy behind for the generations to come, the heritage sites contribute to the wider area & economy, and predominantly shape the culture and way of life in the regions surrounding them. No wonder why nearly all countries have specialized culture/heritage groups and foundations, operating at government, provincial or municipal levels, dedicated to the preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of these highly treasured structures and landscapes.

One of the most crucial aspects of such redevelopment, refurbishment and restoration projects is to keep intact the structure’s symbolic and cultural elements. Unlike other projects, heritage-related projects have a special set of requirements and specifications, not to mention the complex bidding processes. As a result, the architects, the facilities managers, and the contractors involved in such projects have a daunting task ahead of them if they fail to use the right technology. This is exactly where scan-to-BIM modelling, also known as point cloud modelling, comes into the frame.

Quite simply put, Scan-to-BIM modelling uses advanced laser surveying tools to record 3D spatial data of the structures. Some specialist software tools, such as Cloudworx and Scan to BIM, help convert this ‘cloud’ consisting of millions of data points into a precise geometry of the building. Subsequently, building information modelling (BIM) application like Autodesk Revit is used to identify material data, add more details, and create accurate models for redevelopment, refurbishment and renovation projects.

As a result, the point cloud modelling technology makes life much easier for architects and facilities managers, especially those involved in refurbishment of historical and heritage sites. Picture an architect sifting through piles of drawings or delegating colleagues to manually survey the structure in the field for weeks. Also imagine the plight of government restoration agencies that are responsible for the upkeep of multiple heritage structures, some of which are extremely complicated in their nature.

Generally, architectural practices can use the Scan-to-BIM service to validate key conditions and services of the built environment. Alternatively, the entire project team can see point cloud modelling as an integral component throughout the project life cycle.

Specifically for conservation projects involving highly complex national heritage structures, architects can use this technology to survey existing conditions and analyse the intricate detail prior to the restoration. During the project life cycle, the BIM model(s) and scan data can be an invaluable resource as well as provide great predictability to all stakeholders in terms of time scheduling and costing. Furthermore, once the project is complete the BIM models can be used to provide extremely accurate as-built 3D information to help manage maintenance of these nationally significant structures.

About the Author

Kuldeep Bwail, Director at XS CAD, providing 3D Architectural Modelling,3D BIM Modeling to Homebuilder, Architect

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Author: Kuldeep Bwail

Kuldeep Bwail

Member since: Dec 03, 2013
Published articles: 51

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