Announced by FARO at the SPAR3D USA Expo and the BILT Conference in Q2 of 2018, the ‘Traceable Construction’ concept is the ecosystem of products and solutions that FARO offer to leverage the benefits of measured data throughout various stages of design, construct and operate projects in the built environment. Here, Senior Product Manager, Oliver Buerkler explains what FARO are putting in place and what they are looking to achieve.
It is fairly well understood that the benefits of digital laser/LIDAR capture are easily realised during initial evaluation and briefing stages and through design – particularly when working within a BIM process. Furthermore, the use of digital capture is increasingly evident on construction sites and is offering even further benefits such as increased accuracy, less re-work and better planning and coordination.
FARO do much more than create measurement hardware and they’ve evolved and reshaped themselves over the past few years – it’s time to start thinking of FARO as an AEC-focussed company that provide complete solutions and not just to their ‘traditional’ customers… They are also not looking to compete against any of the established design tools but rather help integrate survey measurement and data into procedures which are already there. By focusing on digitizing the real world of a construction, making progress and construction quality traceably documented becomes a reality in itself.
Oliver states that “as a solution provider for all applications using digital as-built data, FARO have recognised the need to share their experience and benefit with wider groups to highlight the potentially huge advantages they can offer.” They’re looking to expose the ‘places where FARO play along the project lifecycle’ to stakeholders who are of course designers and constructors but also logistics planners, cost consultants, health and safety coordinators, project managers, maintenance managers, facility operators – essentially a huge selection of construction industry professionals.
Added to this, ‘Traceable Construction’ will mature and evolve over the coming years – introducing new products and tools to customers (those who purchase the hardware and/or software) as well as the users of the resulting measurement or analysis data. By adding value where reality data is needed or where reality data meets design or construction, FARO’s solutions provide quality assurance and project confidence.
Understanding that there are many other built environment stakeholders that are still yet to use digital survey data and optimise reality data in their daily tasks, Traceable Construction will allow FARO to relate to their customers and the wider industry in a simpler, more effective way.
Essentially, FARO have linked their products and solutions (and the data created by them) to the building /asset lifecycle. This enables industry professionals to ‘see’ what tasks can be undertaken with which products and what data will be created and how it can be used.
Assigning 5 ‘task types’ to the various stages of a project, easily demonstrates to users what solutions within the ecosystem of products are available. The five task types are:
Oliver explains further that “as-built measurement helps document the building lifecycle through all stages. The stored data creates a history of what has been measured and is then ‘traceable’ or auditable during the design, build and operate stages (depending upon when the project started).”
It is widely acknowledged that many countries still focus on the design and construction aspects of BIM and mostly through 3D model creation and coordination to ultimately create 2D drawings. Whilst this is encouraging, the real gains sit firmly with the ‘data’ aspects of Building an ‘Information’ Model.
The UK’s BIM Level 2 documentation outlines this process for all parties and in particular requires the use of 3D digital measurement techniques to record as-constructed conditions. The focus is very much on creating a consistently structured set of verified data, building in maturity through the stages of a project. This is a big boost for construction accuracy and one that FARO are looking to enable, support and optimise at all stages.
For example, using FARO’s measurement hardware and BuildIt Construction software for validating construction completion and tolerances, is shaving large chunks of time from construction programmes all over the world whilst at the same time confirming what has been built before it is covered by finishes. This is information that can be readily ‘traceable’ during the building’s operational phase. This level of quality control for ‘on-site’ construction works hasn’t been so common in the past – FARO have proven that the solutions are readily available, that the return on investment is clear and achievable and that construction quality improvements are within easy reach.
Part of the enabling solution is ‘data connecting and sharing’ – WebShare Cloud in this instance is the current place where data storage, access, analysis and sharing can take place online and then accessed by those with very little software training required. It’s democratising the data and creating helpful, meaningful data-driven design and construction decisions to be made more accurately.
Whilst ‘Traceable Construction’ lists and links FARO’s significant portfolio of products that already assist many thousands of people, it is envisaged that future product developments will help stakeholders plug the reality data gaps in their projects throughout all stages. The solutions seamlessly integrate into existing customer workflows in the AEC industry.
Traceable Construction is something you’ll be hearing a lot more about – it will be driven by the needs of the builders, engineers, architects and others and it will be beneficial to a much wider group – watch this space!
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