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Case Studies

3D Laser Scanner Improves Productivity in New Construction and Renovation Works. Point Cloud Data Utilization Case at Takenaka Corporation

3D Laser Scanner Improves Productivity in New Construction and Renovation Works. Point Cloud Data Utilization Case at Takenaka Corporation

Takenaka Corporation (head office based in Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan) established Takenaka Research and Development Institute at Tokyo and Osaka in 1953. Since then, they have relocated to the current location (Inzai, Chiba, Japan) in 1993 and have developed unique new technology for architecture as well as new construction methods. Takenaka Research and Development Institute introduced Focus3D FARO 3D laser scanner as an experimental equipment in 2011, which has helped them to solve various construction problems with collaboration with their work site team. For example, at the new building construction site, they could successfully minimize the total amount of dismantlement and concrete placing by 3D measurement when reusing a part of the existing foundation.

Also, when replacing the heating system, they could simulate the loading and unloading path by dynamic interaction check of the facility equipment models with the point cloud data. In addition to that case, their measurement efficiency for the existing body has improved 3 to 4 times compared to the general manual measurement.
 

Minimize construction by 3D scan

Mr. Shunsuke Someya, Associate Chief Researcher, Digital Construction Group, Advance Technology Research Department at the Takenaka Research & Development Institute, started off by saying, “we could reduce 5m³ each for dismantlement and concrete placing of the existing structures by using 3D laser scanner.”

“For recent new building construction method, some outer parts of the basement from the previous buildings are often utilized as an earth retainer and concrete are newly poured over it to build the structure of the new building. When we measured the basement of the previous building with Focus3D, we found that the structure position was more than 200mm different from the existing drawing. We adjusted the drawing to match the actual structure and streamlined the dismantlement range, resulting in significant decrease in unnecessary dismantlement and concrete placing.”

Point cloud data measuring the existing building by FARO Focus3D

Point cloud data measuring the existing building by FARO Focus3D. Completed measurement of about 1000m² in a day.

Takenaka Corporation owns several 3D measurement devices including the terrestrial 3D laser scanner FARO Focus3D S120 in 2011 by Takenaka Research and Development Institute, the handy set of FARO Freestyle3D in 2017 by Tokyo head office. “We trial used Focus3D as a part of research and development for creating the existing structure drawings for building renovation works, confirmation of construction accuracy as well as “budget control” to compare design and actual construction. Freestyle3D is actively used to measure complicated parts of the facility equipment itself and decoration parts of the historical buildings such as old department store.” said by Mr. Someya regarding the trial use status of the devices.
 

Automated 3D modeling process immensely saving time from 151 hours to just few hours

Point cloud measurement by 3D laser scanner works effectively in renovation works of facilities which has complicatedly placed pipe fittings, ducts and equipment etc. One of such examples is the heat source renovation work at the complex facility which has total floor area of 130,000m² constructed by Takenaka Corporation.

Mechanical room densely crowded with pipe fittings, ducts and equipment.

Mechanical room densely crowded with pipe fittings, ducts and equipment.

We used software for BIM to plan for the partial removal of existing equipment and the installation at the new site. This is because a 3D model of the site is required when considering the transfer route of existing facilities. However, because the existing drawings did not match the actual area, we measured it with Focus3D.
 

Composite point cloud data measured at multiple points.

Composite point cloud data measured at multiple points.

General work flow using 3D laser scanner is as follows: (1) Scan work site; → (2) Composite point cloud data; → (3) Mesh surfacing; → (4) BIM modeling; → (5) Create drawings and quantify. “We focus on the point cloud data process after the process (3). The construction efficiency depends largely on technical capability or know-how on these processes.” Mr. Someya mentioned.

Three-dimensionally tracing point cloud data manually.

Completed BIM model.

(Top) Three-dimensionally tracing point cloud data manually.
(Below) Completed BIM model.

Since the point cloud data obtained by 3D laser scanner itself is too big to use in facility BIM software, they should be converted into light-weight data of surface model and center line of the pipes. On the facility BIM software, we need to trace them and eventually enter BIM models with its attributions. It might take a few hundred hours previously as we manually traced point cloud data three-dimensionally to create surface model. If we know surface model and center line of pipes, BIM model input won’t require such numerous man hours as surface model requires. In a nutshell, the bottleneck was to create surface model from the point cloud data.

“Hence, we automated the surface modeling work from point cloud data by using Elysium’s InfiPoints software which can interact with Focus3D and FARO’s point cloud process software SCENE. As a result, we could reduce from 151 hours to a few hours for the surface modeling work for the main construction if operators entered the data. We cannot automate subsequent tasks such as BIM model input and planning task such as interference check using BIM model as those tasks require engineers’ skill and know-how. Thanks to automation of simple task such as surface modeling, we could spend more time on these core works.” said by Mr. Someya who emphasized on the amazing impact.

You may feel like some of the hard to see parts were left out compared to manually prepared surface model. However, it is just for trace purpose and for most cases, we don’t have any practical problems with automatically generated surface models. “The average life of structures is about 60 years while one of facilities are about 15 years. During the building life cycle, these main facility renovation would be conducted 2 to 3 times. It is very important subject for us to improve construction productivity by reducing man hours.” (Mr. Someya)

Point cloud data automatically created by InfiPoints.

Surface model automatically created by InfiPoints.

Point cloud data (above) and surface model (bottom) automatically created by InfiPoints.
 

Point Cloud Data measurement enhance our confidence

In addition to that, Takenaka Corporation use Focus3D in the building renovation work by Skeleton Infill. It is used to measure the point cloud data of the structures which interior parts are dismantled to generate the existing structure drawing. Since we create drawings for new design, structure and facilities based on that existing structure drawings, anything small should not be overlooked. “It often happens that the position of the structure is different from the as-built drawing or that as-build drawing doesn’t mention position or size of the pipe fitting or sleeves to run the vent. For such case, we need to confirm the position of the existing structure or sleeves based on the automatically generated surface models from the point cloud data.” explained by Mr. Someya.

Surface model automatically created from point cloud data by InfiPoints.

Surface model automatically created from point cloud data by InfiPoints.
 

Confirm location & size of sleeves as well as with/without of penetration with the surface model.

Confirm location & size of sleeves as well as with/without of penetration with the surface model.

“Previously, it would probably have taken a month with 3 to 4 people to measure this site. However, with Focus3D, we could complete it in about 2 weeks with 2 people.” (Mr. Someya) This means that the man hour required for the work site measurement was reduced to about 30, compared to 90-120 done by general manual measurement. “We found the most confident in recording the whole site as point cloud data with Focus3D including the parts that are invisible after the final completion. Furthermore, we not only could prevent re-measurement or additional measurement at sites but also eliminate high-place works, which may be required for manual measurement. I think that the use of 3D laser scanner at sites will be a norm within a few years.” said by Mr. Someya who felt a sense of confident in Focus3D.

 

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