As-Built Services
Image of 3D laser scanner capturing point cloud data in a residential living room during an As-Built survey site visit.
1080 565 Andy McFarland

Residential As-Built Survey Site Visit: How to Prepare

Preparing for your Residential As-Built Survey Site Visit

If you’re preparing for your residential As-Built Survey site visit, you’re more than likely preparing your home for a remodel or addition. Congratulations on this special endeavor to enhance the space you’re living in! As your architect or designer likely told you, accurate and up-to-date As-Built plans are incredibly important to the success of your remodel or addition. Our team of expert surveyors, drafters, and modelers take them very seriously. Ensuring your plans are precise and every contractor is working with correct dimensions helps keep your budget in place and your project on time. PPM’s goal is to set you and your architect up for success and it all starts with a site visit to gather up-to-date measurements.

How we Capture Data During a Site Visit

Today’s technology helps us move through your home quickly. We use a 3D laser scanner to ensure we provide the most accurate As-Built plans while taking up far less of your time to acquire the data we need. Our laser scanners capture millions of data points in the form of a point cloud – used by our drafting team to prepare your As-Built drawings off site, so we can minimize our time in your home and give you back your space as quickly as possible!

Preparing your Home for the Surveying Process

We know your home is your sanctuary and our goal is to help you feel comfortable and at ease while we’re in it. There are a few things we’d like you to know before we arrive that will help your surveyor work quickly and efficiently through the surveying process.

1. Our Time on Site

It’s typical for a building survey project to take 3 to 4 hours. The laser scanning portion of our survey usually lasts about 30 minutes. You can expect the rest of the time to account for preparation of the space for scanning, photos (still photos, 3D photos, and those needed for 3D tours), processing of the data on site to ensure we’ve captured all necessary info, and tear down. We may need to take a few manual measurements in hard-to-reach places.

2. Furniture and Boxes

We know this is a living space. Don’t worry about boxes and furniture. Rooms do not need to be cleared, however, it is helpful if our surveyors are able to walk into each room and reach all walls and windows.

3. Site Contact and Access

Whether we’ve set up this appointment with you or a family member, it’s important to ensure your Project Manager has the full name, phone number, and email of the site contact for the day of our scan. Please be sure your site contact has a full set of keys and that all keys have been tested to ensure full access to every room and door in the home or building. Any doors that we are unable to access will have to be excluded from the scan. In residential homes, this isn’t typically an issue, but we want to let you know.

4. Doors and Gates

Ideally, doors and gates will remain open throughout the scanning process including the entrance and exit to the home. As-Built scans yield the best results when our surveyor can perform them in one swift movement without having to pause and open entryways. Please let us know if this is not possible. Upon completion, the surveyor will be sure to close cabinets, doors, and gates and return the property to its original condition.

5. Cabinets and Doors

The surveyor may need to prop open some cabinet doors prior to scanning to capture the wall behind them. If this is necessary, doors will need to remain open in the same position during the scan to avoid any issues. Your surveyor will ensure everything is closed up once they are finished.

6. Mirrors

Mirrors can cause a “reflection” challenge for laser scanners. The surveyor will assess the mirrors in the building before they scan and may need to cover them with paper or turn them to ensure the laser scan data renders accurately. If your surveyor covers up mirrors with butcher paper, please leave them covered until the scan portion of the visit is complete.

7. Small Children and Pets

Please let your surveyor know if there are small children or pets in the home, so we can ensure their safety while all doors are open. In some situations, it may be best to put pets in a small bedroom and close the door. The surveyor may be able to manually measure or do a second scan to capture this area separately.

8. Minimizing Movement

Please ensure no other work will be performed on the day of our site visit (i.e. cleaning, moving, painting). It is necessary to minimize movement during the scan as much as possible. In the case that our surveyor enters the room you are in during the scan, the best thing to do is stand in place. Avoid scurrying to another room or any movement as this can confuse our scanner in the process.

9. Sprinkler Systems

In most cases, we will need to scan the perimeter of the building. Please ensure any sprinkler systems will be turned off for the duration of the site visit.

10. Roof and Foundation Access

Our surveyors are equipped with a 15-foot ladder. If we are providing exterior elevations or a roof plan, it is key for our site contact to communicate if we’ll need a taller ladder. If foundation or framing plans are included in your request, please ensure there is access to those spaces.

11. Manual Measurements and Photographs

Our surveyors may take some manual measurements in hard-to-reach places as well. We also snap lots of photos which are used by our team as well as your architect. Our drafters and quality assurance team use them in the drafting and review process. They are then sent to your architect as part of the deliverable package and are used for design and production purposes. Once the scan is complete and we’ve ensured we have all of the data we need, we’ll be on our way.

Thank you for learning more about our residential As-Built Survey site visit process!

Now, you’re ready for your site visit! We look forward to kicking off your remodel project with Worry-Free As-Built surveys your architecture, design, and construction teams can trust to start your project off great. We appreciate your assistance, cooperation, and consideration in this process and look forward to meeting you. Please let us know if you have any further questions. You can email or call your project manager directly or contact us at [email protected] or 855-272-8458. Thank you for allowing PPM to be a part of your remodel project.

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

You’ve Scheduled your Residential As-Built Survey Site Visit.
What’s Next?!

Learn more about our process and how we ensure accuracy, on time, every time.

Haven’t Scheduled Your Site Visit Just Yet?

Let’s get started. We’d love to help.

