There was a time when determining the flatness and levelness of a slab pour meant scheduling floor profilers to walk the slab, take readings, import data, and generate an F-number report, which indicates the flatness and levelness of a concrete slab. For a hospital, a flat, level floor is crucial to facilitate the movement of gurneys and heavy automated beds as well as precisely seat advanced imaging equipment and sophisticated surgical devices.
It could take a full work day to reach a floor flatness and levelness verdict using the traditional dipstick method. Meanwhile, the drying slab isn’t waiting around for anyone.
With so much at stake, you’d think there would be a simpler, faster, and more advanced way to answer, “Is it level? Is it flat?”
For general contractor DPR Construction, there is. They’ve been using it with great success on the new state-of-the-art $60 million specialty outpatient healthcare center now under construction for a confidential client in Pasadena, Calif.
DPR Construction is the nation’s number one builder of healthcare centers, according to Modern Healthcare Magazine. The project, expected to deliver in mid-2017, is 164,000 square feet of new construction, including three levels of below-grade parking. The project is also a case study on how to accurately determine slab flatness and levelness with unprecedented speed and convenience.
“The traditional way to generate an F-number analysis is the dipstick method,” reports Josh DeStefano, DPR BIM Manager—Southern California. “We would hire a third party to make those walk-through measurements. The dipstick crew would take part of the day to do their walk- through, another part of the day to analyze the results. The entire process could take a day.”
Waiting a full day for results isn’t helpful if there are slab dips and bumps that need rework immediately. Today the DPR BIM team has compressed a once lengthy floor profiling process from hours to minutes.
“We use our FARO Focus3D X 330 Laser Scanner with the FARO SCENE Software platform. SCENE offers seamless integration with Rithm add-ons, such as Inspector. We wouldn’t be able to do in-house floor flatness and levelness analysis without the Inspector add-on to SCENE,” DeStefano explains.
Rithm apps, including Inspector, enhance the FARO Focus3D’s capability with exclusive floor profiling capabilities. For DeStefano and the DPR Construction team, the result is immediate, welcome, and “huge.”
The data capture and analysis is surprisingly straightforward. “People hear ‘laser scanning’ and they think that it’s a big, complicated thing. Collecting data isn’t complicated,” DeStefano observes. For example, the slab is scanned multiple times at a 25 percent resolution, each about a 4 to 6 minute process. That data is moved from the FARO Laser Scanner with an SD card and loaded into a laptop. SCENE Software processes and registers the data in minutes, producing a 3D point cloud. Within SCENE the Rithm Inspector app is used to analyze the point cloud and generate an ASTM 1155 compliant F-number analysis report.
“We can deploy our in-house team quicker than a third party. Our internal lines of communication make it much easier to coordinate pre-pour schedules, especially since we self-perform. If there’s a pour coming up, we know about it right away and schedule a tech to be there and scan. We capture more information with less effort, at a lower cost, in less time allowing our teams to resume building that much faster. We can prove we met the spec. Inspector generates the report that proves it.”
DeStefano understands world-class hardware counts for little if it’s not supported by outstanding software. The FARO SCENE Software platform and its capability to exclusively integrate with third-party apps from Rithm now transform a lengthy slab profiling process into a swift, routine measurement.
“Having the Rithm apps was a huge push for us to go with SCENE. Nobody else integrates with Rithm apps like FARO. Yes, our FARO scanner does let us look at floor flatness to a certain degree. But SCENE with the Rithm add-ons give us the same standardized F-number analysis that’s accepted throughout the industry. It’s a very big deal.
“It’s a competitive advantage we didn’t have before,” DeStefano states.
Is it flat? Is it level? Today DPR Construction knows the answers faster than ever before.