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To assist with the planning of a refurbishment program aimed at enhancing visitors' experience at a shopping centre, Realserve survey technicians provided 3D building scanning services in Adelaide’s south.

Case Study: 3D scanning of shopping centre amenities in Noarlunga, SA

Surveyors that can do laser scanning in a roof area

3D scanning of shopping centre amenities in Noarlunga South Australia by a surveyor

To assist with the planning of a refurbishment program aimed at enhancing visitors’ experience at a shopping centre, Realserve survey technicians provided 3D building scanning services in Adelaide’s south. Specifically, the technicians used their expertise to capture the existing conditions of outdated amenities within the shopping centre. By utilising this comprehensive information, the facility management team and their designers were able to more effectively plan the upgrades needed to provide visitors with a more pleasant experience.

Using 3D scanning technology to support a retail property refurbishment in South Australia

3D scanning of shopping centre amenities in Noarlunga South Australia photo of roof access 3D scanning of shopping centre amenities in Noarlunga South Australia point cloud of roof access

The shopping centre in Noarlunga, South Australia is managed by Vicinity Centres, who sought to update one of their amenities blocks. To understand the full extent of the space, our surveyors in South Australia opted to utilize our 3D laser scanning equipment to capture the amenities and the ceiling space above. Where traditional surveying would make it almost impossible to create accurate plans for MEP and HVAC systems above a ceiling, laser scanning can provide comprehensive data to understand the limitations that the above-ceiling services may present. 

Above-ceiling laser scanning can be carried out when visibility can be arranged for our teams, through the removal of ceiling tiles or opening of ceiling access panels. Realserve uses strong and stable telescopic tripods that can be extended up into the ceiling space through access panels. This ensures that the data captured is comprehensive and includes all the complex features above the ceiling including slab thickenings, columns, fire protection services, HVAC and MEP systems.

Once the 3D scan of the area was completed it meant our team could deliver a 2D documentation package that included an;

  • Existing Conditions Floor Plan
  • Reflected Ceiling Plan
  • Above Set Ceiling Plan

 

The current and accurate existing conditions plans were supplied as PDF & 2D AutoCAD.dwg files. The benefits of 2D plans and data are that these suit most contractors’ traditional work flows, however, the actual rich 3D data files  can be used for other purposes if required. Compared to traditional surveying methods and standard 2D paper based plans, a 3D scan of a building, roof space, or retail shopping centre  captures more data and can be used to create a 3D Revit Model or even a Digital Twin. 

3D scanning a building’s existing conditions can save time and money

Instead of engaging a surveyor to get new plans documented, the facility managers of the retail shopping centre could have opted to use the plans or documentation they already had on file from when the building was constructed. While this approach may have saved them some time, it would have carried significant risks. If significant changes had been made to the area that was being considered for refurbishment since the original plans were created, any new designs, structures, or quotes based on those plans could be inaccurate, potentially leading to costly modifications during construction.

To mitigate this risk of using incomplete information, the facility managers chose to engage a surveyor to obtain a current set of existing conditions plans. This approach ensured that all architects, builders, interior designers, steel detailers, fabricators, or retail fit-out teams were working with the exact measurements and inclusions that exist today. By working from an accurate plans, any estimates, material calculations or labor quotes could be made with confidence, reducing the risk of costly errors during the construction process.

Can a surveyor 3D scan the space above a ceiling to create building documentation?

3D scanning of shopping centre amenities in Noarlunga South Australia of a ceiling 3D scanning of shopping centre amenities in Noarlunga South Australia point cloud of a ceiling cavity

Realserve’s team of surveyors can survey practically any site, even in challenging conditions. For this site our client required documentation detailing the size, height and location of the ducting and services above the ceiling level, as these installations may have potentially impacted the refurbishment works. It is very common to have above ceiling services in a retail shopping centre, including complex air conditioning, electrical wiring, plumbing, and fire protection security system wiring is systems.

3D scanning of shopping centre amenities in Noarlunga South Australia 3D scanning of shopping centre amenities in Noarlunga South Australia point cloud

Traditionally these complex, often messy, high and hard to access ceiling spaces would pose a challenge when planning renovation works, as the teams involved might not know what lies above the existing ceiling. This is where Realserve’s adoption of modern 3D laser scanning technology and survey techniques offers practical solutions. Our surveyors have the experience to mitigate the risks of elevating a 3D scanner into the ceiling space to capture all the required data. Our teams use sturdy telescopic tripods to raise the scanner through specific access panels in the ceiling, or through gaps where ceiling tiles are removed so that we can see the services and produce the required documentation.

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

The big advantage of using the latest 3D scanning technology for retail or commercial buildings is the data captured can be used for multiple purposes if required. So for this site we captured the data outside of normal working hours which meant there were no people around and the space could be captured in its existing state.

The big advantage of using the latest 3D scanning technology for retail or commercial buildings is the data captured can be used for multiple purposes if required. So for this site we captured the data outside of normal working hours which meant there were no people around and the space could be captured in its existing state.

3D tour

A 3D scan could be produced as a Matterport Virtual 3D Tour which would enable someone to virtually ‘walk’ through the space being considered for refurbishment. This can be useful if the building managers have to get approvals from other stakeholders who are located interstate or overseas.

A tour could be conducted before and after the refurbishments to then show the changes that have been put into effect on the site. The tour can also be used for marketing purposes by a real estate agent trying to find new tenants, sell the building or on the shopping centre website to attract customers.

3D Revit Model

A 3D revit model could be created that can be used by an architect to design with. Using a Revit model allows for entire buildings or parts of buildings to be modelled and worked on electronically. This can be very useful for multiple parties to collaborate with who are all involved in a construction project. Using Revit modelling as part of the BIM process makes it easier to create & manage things like 3D renders, 3D perspectives, detailed drawings and walkthroughs where any changes are then ‘updated’ across all documentation.

BIM allows everything to be created live in Revit so that adjustments can be made as required by various parties, to develop a practical and cohesive design that suits the requirements of the site and the client’s goals. Different variations of plans can be easily created and  used for estimating costs & the complexity of different renovation solutions, for example, comparing a stair and lift installation.

As built Revit models can not only be used to produce and view designs in 3D, but also enable various contractors to ensure that newly constructed elements can fit into the space provided, without clashings with existing services.

Facilitating collaboration between renovation stakeholders

Using the latest in 3D scanning means that all the documentation is electronic which makes it very easy for different stakeholders to collaborate on a construction project. For this building project in Adelaide it meant the architect, construction manager and engineer were all able to all view the same set of plans in real time via a computer or laptop, anywhere in the world.

Using advanced 3D scanning and modelling tools, surveyors can create more accurate and comprehensive documentation resulting in significant time savings. Rather than having to rely on paper-based plans, which may require redrawing, the use of digital 3D models can streamline the planning process and support the project’s overall success.

What else could a surveyor create for a retail shopping centre?

Based on the type of site and location of this retail property in Adelaide, our surveying team could have also provided documentation for;

Lettable Area Plans
If the floorspace was going to be rented to a new tenant after the refurbishment, Realserve surveyors could determine the area, or in this case, the Gross Lettable Area – Retail, of a new tenancy, in accordance with the Property Council of Australia Method of Measurement Guidelines.

Marketing Plans
If the existing tenant was going to vacate so the refurbishment could be completed, new 3D Matterport Tours or other documentation could be created after the changes are completed so the agent can re-list the property for rent.

Evacuation Plans
If the floor layout was going to change and  pathways via stairs, lifts or even doorways are either moved or created, then a new evacuation plan would need to be created for each floor of the property, reflecting these changes

Survey drawing samples from this 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.