An Uncommon Laser Scanning Workflow With A Fast ROI | StructionSite

An uncommon laser scanning workflow with a fast ROI.

May 29, 2019

Clinton Gray

While en route to AEC Next/SPAR 3D, I can’t help but think of better timing to recount some of my laser scanning experiences from my previous job. With SPAR being the largest trade show for reality capture, I’m sure there will be much knowledge shared on workflows about the construction industry, and I am looking forward to learning as much as I can! It seems that many of these have themes around BIM, VDC, AR/VR, etc, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share workflows that are pertinent to concrete operations on a job site, as they can have a significant impact on the project schedule and budget.

Laser scanning concrete and the creation of F-numbers (FF/FL) to satisfy the ASTM E1155 spec has become a hot topic among contractors in recent years. Creation of a Floor Flatness and Floor Levelness report can be done with some automation and nifty software like Rithm. If you’re lucky, you might even get a “heatmap” with it!

Concrete Scanning Workflow

There is a ton of value in scanning concrete, but the application I saw with the highest and fastest ROI was scanning to monitor the deflection in decks. A typical workflow would include documenting elevations at particular points of interest on each pour at 4-5 different stages (formwork, post-pour, post-tensioning, shoring removed, etc.) Most of the time you would see a layout crew tasked with these measurements, and we all know that taking a layout crew off production work and putting them on QC work can delay the schedule. I saw multiple clients that were able to give this measurement process to a Field Engineer using a laser scanner, keeping the layout crew on production and saving money at the same time. Just by the savings in labor and time spent measuring, they were able to prove a scanner would pay itself off long before it became obsolete.

High-Value Data ROI

But that wasn’t even the best part about the ROI. The real benefit was the savings that resulted from them being able to access the “extra” data. Although they were only utilizing a small percentage of the data the laser scanner captured for their monitoring points, they were smart enough to keep the rest of the data around. Sure enough, lawsuits presented in the future were able to be fought using the data captured from the laser scanning process. Instead of waiting 1-2 years to reach their desired ROI, winning these disputes would immediately surpass their expectations, which consistently led to rolling out the process on all high profile jobs.

Laser Scanning + Photo Documentation = More Beneficial Data

As I get settled in here at StructionSite, I am starting to recognize many parallels between laser scanning and photo documentation. There is much benefit in capturing information in a quicker way than the traditional methods, especially when you are getting the benefit of collecting more data. Something to keep in mind as you walk a site and wonder if you should take another photo with StructionSite, especially as we integrate with partners such as!