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Realserve sent a team of surveyors to Launceston to create a 3D Revit Model for a heritage building in the city to help facilitate a refurbishment program.

Case Study: 3D Revit Model of a heritage building in Launceston

Surveyors that can do laser scanning of heritage buildings

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Realserve sent a team of surveyors to Launceston to create a 3D Revit Model for a heritage building in the city to help facilitate a refurbishment program. Engaging a surveyor to carry out 3D scanning for a heritage building is the fastest and safest way to create a 3D model or 2D documentation to help preserve or renovate a building.

Using 3D building scanning for a heritage building in Launceston

Heritage building in Launceston Tasmania external front view point cloud 3D Revit Model of a heritage building in Launceston Tasmania external front view

The tenant in this heritage building was a leading brand and the time had come to update the existing shop fit out and commercial office layout. Each year selected retail sites are chosen by the company asset management team to receive a refurbishment. This will typically be done to satisfy the lease requirements but also to remain competitive with nearby brands offering a similar service.

Our surveying team chose to use 3D building scanning equipment to conduct the survey of this structure’s exterior and interior. By capturing millions of points of data of the 1,470 sqm site, the information can be used to create a point cloud which can be worked from to build a complete 3D Revit Model. 

This is possible for single storey buildings or in the case of this heritage building it had three levels with an extremely detailed and intricate exterior.

Can BIM be used for existing heritage buildings?

Renovations or refurbishments of old government buildings, heritage listed structures or commercial buildings that were built before 1980 sare becoming more important these days to ensure compliance with current OH&S laws. A heritage building renovation project can be managed using BIM as this extremely powerful process will ensure the best level of virtual modelling, delivering precise and timely documentation as needed.

Decades ago, prior to 3D scanning and modelling from point clouds, the process of creating building documentation was labour intensive and manual, traditional survey techniques could have taken weeks to complete. In addition, the management of paper based drawing documentation was a nightmare to manage, with amendments and the latest plans needing to be printed and distributed to all concerned parties.. This process was very tedious and could often result in many inaccuracies, ultimately resulting in slow and confusing documentation.

By collecting scanned data points and converting these into a BIM Model, documentation is very efficient, especially when dealing with carvings, mouldings or irregular dimensioning in the building’s geometry. This BIM Model can be shared and updated electronically so that stakeholders in different locations or time zones can collaborate without the delays that waiting on amendments and CAD files to be shared can cause.

Can designers use a 3D Revit Model?

Heritage building in Launceston Tasmania external angle point cloud 3D Revit Model of a heritage building in Launceston Tasmania external angle

While it is possible to produce traditional 2D documentation, the benefit of building a 3D Revit Model is that designers can look at any aspect of the site to see the existing conditions without needing to visit it. Every single aspect can be viewed from different perspectives in a 3D Revit Model due to the amount of detail an RTC Scanner can collect.

A single existing conditions revit model can be created and be used as the basis of all  different design ideas, elements and fit out layouts, to enable the design team to collaborate, review, and get approvals from company management, regional site managers or even a local branch manager if needed.

If changes are being made to the facade then a 3D Revit Model can even be used to submit concepts to local councils, a heritage consultant or other relevant parties to review and approve of any changes to the historical design.

3D scanning of existing conditions can save time and money

By creating a Revit Model of this retail branch, all of the design ideas can be applied to the specific existing conditions of the site rather than working from old plans and doing site measurement confirmations. This becomes really useful for older heritage buildings as their internals especially may have been changed since it was first built.

Restoring a heritage building is becoming more and more difficult these days as there are less skilled trades or contractors servicing this specific niche. One of the things that can assist this process is to get 3D scanning of the existing conditions of the structure (or the site) so there is modern documentation that can be referred to. 

This can save a lot of time and money vs having someone trawl through library archives or working with local historians to ensure all the right features are maintained. Having such documentation is also good for historical purposes as it documents the building’s story.

By getting an existing conditions survey it means an architect, builder, interior designer, steel detailer, fabricator or retail fit out team can all be working off either the 3D Revit Model or 2D documentation created from the point cloud. It means that any estimates, materials needed or even labour quoting can be done accurately as well.

What else can an existing conditions 3D building scan be used for?

The big advantage of using the latest 3D building scanning technology when surveying heritage structures is that the data captured can be used for multiple purposes without the need for numerous visits from a surveyor in Tasmania. By capturing millions of data points the information can be manipulated to produce different drawing documentation as required.

For this site we could have also produced;

Lettable Area Plan
Lettable area plan drawings could have been produced to help update existing records on file for the real estate agent or landlord. If the shop refit or the commercial office renovation was going to change the space being used in the existing tenancy then new lettable area plans can be created to calculate the correct floor space to charge rent accordingly.

Marketing Plans
If the existing tenant was going to vacate and then the refurbishment was going to be conducted to help lease the new space, then the point cloud could be used to create marketing plan documentation for the leasing agency to refer prospective new clients to.

Evacuation Plans
If the floor layout was going to change due to the new shop fit out & revised office area then it would be a legal obligation to present visitors and employees with brand new evacuation plan signage

Reflected Ceiling Plan
Depending on how extensive the renovations to each level will be, it may be required to create an existing conditions reflected ceiling plan. This would enable a design team to take into consideration things like air conditioning outlets, lighting or other ceiling-mounted services like sensor alarms.

Drawing samples from this heritage site

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Take a look at our 3D Laser Scanning services in Australia

Realserve has a team of surveyors who can provide 3D Laser Scanning services in each capital city of Australia. We use use the latest cutting-edge equipment to produce a wide array of survey plans, point cloud data, Revit or Digital Twin 3D models. 3D laser scanning allows surveyors to provide as-built, existing condition, surveys that are incredibly accurate for internal or external spaces. 

Our qualified surveyors can play a pivotal role in any project with the use of laser scanning technologies to improve the plan, design, construction, management, renovation or refurbishment processes for any building type.