Why and When You Should Utilize Laser Scanning

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

The surveying profession focuses on measurement. When your data determines a project's success, you need to use your hardware and simple software to match the most reliable, precise, and accurate measurements. Laser scanning provides the detail, precision, and speed you need. Create deliverables that range from maps to models and more with unparalleled efficiency.

The process is generally called a point cloud survey or light detection and rang (LIDAR, the 'light,' and 'radar' combination). It can generate 3D imaging for use in the modeling of 3D computer-assisted design ( CAD) or building information.

We have prepared this article to help you knew Why and When You Should Utilize Laser Scanning.

Why Should You Utilize laser Scanning?

Laser scanning has many advantages compared to alternative methods of land surveys, such as photogrammetry. Here are some of the main reasons why your projects could benefit from laser scanning:

  • Improves quality and precision

A laser scan is accurate and enables building teams to plan and detail onsite at a whole other level.

  • Cuts Costs

Laser scanning is fast — much faster than conventional project mapping methods. The scans can be done in minutes, which is much quicker than traditional methods, many of which may take hours or even weeks. What's more, the data scans created allow teams to build more detailed workflows. Construction is a bottom-line business, and any cost savings that project teams may make can only increase the project's profitability. Using laser scanning instead of traditional 2D scanning on a project will display savings of up to 50%, with the accelerated timeline's essential benefits.

  • Provides immediate information

scans can be made and accessed instantly, thereby enhancing processes, streamlining productivity, and reducing rework.

Also, laser scanning provides inherently informative 3D images, accurate spatial data, and valuable context information that can surely offer additional value to GIS users.

  • Reduces manual labor

manual work can be time-consuming and error-prone. Laser scanning can help to reduce and also ensure a higher degree of accuracy. Scanning also eliminates the need for all parties to the project ( i.e., architects, engineers, surveyors, etc.) to make several trips to the site to check the plans.

  • Streamline coordination

3D laser scanning can enhance coordination and collaboration at the workplace, leading to quicker and better overall decision-making. Better collaboration can improve project team relations, strengthen communication, and help achieve the final goal of creating a large project.

When to Use Laser Scanning?

Since laser scanners capture reality with extremely high performance, they are mainly used in applications where this capability provides added value. In the BIM industry, these uses usually fall into two categories: new construction and renovation.

  • New Construction

Laser scanning can also be used in various places in a new building project to assist the BIM process. For instance, scanning all components as they are installed will provide a time-lapse record with millimeter precision data on pipes, HVAC, Plant, Steel Structure, grounds, and rebars in concrete slabs within the building along with the actual date of installation.

This information can be compared to the design to ensure that all components are installed in the correct place. If any errors are found, the procedure can be revised to modify new manufacturing elements rather than costly changes onsite.

Laser scanning can also be used to rapidly measure the flatness of the slab of concrete floors to quickly calculate the extent of any areas that need to be changed and to precisely evaluate the volume of material required. This ability results in more precise orders of material and less waste.

  • Renovations

For renovations or additions to the existing structure, drawings are often significantly out of date or do not exist. This makes it difficult to design any renovation or expansion. The laser scanner identifies everything it sees and "freezes" the site in its present form. These data can then be entered into CAD packages and used to develop extremely accurate existing condition drawings. After these documents have been created, laser scanning can further add value by capturing building milestones and ensuring quality as the process progresses.

Laser scanning is a powerful tool capable of saving thousands of dollars in rework, keeping projects on schedule, and providing valuable information for all stakeholders. Whether you contract a service provider for scanning or self-performing scanning, there are numerous advantages of integrating the technology into your construction project.


While the construction process has traditionally been slow to adopt new technologies, laser scanning is rapidly becoming the gauge on project sites for benefits such as quality improvement, cost savings and, more. Whether you don't even use it on your company's projects, it's time to start looking at adding technology to your projects soon.

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