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Using 3D Surveying for Construction Site Field Verification


Images taken by Deep Deign Studio of the Field Verification of the Kalispell Medical Facility addition in Montana


There’s no magic in construction; it’s a combination of vision, planning, and hard work. There’s no denying that the AEC industry has brought along the most fascinating projects, but the process is difficult. The work behind construction requires months and even years of development, all in the hopes of transforming a site into one that functions better and is aesthetically pleasing.


Before we can admire a final product, it starts with a vision. Architects and engineers have an image in mind for how the end product will look and function. They recreate this image into a drawing with specifications. Alas, the reality is that what is built in the field is rarely identical with the original design. However, the gap between design intent and what is actually constructed can be reduced when 3D site surveying and scanning are utilized. 

Construction and the Importance of Field Verification

Construction is typically not a flexible process; the process requires a critical path. This means, for the most part, certain tasks cannot start before others are fully completed. While this structure demands detailed planning, it also allows for inspection to take place, which will hopefully identify any issues that don’t comply with the construction drawings.

Although this sounds easy enough, depending on the size and complexity of the overall project, verifying constructed field conditions can quickly become a difficult process. This is not a process that can be rushed through. As the project progresses, a deviation that is not identified early on will have a larger impact down the road.

However, verifying constructed field conditions does not have to be this stressful or challenging. By implementing the use of high definition laser scanning as a surveying tool in identifying deviations, the field verification can be simplified, streamlined, and made much more effective.

What’s the Process for 3D Scanning and Surveying a Site?

The process for 3D scanning and surveying a site is a simple one. Once your project reaches a milestone in the critical path, a site survey is requested using a 3D laser scanner. Then a series of scans are taken of the constructed area to document as much of the site as needed for field verification. The scans are then registered together to form a unified point cloud of the constructed site.

Once the point cloud is created, it is inserted into the design model or CAD drawings. A comparison of the data extracted from the point cloud to the initial design will expose any differences. When this is completed, the deviations from the design are communicated to the contractor and architect and potential solutions are discussed. This could mean making adjustments to the design or rebuilding the constructed condition to comply with the intended design.

Using 3D scanning for field verification allows for smooth workflow.  It will also ultimately reduce the overall time and money spent on your project by reducing change orders and the amount of wasted labor used on unnecessary construction and installations.

One to One Evolution of Design and Construction

Using 3D scanning to streamline field verification is the answer you’ve been searching for. This unmatched innovation allows you to document the relationship between what is built and the original design. You can then adjust your initial design or modify the construction accordingly in a cost-effective way. Field verification helps architects adjust their work based on field conditions that the design needs to adapt to.  It also holds the contractor accountable for being accurate and precise with what is being built.

Whether you’re looking for accuracy or an affordable way to ensure your next project can be completed as planned, 3D scanning can help lead the way. The gap between design intention and construction doesn’t have to be miles apart. We can bridge that gap together. Call Deep Design Studio for more information at 1-888-585-5568.

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