Most remodeling contractors still generate building information models for an existing structure from original construction drawings, and the inevitable deviations end up as field surprises that result in costly change orders and delays. Emerging 3D laser scanners streamline the workflow by taking the unknowns out of the equation.
"Laser scanning is the truth serum that fits into BIM," says Ken Smerz, president of Precision 3D Scanning, Chandler, Ariz., a 3D laser-scanning service provider. BIM models, he says, still largely show details built at right angles. "If you've been in construction for more than 10 minutes, you know that is not how it is. With laser scanning, you get the most accurate BIM possible," he explains.