1080 565 Andy McFarland

Meet Eamon Pickard: Seattle Regional Director

PPM Profiled: Meet Eamon Pickard
Seattle Regional Director

For many months now, our team has been carefully planning the July 2021 launch of our newest Seattle office and looking forwarding to providing the best in As-Built Surveying services to the local architecture community. At PPM, great team members are vital to our success, and more importantly, the success of our clients. Therefore, finding just the right person to lead our Pacific Northwest office has been the most important and thrilling piece of the expansion puzzle! Today, we are proud to introduce you to our Seattle Regional Director, Eamon Pickard!

Read on to learn more about Eamon, how he landed in Seattle, his architectural background, why he’s the best person to lead our newest office, and his favorite Seattle hangouts when he’s not busy surveying buildings and managing projects for our clients.

 

Before we dive into your AEC work experience, where did you grow up and what brought you to Seattle?

“I grew up in a small town an hour north of New York City. I eventually went to college in NYC and continued to work and live in Manhattan thereafter. About four years ago, I briefly moved to Seattle for about six months and enjoyed my time, but an opportunity led me to leave Seattle. Although I moved away, the city drew me back. I love the combination of nature and urban life. It’s one of the few cities in the U.S. with rich green outdoors and mountains only minutes from Downtown. Coming from a pure concrete jungle like NYC, I appreciate that balance.”

 

What is your experience in the AEC industry?

“I went to college in NYC pursuing a Masters in Physics, but I started my career at an architecture and engineering firm. I always wanted to build my own home, so after college, I was reintroduced to an old family friend who was an architect. He just so happened to be looking to hire someone in his firm. He taught me the basics of architecture and 3D modeling. I soon fell in love with the work and couldn’t put it down. I moved on to become a junior drafter and worked towards project management at the firm. I eventually went into construction as an estimator and project manager for both new construction and reconstruction.

During my time there, we had engaged in finding alternative housing options for clients. We considered yurts, which were basically a nomadic Mongolian hut. After making some connections, I decided to travel to Mongolia to find manufacturers. My time in Mongolia led me down an interesting path developing intracity transportation in the capital city. I then worked for a private equity firm upon my return to the states and received an unexpected education in financial training.

Looking back, all of my experiences combined have provided a great foundation for my new role at PPM with a well-rounded understanding of the AEC industry as well as experience in project management, drafting, and the financial aspects of running an office. I’m fascinated by how much goes into architecture. It has so many complex pieces that somehow fit together. I’m looking forward to working closely with architects to ensure they have the most accurate set of As-Built plans to kick-start their remodels.”

 

Of all the things you learned working at your first architecture firm, what was the most important?

“My mentor was very articulate in his training. He taught me how every line counts in architecture and that it’s vital that you express a drawing precisely as it is. He would explain it as if I were a doctor and that every stitch or every cut could make or change a life.”

 

How will you be supporting our Seattle metro clients?

“I’ll be managing all Seattle area projects ensuring our clients receive their As-Built plans with accuracy, timeliness, and strong communication. I’ll be working closely with our clients all the way from the proposal stage to final delivery, ensuring they receive deliverables drafted to their preferences and scope of work. I’ll also be handling much of the laser scanning and site visits. While I’ll be capturing the point cloud and other site data, our Production team will handle all drafting, modeling, and quality assurance through our CAD/BIM office in Salt Lake City. Our main goal is to support Seattle-area architects, designers and property owners with Worry-Free As-Built plans they can count on to ensure their remodel runs smoothly.”

 

What areas of Washington will you cover?

“We’ll be serving clients in areas around Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Everett, and other surrounding cities all the way to the west coast. We’ll be focused mainly on the western side of the state, but as far east as Skykomish…possibly further depending on the project.”

 

What are you most excited about in your new role as Regional Director in regard to supporting our clients?

“I am a huge advocate of supporting people and their dreams. Helping create a PPM branch in Washington and helping to bring people’s ambitions to reality is very exciting. I feel that everything in my career has prepared me to lead this region.”

 

What are you most excited about in coming onboard with the PPM team?

“I’m thrilled and eager to work alongside the PPM team. The most exciting aspect is the community culture they have created within the company. My whole experience with PPM so far has shown only good things. The team is driven and very professional, but at the same time, very fun and personable.”

 

What would you like to learn or develop in this role?

“I’m excited to work with architecture firms in the Pacific Northwest. I look forward to the new experience and knowledge this will bring. I’m also happy to hone my project management skills and drive the success of our newest office.”

 

All right, work aside, we have a just a few more questions to get to know you better!

What is one thing people wouldn’t guess about you?

“I whistle as well as the birds in Disney movies.” (If you see Eamon on site, make sure to ask him to whistle his favorite tune!)

How do you like to spend your time off?

“Most of my time is spent rock climbing, camping, or spending time with the people I care about most.”

What’s your favorite thing about Seattle?

“Seattle is a true gem of a city. It’s ability to be so green and luscious while being a major metropolis is an incredible feat. I can stare out the window every day and feel nature.”

Do you have a favorite Seattle neighborhood?

“So far, my favorite neighborhood is First Hill – spectacular views of all parts of southern Seattle and Rainier.”

In your opinion, where’s the best cup of coffee in Seattle?

“I love going to Tougo. It’s in First Hill’s Yesler Terrace Park. The owner is extremely friendly, and the area is so nice to just sit down and sip coffee.”

If you’re preparing for a remodel project in Seattle, Eamon and our team of seasoned As-Built professionals would love to help ensure your As-Built plans are up to date and ready for your project’s success. We’re currently accepting As-Built Surveying projects in the Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and western Washington areas.

Here’s how you can get in touch!

