Laser Scanning Existing Building Conditions

By John Turner, P.E. | April 20, 2022

Allow me to first offer my confession – I’m a Yankee, and compared to many, a relatively slow adopter of technology.  The transition to digital photography, GPS in our cars, and the fast evolution from cellular phones to smartphones is simply incredible.

Sometimes necessity pushes me to try technology.  Google Earth has demonstrated to all of us the power of scanning.  Did the house face south or west?   We used to receive phone calls and the caller would ramble on about their expansion to their cape home with four doghouse dormers and the 3rd chimney from the left, etc.    Now with Google Earth we can quickly see that chimney and do a much better job talking intelligently about their question.  Google Earth works great on building exteriors and in urban locations.  However, head out to the country or step inside any building and say goodbye to those great images.

Enter “Reality Capture” /digital scanning services.  You’ve likely seen this technology utilized for showing off houses in the real estate market and ready for bidding wars.  Similar scanning methods, at much higher resolution and quality, are utilized for architectural design and engineering services.   You probably have not seen how effective John Hubbard from Matterscan is at capturing tough-to-reach spaces such as attics and crawl spaces.

In the photograph, John captured very complex bell tower and roof framing to allow us to design reinforcement of this unique structure. Because of the systems that MatterScan utilizes while scanning our sites, we not only benefit from full-coverage, accurate datasets but also are provided with a complete desktop digital twin of the site. This digital twin allows us to virtually go to the site, measure, check and confirm items from the convenience of any computer that has an internet connection. No special software is required and the navigation and tools are simple and easy to use!

While I respect the architects that can document the architectural layout of a building in a few hours by hand, no single person can capture architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing features with the speed and accuracy of a laser scan.

Need existing conditions plans for that next renovation project?  Put our Team to work for you!

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