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Realserve routinely engages in the practice of 3D scanning buildings that are used for retail tenancies. Our surveyors in Adelaide were engaged to produce a Revit Model and Point Cloud for a free standing restaurant in a shopping centre car park

Case Study: 3D scanning of a free standing restaurant building in Adelaide

Surveyors that can do laser scanning of restaurants

3D scanning of a free standing restaurant building in Adelaide external Revit model sample

Realserve routinely engages in the practice of 3D scanning buildings that are used for retail tenancies. Our surveyors in Adelaide were engaged to produce a Revit Model and Point Cloud for a free standing restaurant in a shopping centre car park, commonly known as a ‘pad site’. By conducting a 3D building scan, our surveyors can capture the existing conditions of anentire building, providing  information that can then be used for a wide array of planning and design purposes.

Getting a 3D scan of a building for retail tenancy leasing

3D scanning of a free standing restaurant building in Adelaide internal Revit model sample

The main purpose of conducting the 3D scan of this building and pad site was to capture the free standing restaurant that occupied the lot so that the information could be presented to prospective tenants. Pad sites are often utilized as free standing fast food restaurants with drive-thrus, which are quite often refurbished or renovated when the occupancy changes from one franchise group to another. 

To help facilitate the cost estimating for these types of changes 3D scanning can capture the information of a site, providing high-resolution images and detailed measurements. These advanced survey technologies can scan in low-light and no-light conditions, inside or out, to ensure you get the information you need for your project. The scanner rotates 360 degrees and uses light pulses to measure the distances to visible objects and structural elements. Software stitches that information captured together to form a true-to-life, coloured 3D virtual space, known as a Point Cloud.

With millions of data points from various perspectives, you get a photorealistic representation of reality that can be used by interior designers, shop fit out teams, an architect, builder or the prospective tenant to help make decisions on how suitable the building might be for their use.

3D scanning a restaurant to create an existing conditions Revit Model

3D scanning of a free standing restaurant building in Adelaide Revit model

Instead of using traditional surveying methods to produce 2D documentation, 3D scanning can be used to create a BIM (Building Information Model) Revit Model reflecting the existing conditions of a building internally and externally. This electronic representation can be viewed, shared and manipulated by multiple stakeholders and used as a Digital Twin so that potential scenarios and variations of a refurbishment can be tested. Any changes made to the BIM model by various contractors and designers involved in a project are visible for all stakeholders to view, no matter where they are located. 

An architect, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) Engineer and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) professional can utilize a 3D Revit model for design purposes. Using a Revit model allows for entire buildings or parts of buildings to be modelled and worked on electronically and simultaneously. This can be very useful for various AEC (Architecture Engineering and Construction) industry professionals collaborating on a project. Using the BIM process makes it easier to develop a design ensuring that clashes don’t occur with existing elements or other elements due to be installed. The Revit model also makes it easy to create and view 3D renders, 3D perspectives, detailed ‘birds eye’ view drawings and fly throughs.

Everything designed in a Revit BIM Model is visible to all stakeholders with access to the master model. This allows for adjustments to be made to suit the requirements of the existing site conditions, other professionals’ designs, and the client’s goals. This means that newly constructed elements will always fit into the space provided and avoid clashes with existing structures and services like lighting, power or water. 

Can 3D building scanning be used for restaurant remodels?

3D scanning and fast food restaurants don’t sound like they’d be something that would be used together, although the practical applications are endless. You can use the information captured with 3D scanning in a myriad of ways to speed up any remodel, refurbishment or new construction projects.

Digital site capture allows users to generate an extremely accurate virtual model of the as-built environment. The technology also reduces the amount of time spent on-site gathering these measurements which is highly advantageous in a busy retail environment and eliminates the need to return to the site for additional data acquisition or to fine-tune initial estimates.

3D scanning can be used in a restaurant so that;

  • Every measurement is within a specified tolerance, such as +/- 1mm accuracy
  • The whole space can be visualised before any work commences
  • Any potential problems with fitting equipment can be identified before getting to site installation
  • You have a current as-built record and documentation
  • Everyone can work from a single point of reference

3D scanning of existing conditions can save time and money

3D scanning creates a level of collaboration that is simply not possible with paper based documentation. It revolutionises the speed and efficiency of getting a new tenant to rent a retail tenancy by providing accurate, detailed existing conditions information about the site.

It also reduces the need for multiple site visits as the models can be viewed on a laptop, computer or mobile phone any time of day. There’s nothing worse than trying to refurbish a restaurant using inaccurate measurements. Slight inaccuracies on a blueprint can cause immense problems throughout the project.

Other documentation can be created as required, so for example;

  • A Reflected Ceiling Plan can be produced to help plan any changes to lighting, ventilation or electrical wiring.
  • A Car Parking Plan could be created to help work out the parking capacity for the location and if changes could be made to increase available parking spots.
  • If the floor plan will have changes made to it, a new Evacuation Diagram can be created to assist with delivering all the required safety measures for the site.


Utilising 3D scanning and modelling enables so many extended uses that save time and money when managing or working with either retail, industrial or commercial properties. All of these plans can also be supplied in PDF & 2D AutoCAD.dwg files. 

3D scanning the existing conditions of a property can cut costs and renovation timeframes

Prospective tenants, shop fitters and design teams have the option to utilize existing plans or documentation already on file where this is made available and provided by the real estate agent, potentially saving time and resources that would be required to engage a surveyor to produce new plans. However, it is important to note that significant changes made to the building since its initial construction may render existing documentation inaccurate. This can lead to costly modifications being required either on site or during fabrication or construction, causing additional expenses and time delays.

To ensure precision in design and construction, obtaining an existing conditions survey and documentation is essential. This process allows architects, builders, interior designers, steel detailers, fabricators, or retail fit-out teams to work off precise measurements and site details that reflect the current state of the building. Whether the fast food restaurant pad site, retail tenancy or other commercial property is located in Adelaide or regional South Australia, this approach of engaging Realserve to provide current site documentation allows for accurate estimations of material and labor costs, ensuring that project budgets and timelines are effectively managed.

3D scanning internal and external building features

The utilisation of 3D scanning technology allowed for comprehensive documentation of both the internal and external features of the building, as well as the surrounding car park and drive-thru. By capturing the topography and geometry of the car park in 3D, it was also possible to create an accurate digital model that can be used by architects, engineers, and other construction professionals.

The 3D scanner captures data points of the car park surface, kerb lines and surrounding environment from multiple angles, resulting in a detailed point cloud data set. This data can be used to generate accurate 2D and 3D plans, of the car park, which can be used for design development, approval and construction documentation.

Additionally, the 3D model can be used for site analysis, such as determining the slope of the car park surface and ensuring adequate drainage. It can also be used to simulate various lighting conditions and evaluate the impact of shading and shadows on pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

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

The big advantage of contracting a surveyor to use the latest 3D scanning technology buildings is that the data captured can be used for multiple purposes if required.

This property was vacant so the real estate agent could use 3D technology to create a Matterport Tour to complement the Revit Model and Point Cloud information. A Matterport Virtual 3D Tour would enable someone to virtually ‘walk’ through the space being considered as a new location to rent. This can be useful if property leasing managers are located interstate or overseas and want to inspect possible sites from a distance. This can also help save time for the real estate agent not needing to open the site for physical tours.

A Matterport Tour could be created before commencement and after the cessation of the tenancy lease to show the changes that have been put into effect on the site. It also becomes a good record to capture any damage before, during or after the lease duration..

Drawing samples from this restaurant site

Get more information about our range of 3D Building Scanning Services


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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.