1024 704 Andy McFarland

Case Study: As-Built Surveys for a Nationwide Quick Service Restaurant Chain

Swiftly Tackling A Time Sensitive, 550-Location As-Built Survey Program

How One QSR Brand Prepared for a Nationwide Remodel in Record Time

When a large quick service restaurant chain wanted to remodel 550 locations in a year, they chose PPM as their As-Built partner. By quickly understanding their needs, adapting to their preferred communication rhythm, and deploying our nationwide network of surveyors, we were able to deliver all their plans on time and within budget.

We first heard from our new client in June of 2017. They were on the hunt for a reputable As-Built partner to capture all physical store information needed to prepare for upcoming strategic initiatives. We worked with several members of their internal architecture and construction teams over the next month to determine, prioritize, and document their requirements for this project.

The company needed accurate As-Built plans of all of their restaurants for two primary business initiatives.

Two Primary Goals:

1. Remodel to Expand Carryout Capacity

They were looking to remodel their kitchens to expand capacity for preparing carryout and catering orders. As part of this initiative, an update to the area used for their digital ordering system was also required.

2. Gain Knowledge Gain Knowledge of Store Plan Layout for Planning

The client wanted a comprehensive update of their physical store information for facilities management and other future store planning projects.

As-Builts Delivered

Based on their needs, we worked with the client to develop a detailed scope of work. The architectural As-Builts included a detailed Floor Plan with Kitchen Layout, Reflected Ceiling Plan, Roof Plan, and Electrical Plan. At their request, we provided an electrical line diagram as well (which included tracing and mapping of their panel schedule to show the connections between each individual outlet to the corresponding circuit on the panel). For photography, we provided both still photos as well as a 360-degree “Virtual Walkthrough” of each location using the Matterport platform.

About 6 weeks into these discussions, our client gained confidence and trust in PPM’s capabilities and decided to test us with an initial batch of 33 locations across California, Colorado, and Texas. They wanted the surveys completed in 10 weeks, between August and October of 2017, so we developed a schedule to meet their deadline. The schedule allowed room for several rounds of feedback on the Deliverables to guarantee the final product was exactly what our client needed.

The company was very impressed with our ability to deliver on schedule, as well as our service, communication, and extremely precise As-Built drawings. After further internal planning through the end of the year, they awarded us 334 locations in January of 2018, and we were off to work.

 

PPM Continental Clients Map

PPM surveying a total of 542 locations for the client, all over the United States. The Multi-Site As-Built program took a total of four months.

Our Multi-Site As-Built Survey Process

For a High Volume, Nationwide As-Built Program

Our first order of business was to create a program schedule. We were provided the list of 334 locations all over the country and a deadline of June 15th to deliver all surveys. With a few weeks of time to ramp up, this meant we would need to average about 20 completed surveys per week. Within this 4-month program, the client had different deadlines for the six geographic regions in which the stores were located – a challenge our seasoned Multi-Site program manager was easily able to organize. The client allowed us to determine the specific order and schedule to meet the deadlines, which was extremely helpful as it enabled us to group the surveys together by location and proximity, allowing for more efficient travel and the flexibility to work with each surveyor on a schedule that best fit their availability.

Second, we put together the best resources to fit this Multi-Site program. This required field surveyors, drafters, QA staff, and dedicated project management team. Over the course of the program, there would be as many as 50 different people that worked on the surveys in one capacity or another. In addition to human resources, we also had to make sure that we had the specialized equipment needed to perform the survey at every location. This included surveying tools, Matterport cameras, and electrical testing gear.

Finally, we had to develop a scalable and repeatable process that would consistently deliver a high-quality As-Built product that met the client’s exact specifications for every location. We had already worked out most of the process in the pilot round of 33 locations, but now with a higher overall volume and weekly output, we had to tighten things up even more.

For faster and more detailed data collection, we used a 3D laser scanner on approximately half of the locations while the resulting “point cloud” data that we captured was converted into highly accurate As-Built plans by our CAD teams. For the second half of the restaurants, our professional survey crews used laser distance meters and laptop computers onsite to capture, record, and draw the As-Builts plans.

Prior to delivery to the client, every plan was extensively reviewed by our QA team in Long Beach. They compared each plan to the digital photography to make sure nothing was missing or drawn inaccurately. The final step was to place the drawings into the client’s CAD template and make sure we met all of their specific standards and preferences.

All of this planning and teamwork paid off – we were able to deliver all 334 surveys before the requested deadlines. Our client rewarded our strong performance by giving us another batch of 175 locations in early July. This batch came with a September 28th deadline, which meant that we would once again need to maintain a delivery pace of about 17 locations per week. We streamlined a few more parts of the process including field scheduling and QA, and once again delivered all of the surveys on-time and to the client’s exact standards.

 

Challenges are an Opportunity to Provide Great Service

Even a single As-Built survey can run into unexpected challenges. When you’re surveying 500+ locations, you better be prepared for a few surprises, changes, and other potential obstacles. This case was no exception.

Challenge 1: Ambitious Timelines

The first challenge was the aggressive program timeline. We didn’t know how many locations we would receive and what the deadline would be until the day it arrived in my email. The timeline was so important to our client that we wanted to be 100% certain we would be able to meet every deadline. This commitment to timeliness was so critical that it actually caused us to make the difficult decision to turn down an additional 30 locations in the final batch. When we crunched the numbers, we realized that we just couldn’t make it work within the deadline, so we stuck with 175 locations. Our client was very pleased that we were honest about our capabilities and didn’t over-promise.

This program required that we meet a consistently high pace, often approaching 20-25 deliveries per week, with a highly detailed, labor-intensive scope of work. Because we didn’t want the process to come down to the wire, we front-loaded the schedule with field surveys, which allowed more time for our quality assurance team to inspect everything and make any necessary revisions before the requested deadline.

