Case Studies

Entering the Next Stage: FARO Enables New Competencies for Traditional Construction Company

Entering the Next Stage: FARO Enables New Competencies for Traditional Construction Company

With any construction project, its completion typically signals the end of the job. However, in the larger scheme of things, project completions are but the beginning of yet another phase in a building’s entire construction life cycle. Increasingly, the industry is embracing this new perspective and setting its sights on opportunities beyond the construction phase — such as projects involving renovation, operation and maintenance, and safety monitoring.

One such company that subscribes to this forward-looking approach is Sunyoung Construction Group Co., Ltd, a well-established construction company based in Shanghai, China. Set up in May 2005, Sunyoung is an accredited national high-tech enterprise and an appointed BIM implementation model company. The company’s Engineering Research Institute actively seeks innovative ways to implement BIM-based information management, using traditional construction technology as its foundations. Sunyoung hopes to promote the application of digital design in construction management, project integration, and optimization, so as to realize its vision of being a technological engineering firm characterized by its lean management and technological innovation.
 

Insight on Fresh Opportunities

With the successive completion of large-scale projects like the Shanghai Disney Resort and Shanghai Tower, the city’s demand for similarly sized developments is declining. On the other hand, the demand for projects involving renovation of old buildings and maintenance of facilities is fast rising. To address this market trend, Sunyoung began exploring the ins and outs of renovation projects.

Through several exchanges with industry counterparts, Sunyoung gained a preliminary understanding of renovation projects and developed a strong interest in 3D laser scanning technology. Commenting on the team’s early experiences with laser scanners, Mr. Jin Ge, Department Manager of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Center at Sunyoung, shared, “With the Yan’an Road Tunnel project, there were no available drawings of the tunnel as it was built in the 1980s. The lack of information made it considerably tougher for maintenance and reconstruction to be carried out. Finally, our solution was to make use of a laser scanner to obtain a scan of current conditions, before carrying out the necessary reconstruction work.”

He added, “Sometime later, we participated in another renovation project of a five-star hotel in Pudong. At that time, many of the hotel’s facilities were outdated, its basement was in dire straits, and its automated parking system was not functioning well. All of this was very inconsistent with the positioning of a high-end property. We encountered the same problem of missing drawings here, and actual site conditions were completely different from what was shown on as-built drawings. In fact, this is a common phenomenon in China, as many of our buildings have long histories of more than 20 years.”

Scanning an indoor space with the FARO 3D Laser Scanner.

Scanning an indoor space with the FARO 3D Laser Scanner.

After thorough research, the team at Sunyoung’s Engineering Research Institute decided to invest in 3D laser scanners to meet their measurement needs. Right from the start, the team enquired about FARO’s 3D laser scanners because they had come across it while managing other projects. Mr. Jin said, “We purchased the laser scanners to address our immediate needs in the renovation projects, but there was a greater motivation behind that decision. Our research team was on a quest to uncover future opportunities for the company, and they wanted to use it to explore further application possibilities.”
 

Application in a Renovation Project

In a renovation project that Sunyoung recently took over, the team worked on an office building that had been completed for several years, but had yet to be occupied. Located in the Minhang District of Shanghai, the building spans a total area of over 10,000m², with a basement and six storeys above ground. The team at Sunyoung soon discovered that there were discrepancies between the building’s actual conditions and its as-built drawings. Furthermore, some of the building’s pipelines did not comply with the design specifications.

For these reasons, the project owner expressed their desire to obtain an on-site point cloud model with a laser scanner, so that they could make use of BIM technology during the renovation process — optimizing the layout of electromechanical pipes, height clearance, and more.

The lightweight FARO 3D laser scanner used at an on-site inspection.

The lightweight FARO 3D laser scanner used at an on-site inspection.
 

Using a FARO 3D laser scanner, Sunyoung performed multiple scans at the project site and obtained data of actual conditions within and outside the building. The team completed the data acquisition process of the entire building in just 10 days. Due to its portability, the FARO 3D laser scanner was easily deployed anywhere at the project site — right from set-up to scan — by a single person. This feature alone offered users tremendous time-savings and reduction in effort.

“We’re very pleased with the overall user experience,” said Mr. Jiang Ziguo, Project Engineer at Sunyoung. “Typically, we’d be performing scans for eight to nine hours a day, over 10 consecutive days. Despite such intense schedules, the laser scanner’s performance has been very stable, which has exceeded our expectations.”

The FARO 3D laser scanner sports a sealed design and possesses IP rating of Class 54. The chip-resistant device is protected against dust and water, and its durable features offer users excellent performance, even in harsh environments like the desert or polar regions.

In addition, the FARO 3D laser scanner features on-site compensation and HDR photo overlay functions, which ensures that users get high-quality scan data every single time. With this solution, the Sunyoung team managed to obtain high-fidelity point cloud data and a digital model of the completed building. The data also allowed them to generate 2D as-built drawings of the completed building, successfully fulfilling the demands that the project owner entrusted to them.

Scans captured by the FARO 3D laser scanner in the office building project.

Scans captured by the FARO 3D laser scanner in the office building project.
 

Pipeline layout delivery diagrams generated from the scan data.

Pipeline layout delivery diagrams generated from the scan data.
 

Exploring Further Possibilities: Operation & Maintenance Needs

Apart from renovation projects, the team at Sunyoung’s Engineering Research Institute is also looking into operation and maintenance jobs. As an experiment, the team employed the FARO 3D laser scanner to obtain 3D point cloud data of the entire Sunyoung Center, in anticipation of future renovation or operation and maintenance needs.

Capable of collecting 976,000 points per second, at a color resolution of up to 165 million pixels, the FARO 3D laser scanner provides users with high-quality scan data in a very short amount of time. This capability offers project teams a preliminary digital foundation for further possibilities.

The newly-launched Sunyoung Center is the epitome of Sunyoung’s foray into facility operation and maintenance. Combining its various technical achievements, Sunyoung independently developed a platform for facility operation and maintenance. This system not only supports the operation of the entire park’s modeling data, but also interfaces with weak current systems, records electricity and water consumption in real time, while under taking the traditional property management functions at the same time.

Mr. Jin shared, “For instance, if the light bulb in a room is faulty, the system will automatically trigger an alarm to indicate its exact location in the building.”

He beamed with pride, “Besides these undertakings, we’ve also received other types of requests, some of which require the use of drones along with the FARO 3D laser scanner. Property owners commissioned us to collect data, to be put into a centralized management platform f or 3 D visual management of assets. Such endeavors are long-term projects and we expect that it will take two to three years. It’ll involve a large number of properties and complex data. While it’s still in the exploratory stages, we’re very confident that it’ll work out.”
 

About Sunyoung Construction Group Co., Ltd.

Sunyoung Construction Group Co., Ltd. Is a well-established construction company based in Shanghai, China. Set up in May 2005, Sunyoung is an accredited national high-tech enterprise and a BIM implementation consultant. The company’s Engineering Research Institute actively seeks innovative ways to implement BIM-based information management, using traditional construction technology as its foundations. Sunyoung hopes to promote the application of digital design in construction management, project integration, and optimization, so as to realize its vision of being a technological engineering firm characterized by its lean management and technological innovation.

For more information, please visit www.sunyoungchina.cn.

 

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