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Improving Productivity and Product Development Using Building Information Modeling

Project ID: 1683
Principal Investigator: James Weems
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2014
Keywords: safety, design, analysis, automation, coordination, construction management, visualization, bim

Research Question

Can Reclamation utilize ground based Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technologies along with existing Building Information Modeling (BIM) currently being used, to provide an effective and economical approach to modeling existing facilities?

Need and Benefit

Many of Reclamation's facilities are faced with an aging infrastructure. The mechanical systems at these facilities play a critical role in the continued operations and success of Reclamation. Many of these systems have reached the end of their useful lives and are in dire need of replacement. One of the largest obstacles with maintenance and rehabilitation projects is capturing the "as-built" status of the facility including the location of existing utilities, structural elements and mechanical systems.

Technologies now exist that can digitally scan interiors and exteriors of buildings to create a 3-D point cloud which can then be used to create a realistic models to assist engineers in coordinating building modifications or upgrades. This provides not only accurate, up-to-date building information but also eliminates the need for costly travel and on-site evaluations. With facilities spread across the 17 western states, Reclamation is a prime candidate for the use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology.

Buildings can now be re-constructed as 3D models showing current infrastructure (Dams, reservoirs, canals and offices) using Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Terrestrial Positioning Systems (TPS),ground based Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and photogrammetry via the use of a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) by combining the point cloud data with Autodesk's building information modeling software, Revit.
These models can then be used by the facility manager and its staff for the following:

• Improved visualization

• Improved productivity due to easy retrieval of information

• Facility operation in support of Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

• Safety (i.e. Search and rescue, emergency evacuation and site security)

• Public Outreach: Creating visual designs (for both prints and websites) showing the layout of common areas that the public can access.

• Construction management

• Embedding and linking of vital information such as vendors for specific materials, location of details and quantities required for estimation and tendering

Research Products

3-D model generated with the use of LiDAR point cloud data. This model will be of sufficient detail and size to demonstrate the capabilities of LiDAR and Autodesk Revit.

This information was last updated on July 31, 2014
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