The additional resources that the program required, both employees and vendors, were also a major challenge. With this number of people, we created custom project management tools to make sure the status of every location was tracked. Work segments were clearly assigned, and the client was always updated with the survey status of each location.

Challenge 2: Undisruptive Process

Another challenge was working in the restaurant environment. Our client’s stores got really busy around 11:30 AM and stayed busy for most of the day. Because of this, we had to complete the surveys before business hours. Typically, we would start around 3 or 4 AM to eliminate interference with their customer service and finish up most of the interior work before their doors opened.

As a result, we were successfully able to deliver all locations on time with a minimum amount of business disruption.

PPM Team

The PPM team reviews an As-Built survey prior to delivery to the client.

Results for Our Client are Our #1 Priority

PPM is incredibly proud to have been a part of this strategic initiative for our client.  By delivering all As-Built surveys on-time and with the exact information required, we were able to help them keep their kitchen remodel program right on track.

The Director of Architecture of the company agreed, saying: “Thank you for your continued commitment to excellence in delivering accurate and complete data. I appreciate your honesty and your desire to not compromise your company’s integrity. We are thankful for you and your team’s continued diligence as we complete this very important project.”

Planning a Remodel or Expansion?

With a national footprint, a seasoned team of surveyors and drafters, and expertise in large-scale project management, PPM is ready to tackle the thorniest of multi-site jobs.

Do you have an upcoming Multi-Site remodel, expansion, or rebranding we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 721 Andy McFarland

PPM’s Newest Office Launching in Seattle July 2021

PPM is Seattle bound! We’re excited to announce all-new As-Built Surveying Services coming to Seattle July 2021

If you’re an architect, designer, or construction professional in Seattle, we look forward to being of service as we launch our newest regional office and provide precision As-Built Surveying resources to The Emerald City! This means all new field measurement resources to support remodel projects including 3D laser scanning, CAD drafting, and BIM modeling – all to get your remodel projects off to a great start while freeing up your valuable time for design and production. Read on to get the scoop on why we chose Seattle as our newest hub and what we look forward to bringing to the AEC community of the Pacific Northwest.

If you haven’t worked with PPM in the past, here’s a bit about us we think you’d like to know.
For more than 19 years, PPM has been providing As-Built Surveying services for the AEC community in three major markets – Los Angeles serving all of Southern California, the Bay Area serving all of Northern California, and Washington, D.C. serving the Mid-Atlantic region. We also survey and draft large-scale As-Built projects on a national level and Multi-Site national programs for retail brands. While we often serve the Seattle area, our resources have not historically been as vast as they’re about to be!

A Q&A with our President Andy McFarland on all-new As-Built Survey services in the Pacific Northwest

What about Seattle’s architectural community led you to choose this Pacific Northwest region?

Andy: We chose Seattle as PPM’s next regional office for a variety of reasons. First, we have seen a lot of interest in our services for many years from the local architecture community there. Seattle is one of our highest regions in the country for website traffic and As-Built quote requests which tells us there is a great need and we have an opportunity to make a big difference for architects there. As a result of these requests, we’ve been fortunate to develop lots of great connections with AEC firms in the area and look forward to deepening and expanding those relationships. Second, the demographics of the Seattle area in terms of population, incomes and home values are all very similar to our existing regions in California and Washington, D.C. We believe these conditions will lead to a similar demand for the professional, high quality As-Built surveys that PPM provides and big benefits for the AEC community. Finally, Seattle is just a really cool place to live, work, and visit! Not coincidentally, there is no shortage of PPM employees that are volunteering to help with our Seattle launch.

What will this new regional office mean for the AEC community in Seattle and surrounding areas?

Andy: Architects, engineers, and construction professionals choose to work with PPM because we offer a consistently high-quality As-Built product, along with unmatched customer service and a stringent process that they can rely on for all of their remodel projects. Our goal is to streamline the process, making it quick, easy and affordable to obtain the existing conditions CAD or BIM drawings that you need to get your projects started on the right track. We like to call this a “Worry Free” As-Built survey.

What are you most excited to offer architects, designers, and construction professionals in the Seattle area?

Andy: We survey all types of buildings, but our specialty is Single-Family homes. Over our 19 years in business, we have surveyed over 8,000 residential properties. I’m excited to deliver a streamlined process that is fast and affordable and ensures incredibly accurate. We offer a level of expertise and service in the SFR remodel market that architects won’t find anywhere else.

How will services be different when the new office opens in comparison to what PPM currently offers in the Seattle metro area?

Andy: Although we have been completing As-Built surveying projects in the Seattle area for more than a decade, we will be able to greatly increase our services by opening a permanent regional office in the area. We will have dedicated local staff to offer quick assistance with proposals, project management, and on-site field measurements. In addition, with this office, we’ll be bringing our 3D laser scanning technology to the Seattle market. This means faster turn-around, heightened accuracy, and more 3D As-Built options, such as Revit models.

What cities around Seattle will PPM serve?

Andy: Our typical service area is about a 100-mile radius from our office. So, in Seattle we will cover all of the surrounding cities including Tacoma, Bellevue, Kent, Everett, Renton, and more. We will travel as far as Portland or Spokane as needed.

When does PPM plan to open the new office and when will new As-Built Surveying services be available?

Andy: We have just begun the recruiting process to find a Regional Director to lead our Seattle office. We plan to make a hire in April, and then officially open the office in July after a few months of training. But in the meantime, we are offering our As-Built services in the Seattle area now! We have several local survey contractors that we work with, and we are also traveling to Seattle regularly from our California offices to handle projects in the area.

