Utilization of Point Cloud Modeling in restoration and renovation project

Utilization of Point Cloud Modeling in restoration and renovation project

Point cloud modeling or laser scan technology has been around for a while. This technology is mainly used for building renovation or heritage restoration purposes. All the government buildings or national monuments are an important part of a country or city’s identity. These buildings which were built hundreds or thousands of years ago cannot look the same or have the same strength as if it were new. It is important to restore the systems before the building collapses.

Such structures demand a complete need of re-planning of the existing structure, renovation of areas which are destroyed and the addition of new areas to the building. It is very important to retain the heritage and culture of the building while renovating the building. Scan to BIM Services has been a technological savior for such requirements.

Why Scan to BIM?

Previously, restoration projects were a very tedious and time-taking task considering the pre-construction process. Taking measurements, referring to as-built drawings and then re-designing. This seemed like a never-ending to &fro process. However, with the intervention of BIM and advanced technologies like laser scanning, generating registered point clouds that have actual dimensions, position, etc. and represent the as-built condition closely, this has now become more systematic and less time-consuming.  More and more architectural firms, construction companies, and general contractors now are adopting scan to BIM process for renovation, restoration and refurbishing projects.

A laser scan machine is used to scan the building structure and generate point cloud data. All the hidden or under surface pipes, beams, columns etc. are captured pretty in depth through this tool.  The data that is recorded is in 3d format. Hence the data can be easily exported into BIM software like Revit which support point cloud scan images. Some additional plugin like Leica Cloudworx etc. also support these functions to create 2d drawings from the 3d data. It is possible to work on complex Scan to BIM projects using BIM software.

Architects and Engineers who are working on renovation or refurbishing projects can achieve more efficiency without actually working on-site. Site surveying becomes 50% less daunting with the help of this technology. One can eliminate the pain of developing survey drawings in 2d for such projects now. Even as-built modeling is much easier now with the help of Revit. There are several ways in which the scan data can be utilized. It can be used to create architectural, structural, and MEPF BIM models, 4D and 5D BIM, architectural 2D as-built drawings, etc.

Several countries in the developed world today are utilizing Scan to BIM modeling approach in their re-furbishing projects. Architectural and Engineering firms are able to create 3D as-built scenarios which are helpful in re-designing the asset. These firms gain a clear picture of the part of the building that needs to be re-constructed/renovated because of the engineering issues. The new design that is developed can be linked in the same as- built model. This actually shows the elements that will be modified/reconstructed.


Firms in the AECO industry today are more open to the concept of creating a BIM Conversion model from the registered scans. These services have now become an integral part of the project execution cycle for old buildings. The best part of this technology is that the scan data and 3d geometry images can be stored permanently in the form of as-built data once the renovation is completed.

Written By:
Dhvani Badheka
Dhvani is an irreverent writer who has over 4 years of experience under her belt. She is a life-long learner and a quick study which provides her articles a unique insight. She is always reading, researching new materials and trying to expand her knowledge of the AEC industry so that she can create interesting and valuable content.

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