Building Information Modeling (BIM) can play a crucial role in enhanced operation and maintenance through Information and Communication Technology tools. BIM is a methodology to manage the building design and related data throughout the building’s lifecycle in a digital format. It can design, document, analyze, and manage a project over time with an opportunity to capture and share data among the project stakeholders. BIM Modeling services are an emerging technological and procedural shift within the AEC industry.
For existing buildings, no BIM or any other technology is documenting the building information, which is why Laser Scan to BIM Services for existing buildings has drawn attention in recent years. With the available literature for an existing structure, generating BIM is a complex, time-consuming, and costly affair. The overall process includes complex techniques, requires expertise, and is challenging in handling uncertain data, resulting in a cumbersome BIM conversion process due to increasing Level of Detail (LoD).
BIM is beneficial in various design and construction-related processes like operation and maintenance, facility management, decision-making, cost-effective design, energy efficiency analysis, and much more. But, still, the researchers have been working to develop a compatible BIM for existing buildings. It is a challenging, complex, and expensive process to create a semantically rich BIM considering the required special equipment
and expert knowledge. Hence, the potential of BIM for existing buildings is yet to be fully discovered.
Laser Scanning has evolved as a common and beneficial tool for collecting spatial information on existing structures. It is specifically used in BIM modeling services. Laser scanning to BIM modeling is preferred over the conventional methods due to its characteristics of fast and accurate data acquisition in the form of millions of measurement points of the existing buildings. For refurbishment projects, it is also used for identifying deviations from the original design, quantity estimates, quality control, and real-time monitoring. Despite the benefits laser scanning has to offer, its relevance and utilization are still being analyzed in the building industry.
Challenges in incorporating Laser Scan to BIM Services for existing buildings
Implementing Laser Scan to BIM Services to the existing structures is a tedious and evolving process. As with every other technology, it also comes with its set of challenges. These challenges include:
- Lack of as-built documentation
The existing structures may not have complete or precise as-built drawings and documented details. It makes it difficult for the project team to create an accurate BIM Model of the site for renovation or refurbishment purposes. This often requires extensive on-site surveys and inspections to collect the required data.
- Non-standardisation of construction methods
The existing older buildings may not have been built as per the construction standards or advisable codes. It makes it difficult to model these buildings in a BIM environment. Understanding and replicating these older methods is time-consuming and tedious, not resulting in accurate models. The unavailability of documentation on these projects also makes it difficult for the project team to study the regulations that govern the project design.
- Interoperability between software
The legacy methods used outdated software versions or file formats for designing and construction documentation. The BIM software and other related tools may not be compatible with such file formats. This requires manual data conversions or workarounds to integrate the data into the BIM environment. So, the lack of interoperability between various software and BIM is another challenge for the successful execution of Laser Scan to BIM services.
- Complexity of Existing Buildings
The existing structures may have complex mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems or outdated structures that are difficult to model precisely in BIM. Moreover, there is a possibility that these systems might have been upgraded or modified over the years. These changes are not included in the initial drawings, adding to the complexity of the BIM modeling services.
- Limitation of Time and Resources
Developing a BIM model for an existing structure is a time-consuming process fueled intensively by multiple resources. With tight deadlines or budget constraints, completing such a project without resources, time, or money, turns into a tedious job. The existing building requires a detailed study for it to work in a BIM environment which will consume time and resources.
- Expertise and specific skill set
Generating a BIM model for an already existing structure requires a high level of expertise in both BIM technology and that particular project type. This necessitates hiring a professional or providing additional training, adding to the project’s total cost and complexity.
- Building codes and regulations change over time
The building codes and regulations may have changed over the years, and the existing building did not comply with current project expectations. If trying to renovate or retrofit a project, compliance with old standards and codes makes it difficult to integrate it into a BIM model.
- Legal and privacy issues
Existing structures might have pending legal issues, such as property rights, intellectual property rights, or privacy concerns. A complicated BIM project leads to accessing building information and using it for BIM modeling purposes.
Despite these challenges, developing a BIM Model using Laser Scan to BIM services for existing buildings can provide ample benefits. The renovation or refurbishment of a project can be challenging as it is influenced by unforeseen elements and changing factors. With the right expertise and approach, one can overcome these challenges for the successful execution of a BIM model.
Challenging situations arise along with the fast-paced evolution and changing standards of the AEC industry. The component details and structural data are available for the newly developed structures. However, there are various traditional or culture-oriented interior elements in the already existing structures. Therefore, an in-depth study of the model should be conducted for BIM Modeling. Employing BIM Modeling services for your project will enhance safety, accuracy, streamlined work order details, and emergency response, playing a crucial role in the future of the AEC industry. These challenges might diminish after developing an extensively detailed as-built project model.
I’m Ar. Ankit Kansara, the driving force behind Virtual Building Studio as its Founder & CEO. Our mission is as crystal clear as a blueprint: we’re here to empower AEC professionals with seamlessly integrated, innovative, and cost-effective Revit BIM modeling services. From Point Cloud to BIM Services, MEP BIM services, and Value Engineering, we’ve got the full spectrum of BIM expertise under one roof.