It is fair to say that achieving engineering levels of positional accuracy during construction has always represented a challenge. Buildings are by their very nature large complex objects constructed of thousands of components assembled in an often-unforgiving environment.
The rise in the development of laser scanning equipment along with, (blatant product promotion alert), the ClearEdge3D Verity solution, finally closes the loop on providing accurate, accessible information on where construction components have been positioned.
The ability to merge a design model with a laser scan of the site and, in near real time, have the computer compare every selected element to show you exactly how the installed position differs to the design brief is truly transformative.
For the process to work you do need to have laser scanning included within the construction delivery process. This is not always easy given the relentless speed of build that can occur on project sites. Fortunately, affordable, easy to use and quick scanning devices are now available. We have seen great results from a combination of the recently launched Leica BLK360 with one of its bigger brothers to provide a mix of speed and accuracy for onsite data collection. I can see this hybrid approach, merging a high specification scanning unit with smaller, (possibly even aerial and/or mobile), devices becoming much more commonplace. You only need to visit one of the geospatial shows to see how quickly these digital capture solutions are developing.
Having a managed laser scan capture schedule is removing the need to have Site Engineers constantly out on site carrying out measurements and fitment checks. Installation accuracy can occur from within the safety of a warm dry site hut where you are never too far away from a cup of coffee. The checking process is also far more accurate.
Verity takes the scan data and analyses hundreds of points across an item, giving you the ability to fully understand any deviation from the design model in any axis, even picking up bends or sags in the component once it has been installed.
Elements that deviate significantly from the tolerances you set can be quickly identified and decisions made on the remedial action needed. Whether it is a physical on-site change to the position of the element, or the notification of a change in the as-build model to the design team.
When it comes to creating a true as-built model Verity delivers its killer blow: The ability to move the designed component to its true as installed position. This occurs within the Autodesk Navisworks environment giving the construction company the capability to notify the design team without affecting the original authored model.
Carrying out clash detection exercises with the new as-built model, allows a unique insight into future issues that may occur due to the positional changes of installed components from the original design model.
Construction has struggled for too long with waste, rework and litigation related to unknown installation errors. I believe that the combination of accessible scanning solutions with the ClearEdge3D Verity technology will dramatically reduce these costs. We are on the verge of real transformation in how buildings are assembled and I am excited to see how the future unfolds.
Verity Link for further information: http://www.clearedge3d.com/products/verity/