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Importance of 3D Laser Scanning in Healthcare Renovations

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Hospitals and other healthcare facilities present a unique renovation situation. One of the challenges that hospitals face in performing renovations is the fact that they operate 24/7, and they cannot shut down operations to perform construction. Additionally, there are many parties to consider: doctors, nurses, staff, patients and families just to name a few; therefore, communication with the client is key in order to effectively plan the work around the hospitals operations.

One of the biggest challenges with healthcare renovations is determining the existing conditions behind the walls and above the ceiling of the facility. These spaces in hospitals are notoriously crowded—full of pipes, wires, conduits and other Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems.  3D laser scanning allows architects, engineers and contractors to know exactly what they are working with before designing or building the renovation.

How 3D laser scanning works

3D laser scanning uses light rays to collect the 3D location of every object and surface it can “see.” The scanner automatically rotates 360 degrees on a tripod and sends and receives lights rays in all directions. The data collected provides a near perfect 3D as-built of the existing conditions.  That data can then be used by itself or modeled in a software program to interface with BIM, such as Revit.

Benefits of 3D laser scanning & BIM technology

3D laser scanning provides the as-built information to meet the MEP and architectural needs of the project team. For example, the scanners can collect location information about the MEP systems running in the ceilings and other inaccessible areas.

From this information, contractors can use clash detection to determine exactly what must be moved or removed during the renovation. By knowing what is there in the beginning, this significantly reduces the potential for change orders later in the process—saving the Owner time and money.

3D scanners take on average 5 minutes to set up and perform a scan, so this allows the scanning crews to be in and out of an area quickly—minimizing the disturbance to patients and other hospital staff. Additionally, the scanners use harmless rays that can take measurements without affecting hospital equipment & technology.

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