A few days ago, we posted some Reality Capture highlights from the 2014 McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket report, The Business Value of BIM for Construction in Major Global Markets. That report also included a very interesting case study (on page 43) about how Gilbane Building Company is using Reality Capture to detail field conditions within their digital building models.
A year ago, the company invested $60,000 in hardware, software, and training for its own laser scanner. And although the cost was initially a “huge barrier to entry” for the firm, it quickly paid for itself, according to John Tocci, Jr., the firm’s director of virtual design and construction (VDC). Tocci was quoted as saying that 30 minutes of scan time in the field and 30 minutes of post-processing and importing the point cloud into a Revit model saved the firm $30,000 on one project alone. He goes on to explain that prefabrication and coordination of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems installation has saved rework money on every project where Gilbane has used its scanner.
One of Gilbane’s first Reality Capture projects was the renovation of Miami University’s Kreger Hall, an 85-year-old building that is the new home of the university’s Physics Department. At the beginning of the project, the only as-built documentation for the facility was a hand-drawn set of original plans. Gilbane laser-scanned 50,000 square feet of the building in one day, providing accurate measurements for prefabrication, scheduling, and sequencing, as well as the development of a precise as-built model for multi-trade project coordination.
Earlier this year, Gilbane’s VDC blog posted a brief update on their project successes with Reality Capture, providing these interesting Return on Investment (ROI) insights: “We believe the laser scanner paid for itself in the first two weeks of use. Every other project since then has just added value… it’s added so much value, that by the time we hit [our seventh project], we purchased our second laser scanner. The second scanner is project assigned and primarily sees use verifying construction tolerances on a job with massive amounts of model-based prefab and a full time VDC team.” The update finishes with this awesome observation: “Don’t argue dimensions with me, I’m using laser beams.”