Who will lead the Seattle office?

Andy: We are looking for a dynamic, energetic and positive leader to head up our Seattle Office. Extensive experience in the architecture industry is required, as well as strong communication, customer service, and project management skills. Someone who is motivated to grow the region, lead a team, and provide great service. Know anybody that might be interested? Please encourage them to apply here!

While PPM is excited to bring more technology and capabilities to the Seattle area, we will continue to serve the region with our surveyor network. To receive a quote on your next remodel, addition, or preservation project, visit us here. For general questions, please call 1-855-AS-BUILT or send us a message here.

STAY POSTED ON OUR SEATTLE LAUNCH

To stay informed about our upcoming launch and the arrival of new services, fill out the form below.

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

4 Ways 3D Laser Scanning Is Changing Your As-Built Customer Experience

3D Laser As-Built Surveying in the Information Age

At PPM, we work closely with architects throughout the country and know the demands of the job. We get it. You’re busy, you’re under a deadline, you need the most accurate As-Built survey possible, and you want it to be completely “Worry Free.” Believe us. We’ve been in the business for over 18 years now, and we understand what you need in an As-Built survey whether you’re starting a home remodel, moving your business to a new location, or renovating the guest rooms at a large hotel.

It’s this understanding of our customers’ needs that has been one of the primary catalysts for the adoption of 3D laser scanning into our As-Built surveying process. For the first 14 years in business, we did everything manually with tape measures, laser distance meters, sketching boards, and good old-fashioned problem solving. But within the last couple of years, as this technology has developed, we decided that laser scanning is the best way to enhance your As-Built surveying customer experience. How are these handy 3D laser scanning gadgets helping us help you? Let’s dive into it.

1. Decreased Time On Site, So You Can Get Back To Your Day

3D laser scanners have dramatically reduced the amount of time that our surveyors need at the job site to capture all the necessary As-Built information. Take the example of a typical 2,500 square foot single family home – the type of project we survey just about every day at PPM. It used to take one of our surveyors around 5-7 hours to gather all the measurements and information we needed for this type of project. That’s an entire day of us at you or your client’s residence, measuring every inch of the building. If you’ve ever had workers inside your house for an entire day, you know that this can be somewhat obtrusive and often requires you to plan your entire day around the worker’s schedule.
Now, with 3D laser scanning, we’ve cut our time in the field dramatically. A project that used to take us about 7 hours in the field only a couple of years ago, today takes maybe 1 to 2 hours (for a typical residence or small commercial building) using a laser scanner. This means that we can get in, get what we need, and get out before you or your client even figures out what they are having for lunch. You can get on with your busy schedule, or just relax in your house without a stranger hanging out all day. Although, I do think we make pretty decent house guests.

 

3d-scanning-technician-at-work

On location with one of our 3D scanning specialists. Our laser scanners work well in both small and large spaces.

2. Millions of Data Points = We Can Accommodate Any Request

Another big advantage of using a 3D laser scanner for As-Built surveying is the amount of information that is gathered. Before laser scanners, we had to pick and choose the measurements we would take and the information we could capture based on the scope of work requested by our client. If our client wanted an As-Built floor plan and reflected ceiling plan (RCP), we would only gather enough data to complete these 2 plan types. Now with the laser scanner we can digitally capture everything visible in your house or building with incredible precision. This means we know where every wall, window, door, ceiling beam, light fixture, cabinet, and piece of furniture is located in the building.

This information gathered from your property by the 3D laser scanner contains millions of data points that we use to create your finished As-Built deliverables. The big advantage for our customers in capturing all this data is the flexibility that it provides if more information is needed. For example, what if our customer decided after the field visit that in addition to the floor plan and RCP, they need some interior elevations and a section drawing? Previously we would have had to return to the building to take additional measurements – requiring additional time to schedule a second field visit, and an additional inconvenience to the property owner. With laser scanners, we already have all of the data we need to create these additional As-Built plans, so we are able to accommodate these change order requests quickly and keep the project moving. It’s what we do best!

 

Roof Top View By 3D Scanner

Our 3D Laser Scanning team can produce As-Built surveys of a variety of different building types.

3. Complicated Structures are Now a Breeze

It’s hard to overstate how much more precise our AutoCAD and Revit deliverables are now that we use 3D laser scanners. We have always been extremely accurate, recording individual measurements to the fraction of an inch and employing multiple redundancies and other As-Built best practices to ensure a quality product. But, to be honest with you, there’s just no equating what can be done with tape measures and simple electronic measuring tools compared to what we can do with 3D laser scanners.

No matter how many measurements we took back in the good old days, we simply couldn’t have collected as much information about your building as a laser scanner can. For a simple building with basic geometry, it might not make too much of a difference. But for larger structures and more complex architecture such as curved walls, vaulted or arched ceilings, and non-standard angles, laser scanners provide a whole new level of precision and detail. This increase in total accuracy becomes even more critical when we are creating a comprehensive 3D BIM model from the data captured in the field. This benefit to our customer is yet another reason why we’ve decided to adopt this technology with so much passion.

Happy-customer-shaking-hands-with-PPM-surveyor

At PPM, we take great pride in making sure that our customers are comfortable and satisfied with all phases of our service. With the faster location time afforded by 3D Laser scans, our customers are even happier.

