Laser Precision: 3D Site Scan Enables Architectural Intervention

3d view

Incredibly accurate laser-scanning technology, precise down to a hundredth of a millimeter, has helped British architects not only plan a new structure but also secure permission from a local planning commission. Their proposed Rock House, now approved, preserves both natural and architectural features currently on a government-protected site.

3d view preservation

Cornish firm Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole (PBWC) Architects enlisted CESurveys to lidar scan the existing property, located in a conservation area. Their scanner system fires tens of thousands of lasers per second to get precise distance readings on complex terrain. Compared to traditional surveying and site-mapping strategies, this approach is much faster, cheaper and more effective.

3d building model

3d architectural addition

The results are translated into a three-dimensional model that can be manipulated, showing the effects of site changes or interventions. Scans from around sites are stitched together to form a complete picture.

3d scan section

3d scan side

3d scan elevation

The resulting models have an array of benefits, including the ability to show approving parties what the impacts of additions and remodels might be to a given property. They also helped the architects, in this case, maintain key lines of site, such as views out to the sea, and limit the cost of revisiting the site frequently to document additional features. Slices of the scans also make it easy to generate sections and elevations, sliced directly out of the models.

3d model lidar laser

Applications of lidar scanning goes well beyond architecture, too, including the ability to document historic infrastructure and preserve 3D models of fresh crime scenes.