Introduction to Virtual Design Construction & Point cloud BIM

Way back in 1940 or 50 Architectural Designs or construction drawings were presented through 2D format (hand sketch or 2D handmade Engineering drawings with specification). These technical drawings were difficult to produce, also needed too much time and efforts to complete them. Accuracy level could also not be met.

The millennium saw the construction industry exploring new avenues in form of Architectural BIM Modeling, BIM Coordination, 3D visualization etc. Construction Industry saw the rise of virtual designing where buildings are constructed in real time scenario. Computer Aided Design came into existence and paved way for much more innovative services. BIM Services is an excellent technology that helps in maximizing profitability, increasing project productivity and leads to quick construction. Virtual Construction Modeling is so eloquent that it made CAD Drafting look sluggish. Millennium opened up different avenues with Building Information Modeling aka BIM and this later diversified into other technical up gradation like “Energy Analysis” “Scan to BIM” or “Point cloud” “Facility Management” etc. The development of Virtualization of design brought about a stupendous growth spurt in the overall business procurement and execution of the construction industry.

BIM Modeling

BIM is a process of developing a Virtual Construction Model with all the building-related information like quantities, material types, building components, site etc. that gives a real-time feeling within a virtual set up. BIM Modeling includes Architectural BIM Services, Structural and MEP BIM Modeling, BIM coordination, 4D Construction Sequencing, 5D BIM Modelling etc.

Certainly, BIM Modeling or Virtual Construction Modeling is much more than just 3d presentation or geometry. BIM has the capability to contain the complete end to end building data that can be used across different stages of construction. Architectural construction drawings, 2D views, tags, quantities, properties of each bar or truss etc. can all be extracted from the model. BIM can also be interconnected with other scheduling application or software to carry out other construction activities such as scheduling, material orders, estimation etc. This technology has the capacity to automatically generate multiple reports that can be later used in actual construction.

Building Information Modeling offers the remarkable scope of visualization and enhances the productivity of the design team and process. It is a collaborative technology and hence it can enable designers, the contractor’s to collaborate and work on the same model jointly. This helps in accelerating the construction process rapidly.

BIM Modeling also facilitates Co-ordination between multiple trades such as Architectural BIM, Structural and MEP. These trades can be collaborated digitally and checked automatically for any unwanted interferences and accuracies. These checks are called “clash detection”. Well executed BIM Co-ordination process benefits all the parties that are directly involved in the construction process. This gives a positive impact on the construction time line along with the overall cost.

Point Cloud to BIM Modelling

Renovation and Restoration projects have always been a major challenge for Architects and Engineers. Obtaining complete and accurate information of existing buildings and designs is very time consuming and certainly not fully error proof. It used to be a very stringent and tedious process where the surveyors have had to go onsite, measure every part of the building, note the measurements manually. This brought in a lot of inaccuracies and uncertainty in the renovation process.

Initiation of Point Cloud or “laser scanning” is digital process of measuring old buildings or sites with an equipment called “Laser scanner”. This scanner scans images using “points” on the surface of any object. Output of scan is usually a data file and is accessible in .rcs, .rcp format and multiple other formats. We can convert these scans or Point Cloud into completed and precise 3D BIM Model.

We can also do reverse mapping and create Architectural construction Drawings, 4D construction sequence and analyze the old design to create a new proposed one using Scan to BIM Modelling.

Conclusion: This is just the beginning. There are several other technical advancements like Big Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR etc. that will make Virtual Construction Modeling look obsolete.