4. You Tell Us What You Want And We’ll Deliver

If I haven’t made it abundantly clear already, 3D laser scanning allows us more flexibility to tailor our deliverable to your needs. Because we have so much data gathered for your As-Built survey and because this information is accurate, complete, digital, and portable – we have a wide variety of options for our clients when it comes to the As-Built information we provide.
The 3D “point clouds” generated by a laser scanner can be worked with either in 2D or 3D. Our 2D AutoCAD drawings and 3D Revit models can be created exactly to your specifications and are always designed with your project’s best interest in mind. This means that our customer service and project management outreach is more important than ever. We have a dedicated staff whose primary purpose is to find out exactly what you require, and then create a deliverable that will make your job infinitely easier. Another new option is to deliver the raw data (the point cloud) directly. For those that know how to work with it, the point cloud is an extremely detailed “digital twin” of the building and can be delivered as soon as the day after the field work.

3D Laser Scanners – Good for Us and Great for You!

So, as you can see, 3D laser scanning has really improved the As-Built customer experience in many different ways here at PPM. We are beyond excited to see how this technology will continue to revolutionize our business and provide you with the best As-Built service possible.

Now that you know how 3D laser scanning can improve your customer experience for your remodel projects, I hope you’re as excited about these new developments as we are. Reach out to our team with any questions you may have. We’re here to support your next remodel project!

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming remodel, addition, or historic preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

Meet Colin Lenkeit: Multi-Site Program Manager

PPM Profiled: Meet Colin Leinkeit
Multi-Site Program Manager

15 years ago, Colin Lenkeit applied for the position of “Measurer” with PPM. He was hired to perform measurements and draft landscape site plans for landscape architects. This entailed sketching residential and commercial landscapes, taking measurements of onsite features and utilizing AutoCAD to create accurate site plans. What appealed to Colin about the job? “I’ve always been a hands-on person. I enjoy being outdoors and like challenges involving numbers, calculations, or the need to put together a plan for a situation. The job description fit the bill perfectly!” says Lenkeit. Today, that position would be called “Surveyor,” and the Surveyor position at PPM would soon evolve to an As-Built Building Surveyor where Lenkeit and our team would parlay their meticulous surveying and drafting skills into a new realm. With advanced training and new technology, this became the focus with the growing demand of As-Built building plans by architects in Southern California (our first service region).

Today, you’ll find Colin at our Long Beach headquarters deep in processes and systems managing a much larger scope of work. Our business has evolved from a tiny team of landscape “measurers” to a nationwide company who provides “Worry-Free” As-Built survey and drafting services to residential and commercial architects as well as big brands with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of locations across the country. PPM booked its first Multi-Site program with a large brand in 2009 providing Floor Plans and Reflective Ceiling Plans to 47 pharmacies across California. These pharmacies were purchased and rebranded to CVS stores, and our team would provide the As-Built plans their architects would use to design the new interiors. Today, Colin manages programs with hundreds of locations across the U.S. Having been a surveyor and drafter himself and having touched so many roles and processes at PPM, Colin is the perfect person to manage our largest programs for our biggest clients with ease.

The day to day

Gone are his days of site visits and drafting. You’ll find him focused at his desk communicating between calls and emails with our clients, surveyors, and drafters. Whether it’s discussing a new program with a client, gathering information to provide accurate quotes, working with site contacts to organize and schedule field work, or communicating with surveyors with the information they’ll need to ensure their work goes off without a hitch, most of his days are spent in communication, and as his title eludes, program management. Holistically, he’s the driving force that ensures each program runs smoothly and every person involved in the process is organized, informed, and delivering on time with complete accuracy.

Supporting our clients

From first inquiry to final deliverable, Colin is the key point of contact for our Multi-Site clients. Having a single, knowledgeable point of contact who knows every step of the project and process is a key benefit for anyone handling the program management from the brand side. Rather than dealing with multiple people in our organization, Colin is a quick call or short email away from a swift answer and timely update. He’s proactive about communicating the program as it moves through the process, and is hyper-focused on high-quality As-Built plans that are delivered on time and according to schedule; especially when dealing with high-volume programs where Colin could be managing the surveys of up to 50 locations per week. Any way he can support our clients is Colin’s way!

For Colin, the most rewarding part of the job is whenever we’re really able to make a difference for a client. “I know our As-Builts are helping many clients, but occasionally you get into situations where you can really help a client out or make a big difference in their project overall, and it feels great being a part of that.”

Supporting the PPM team

Having touched so many roles at PPM over most of his career, Colin is the perfect person to ask for advice, direction, or tech-specific questions. There are a lot of years of knowledge around our industry inside his head, and he’s always happy to lend a helping hand to his fellow team members.

The direction of As-Builts

Having seen As-Built technology evolve from good old-fashioned tape measures (which still come in handy) to lidar lasers to 3D laser scanning, Colin sees a push for more 3D laser scanning in the architectural industry. “At this point, I think it’s only a foregone conclusion that in the future, barring any other disruptive technology, almost all As-Builts will originate from laser scan data.” PPM has surely seen this change and continues to grow and evolve with the latest laser scanning tools. We hope to see an even bigger shift in this direction for our nationwide clients in the years to come.

Fun facts

While many of us at PPM are used to seeing Colin anchored to his desk, hard at work, he’s a pretty interesting guy outside of these walls with lots of hobbies. Before we let Colin go, we have just a few fun questions to learn more about the man behind our Multi-Site programs on a personal level.

Where can you be found when not at work?
Usually somewhere working with my hands, traveling/exploring, or cooking.

What are your three favorite hobbies?
I’ve found I can pretty easily fall down a rabbit hole and get interested in lots of things – there’s so much out there! But my top 3 would have to be anything automotive/motorsports related, snowboarding, and cooking/gardening.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A fireman

Arctic or desert?
Somewhere in between – but hopefully somewhere that gets snow!

