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4 Reasons Architects Hesitate to Utilize a 3D Surveying Company for Their Projects


Letting go of the old ways of doing things is hard. Even when we are constantly told that a new method will provide a better outcome, it’s normal to still have reservations, even for architects. At some point, however, we must do our own research and decide for ourselves if it’s time to be innovative and try something new.

Many architects feel this way when it comes to 3D surveying. Despite the obvious benefits, architects are still hesitant about utilizing a 3D surveying company for their projects. The following are four common reasons behind the hesitation:

1) Unaware of the Cost Value

Many architects wrongly assume that using 3D surveying to document the existing conditions of a building is an unnecessary additional service. When in fact, utilizing a 3D surveying company to 3D scan and document the existing conditions of a building adds more value to a project. The scan data produces a large amount of tangible information that helps with the design decision-making and ensures a smoother construction process. The scan data also gives the architects, their clients, and consultants a virtual replication of the building that can be used for reference as a historic archive.

Another benefit of using 3D surveying that is often overlooked is having a 3D Building Information Model. A 3D surveying company will develop this model from the point cloud. This provides architects with a starting point for developing their proposed design.

2) Concern Over the Level of Quality and Detail of the End Product

It’s normal to not want to relinquish control of a project you’ve invested your time and effort in. Architects experience this too. They often prefer to manage a project from beginning to end because they believe this will allow them to control the quality and level of detail based on their “in-house” standards. However, most architectural firms don’t actually have an “as-built” standard. They do not have a process for developing accurate as-builts or a precise method for documenting the existing conditions.

On the other hand, that is exactly what a 3D surveying company focuses on. They have straightforward processes for documenting and developing architectural as-builts that are applicable to any architectural firm and project. When doing this, a 3D surveying company must follow strict guidelines that outline the standards for documenting the existing conditions including the levels of detail (LOD) and level of accuracy (LOA) for developing a project. Once a deliverable is given to the architectural firm, it can be expected that it has been developed based on those agreed upon standards and that it’s ready to be incorporated into the design process.

When it comes to work involving tight deadlines, time is something you will want more of. Architects experience this firsthand on a daily basis. Because architects are paid for the time they spend designing buildings and not documenting the existing conditions, it makes sense that they would want that part of the project to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. By hiring a 3D surveying company that has the resources and ability to get the job done, architects can spend more of their own resources and manpower on the design phase of the project.

3) Unaware of How Much Time It Will Save

Hiring a 3D surveying company will not only save the architectural team time on the project at hand, but it will allow them to allocate their time elsewhere. While the 3D surveying company is scanning the building, processing and registering the scan data to form a point cloud, and developing a Building Information Model, the architectural team could focus their energy on other tasks such as:

  • Other deadlines
  • Coordinating with their consultants on other projects
  • Developing the design of a new project

A 3D surveying company will be able to quickly document and develop detailed as-builts in about half the time it would take an architectural staff to do that same task. The results of the 3D surveying company will undoubtedly be more precise and have greater level of accuracy. Ultimately, this assists the architectural team, and firm overall, by saving them time to focus on what they do best, designing rather than developing the existing conditions of a project.

4) Concern About Whether a 3D Surveying Company Is Reputable to Work With

A person may be convinced of their need for a service, but still hold back from hiring that help because they don’t know how to choose a company. When you’re working on a large, high profile architectural project, it’s important to work with the best and most reliable companies for engineering, design, and construction. If you settled for a cheaper, less dependable company, it would surely impact the outcome of your project. The same can be said when it comes to hiring a 3D surveying company. Whatever your vision or goal for your project is, it all starts with obtaining accurate building documentation and as-builts.

Not all 3D surveying companies are the same. Many companies will claim to be experts in their field, but have nothing to show for it. Here are some meaningful qualities to look for:

  • Is the 3D surveying company registered with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Does the 3D surveying company have a Dun & Bradstreet number?
  • Is the 3D surveying company a member of the U.S. Institute of Building Documentation (USIBD)?
  • Does the 3D surveying company have an affiliation or membership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA)?
  • Have they worked with other architectural firms that can vouch for them?
  • Does the 3D surveying company have general and professional liability insurance?
  • Does the 3D surveying company have an active social media or solid web presence?

Googling 3D surveying companies in your area may give you a long list of results. Asking these questions, however, will significantly help you narrow down your search. This will allow you to find a credible and reliable company for your architectural company to work with.

Whether you have questions about using a 3D surveying company to help with your next project or you’re trying to narrow down your search, you can always count on Deep Design Studio for answers. Our team of architectural surveyors and technicians can help you get started at 1-888-585-5568.

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