3-D Building Technologies

Our 3-D metrology program will scan and record built-environment elements, such as walls, floors, ceilings, equipment, and furnishings



"Drew is a superior Architect experienced in AIA contract administration, construction management, design coordination and design. He holds himself to the highest quality standards and lifts the performance of any project team he has been associated with."

D.A. - Roseville, MN

3-D Laser Scanning and Metrology

3-D laser scanning can be likened to document scanning; when a document is run through a scanner, an exact replica is digitized for archiving or immediate use.

Through our 3-D metrology program, we are able to laser scan building exteriors and interiors, developing comprehensive, and highly accurate CAD drawings for use by building owners and design teams. This program produces data files faster and more accurately than any other means of measurement.

Our 3-D metrology program can scan and record built-environment elements, such as walls, floors, ceilings, pipes, ductwork, structural components, equipment, and furnishings. The size, placement in space, surface characteristics are all recorded as data points in the scanning process. Once the data files are performed, the data is filtered, registered, compressed, then exported to CAD (computer-aided-design) models. The process of scanning and generation of drawing files provides the design team with information of unsurpassed quality and accuracy, and it relieves them of the drudgery of performing field measurements by conventional mechanical means.

What Laser Scanning Is

3-D Laser scanning is a tried and true method for measuring spaces, while also providing information on surface textures, colors, and complexity of detail. The laser scan itself can be likened to a 3-dimensional photograph on steroids; one can rotate 360° horizontally and roughly 300° vertically, while also being able to zoom in or zoom out as the need arises. Usually more than one scan is taken and the several scans are “registered” to provide a 3-dimensional image or “point cloud” of the space. From the point cloud, a virtual model (CAD) is developed, which can then be used for design studies and construction documents.
House of Hope Church Library, Saint Paul, MN
Portion of Laser Scan and Resulting Point-Cloud Image

When Scanning Should be Employed

3-D laser scanning is instrumental in pre-design as well as during construction and post construction documentation. In pre-design, 3-d laser scanning can provide quick, highly accurate and comprehensive information on spatial size, architectural/structural detail, surface textures and colors. Mechanical and electrical systems can also be integrated into the scanning process, providing the basis for design studies and construction documents.
Sterling Library, Yale University
Portion of Laser Scans

During construction, prior to closing in mechanical and electrical infrastructure, scanning can pinpoint the size and location of each system, each item of equipment, duct and conduit runs, transitions in elevation, all in relation to fixed elements (structure). These scans and the subsequent documentation can provide the basis for true record drawings as well as building information modeling (BIM). Scanning at the end of the project when finishes are in place, the building owner will then have full documentation of their facility, as it has been turned over to them for occupancy. Structure, electrical and mechanical systems, and finishes can all be modeled in CAD for the owner’s future use.
Sterling Library, Yale University
Point Cloud Image and 3-d Model

Laser Scanning - Facilities Support

In addition to the applicability of laser scanning to architectural and engineering design studies, scanning can provide highly detailed and versatile images to aid building owners in trouble-shooting problems within their physical plant. Scan images can be viewed as dynamic images (as opposed to standard photographs), allowing zooming control as well as rotational movements to see components as if present in the space itself.
Mechanical Room
Partial 3-d Laser Scans

Metrology Services

  • 3-D scanning of facilities (data capture)
  • Registration, filtering and exporting scan files (point cloud files)
  • Provide files to users with viewer for preliminary design work
  • 2-D or 3-D CAD model files

Best Uses of Laser Scanning

  • When no existing drawings or CAD files exist
  • Large or highly complex facilities
  • Infrastructure intensive facilities
  • Historic documentation and restoration
  • Pre-design
  • During construction (prior to closing in project)
  • Project close-out / record documents
  • Basis for P&ID documentation
  • Basis for Building Information Modeling (BIM)