Road trip up the west or east coast?
West Coast

Pizza or tacos?
Tacos

Camping or Glamping?
Camping

Trips and travels – spontaneous or planned?
Both – When we travel, we like to plan a lot but then take every opportunity to be spontaneous once we get going.

Night owl or early bird?
Used to be a night owl, but now I’m more of an early bird.

Cookie Dough or Neapolitan ice cream?
Not even a contest – does anyone actually like Neapolitan?

Breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast?
Breakfast for dinner

Big thanks to Colin for sharing more about his work as our Multi-Site Program Manager and life outside of PPM! For more team profiles and behind-the-scenes, stay tuned on our blog!

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming Multi-Site program or remodel project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

PPM’s Newest Office Launching in Washington, D.C. Summer 2020

PPM’s Newest Office Launching in Washington, D.C. Summer 2020
An Interview with Our President Andy McFarland

In September 2019, our President Andy McFarland made the long-awaited announcement that our next regional office will open in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C!  Summer 2020 will be the expected launch date. In an interview with Andy, he laid out the key factors for choosing D.C. and how PPM plans to bring value to architects in the Mid-Atlantic region.

For more than 18 years, we’ve partnered with architects and designers to provide As-Built Survey services they can rely for complete accuracy and a great start to every remodel project. For architecture firms, these services contribute to a more efficient process and peace of mind in knowing they have a full set of accurate As-Built plans they can trust for every renovation project.

“It’s our mission to champion our AEC clients and help them streamline and scale their business to reach their goals as a firm,” says President Andy McFarland. “We do that by delivering As-Built drawings and models created to their standards and specifications. Among other benefits, it means more time with clients, more time re-imagining the perfect space, and the ability to take on more projects.” 

Of all the major cities in the U.S., why D.C.?

Andy: We’ve been looking at this for a while knowing we wanted to expand and serve more of the AEC community nationally. D.C. has great demographics: a large population, strong home values, lots of remodel activity which were all things that were successful in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. And, there’s a lot around D.C. It gives us the opportunity to serve Northern Virginia, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and even as far out as New York City potentially. We think it is a unique opportunity for the architecture industry there because we have not seen a lot of As-Built service providers like ours in the area. We think we have a really great chance to help the AEC community in a way they haven’t seen before.

What are you most excited to bring to D.C.?

Andy: Three things. I’m most excited to, number one, offer a way to streamline their process. By calling PPM, you can get complete As-Built drawings or a Revit model in the exact format you need that will fit right into your process and keep projects moving forward. Number two is accuracy. PPM takes accuracy to another level. Compared to other ways As-Builts can and are often done, the PPM process has been perfected over 18 years. This means strict scanning, drafting/modeling, and quality assurance. It also means access to a team of As-Built experts who know exactly what you need for a successful project. Third, 3D laser scanning. A physical office in D.C. means more technology to quickly and efficiently capture every angle of an existing building with a digitally replicated point cloud made up of millions of data points. Our drafters, modelers, and quality assurance teams use this data to make sure every plan/model is exact.

Is there anything else that drew you to D.C.?

Andy: The excitement, the energy and the buzz of D.C. Of course, the city has great history. They’ve also got a strong architecture community we are excited to be a part of.

With Covid-19 being a major challenge all industries face, including AEC, is there a way PPM’s services can help the architecture industry bounce back?

Andy: Absolutely. One of the big challenges architects are facing right now is the inability to keep projects moving forward the way they had pre-Covid-19. Stay at home orders have caused some bottle-necking where architects have not been able to get on site to get the field measurements they need to kickstart a remodel project. With many buildings being vacant, we’re often able to get on site and survey quickly and then utilize point cloud data to complete the project offsite. When buildings are occupied, social distancing, gloves, masks, and sanitation are being used to keep our team and our clients safe. While we’re able to measure most buildings, there are some projects we are holding on until stay at home orders are lifted. We know it’s a challenging time for all businesses, so we’ll do the best we can do to help.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about the new D.C. office?

Andy: We’re excited to get started, and despite the challenges we’re facing right now, we remain dedicated to keeping our launch date on track and being able to serve our Mid-Atlantic region. The goal is still July 2020, and we look forward to getting to know the community.

PPM is now accepting projects in the D.C. area. We’re able to survey most properties at this time and look forward to helping our AEC community come out of this challenge as strong as possible. Especially now, we are all focused in particular on one of our Core Values at PPM, “We’re in it Together.”  For quick and easy quotes, visit us here or speak with our team at 1-855-AS-BUILT.

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

A Day in the Life of an As-Built Surveyor-Drafter

Meet Rogelio Medina a.k.a. Rogi (row-gee)
As-Built Surveyor and Drafter

Mornings at our PPM headquarters in Long Beach, California range between a quiet, small group to a loud, boisterous crew. It really depends on where our As-Built surveyor-drafters are stationed for the day. We greet the morning as a team in what we call The Bustation Declaration. You might be wondering, “what the heck is that?” For us, it’s a morning ritual that gets the juices flowing and pumps us up to “bust” for our clients throughout the week. Each day, a few team members “declare” what they’re working on, their core value of focus, and the week’s motivation (usually something fun and non-work-related).

It’s a special treat when our surveyor-drafters are in the office. These guys are often out on the road, battling heavy traffic, greeting our clients on site visits, and laser scanning properties to collect point cloud data to carefully draft As-Built plans for our clients. They hold a special role at PPM, because they’re usually the only team members who meet our clients face to face. When we have the pleasure of hanging out with them in our morning Bustation Declarations, we often get a sneak peek into their time in the field – from interesting houses and locations they get to visit to tricky roofs they scanned through some obscure troubleshooting technique. For them, no day is ever the same, and they play a crucial role in our success as well as the success of our clients. At PPM, we’re lucky to have incredibly talented, hardworking surveyors, and we’d like to introduce one of them to you today!

Meet Rogelio Medina, known to the team as “Rogi” (pronounced row-gee). He’s been a valuable asset to PPM for almost half a decade! In total, Rogi’s been surveying and drafting properties for five years. Coming from an architectural background, he began his career at PPM four and a half years ago and has had a front row seat to the evolving technology used to survey and draft As-Built plans. Morning “Bustation Declarations” with him are often an interesting recap of his on-site experiences. He’s usually got a good story to tell, so we sat down with him for a closer look behind the scenes of his day-to-day as a surveyor-drafter and to learn a bit more about Rogelio when he’s not hard at work for PPM.

Abby: How did you come to be a surveyor-drafter?

Rogi: I have my bachelor’s degree in Architecture, so I used to work at an architecture firm where we did CD (construction documents) for OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development). I would often be asked to go measure clinics and offices within the clinics. I would create the As-Builts for the new equipment to be laid out. I soon realized that I like the balance of being in and out of the office.  After I left that architecture firm, I decided that I wanted to find a job where I was not in the office all the time. I came across PPM and decided to apply for the surveyor position. This gave me an opportunity to have a job where I’m in and out of the office. And, 4 ½ years later, I’m still here.

Abby: What’s your favorite part of the job?

Rogi: My favorite part of the job is that I get to have client interactions. I like to explain our processes, and I like to show our points clouds to the client/homeowners. I really enjoy seeing their faces when they see what laser scanning technology can do.

Abby: When did you start using laser scanners?

Rogi: I began to use laser scanner with PPM. I would say about 2 ½ years ago.

Abby: How has using laser scanners changed your day to day?

Rogi: Laser scanning has changed how we work completely, from the on-site surveying to the actual drafting. In the past, we used to hand sketch. We later used to have a tablet that was paired with the DISTO (a handheld Leica single laser scanner). Before 3D laser scanners, a project would take a whole day or sometimes even multiple days to gather all the measurements needed to draft an accurate set of plans. Today, with the laser scanner, we can do a regular sized project in about 4-5 hours. The information we collect with the scan is much faster and more precise.

The drafting has also changed. In the past, we used to draft from sketches, or we used to have the DWG (digital drawing) from the tablet and finish the rest of the plans in the office using only AutoCAD. Today with the new technology that is laser scanning, we need to use multiple programs like GeoSlam, Cloud Compare and AutoCAD. PPM also had to invest in more powerful computers that could handle the needs of the point clouds. Overall, laser scanning completely changed how we do our As-Builts.       

Abby: What’s the most challenging part of the job?

Rogi: The most challenging part of the job for me, would be making sure the client understands our process to do a laser scan. We need to prepare the house before we start the actual scanning. We need to open all interior doors and most exterior doors. We need to open closet doors, run curtains, open blinds, cover mirrors and sometimes open cabinets. We also try to minimize movement within the property such as cleaning crew and/or other contractors working at the same time we are surveying, etc. I think making sure all these elements are prepared before starting the scan is the most challenging part of the job for me.  

Abby: Where do you see the industry going in 10 years?

Rogi: I think that only technology will dictate that. In a way, we are pioneers in the laser scanning industry. I can not imagine what other kind of technology we will have available in ten years, but whatever it’ll be, we will be there for it.

Abby: Working in Southern California means a lot of traffic to site visits. What do you do to pass the drive time?

Rogi: Yes, traffic is the worst in SoCal. Sometimes a project is not even that far but traffic makes it feel very far. The way I cope with traffic is singing, I sing and listen to the radio when I find myself stuck in traffic.

Abby: Love that! What are your go-to jams?

Rogi: Pop music. Whatever is popular and playing on the radio.

Abby: What’s the most rewarding part of the job?

Rogi: The most rewarding part of the job is when we get emails from clients praising our work. I like it when they say we were very professional during our site visit and when they say our drawings were accurate and easy to work with. Knowing that what we deliver to the client is accurate and well done makes me happy to work for PPM.

Abby: We all hugely appreciate what you do for PPM and our clients. Your positive attitude is always infectious, and we love having you in the office. When you have down time, what’s an ideal day off look like for you?

Rogi: A fun day off for me would be playing with my two dogs (Lilo and Sally). I love playing with them at my house, but we also like to go to the dog park. Lilo likes to fetch, so we play for a while until she gets tired. Sally on the other hand, likes to find branches to chew on, so I have to watch her most of the time to make sure she doesn’t actually eat them. I also love going to the movie theater. I like to watch movies on the big screen when they come out, but I also like to collect them. Once I buy the hard copy, I like to see all the behind the scenes material. I find it fascinating to learn how they make a movie.  

THIS OR THAT?

Games and activities are a big thing here at PPM, so before signing off with Rogi, I had to catch a quick round of “This or That.”

Abby: Which part of the job do you like best? Surveying or drafting?

Rogi: This is a difficult, because I really love both. I love being out on my feet, but I also like drafting and creating drawings.

Abby: Do you like single-family residential or commercial projects best?

Rogi: I enjoy residential projects better. They are unique and every house has a different personality in a kind of way.

Abby: Tape measure or laser scanner?

Rogi: I would have to say laser scanner because it makes odd shape buildings easier to measure.

Abby: Which ice cream would you choose? Rocky Road or Mint Chip?

Rogi: This is also a difficult question for me because these 2 are my most favorite ice cream flavors. Every time I go to Disneyland, I order a two-scoop ice cream cone with rocky road and mint chip in a waffle cone.

(I had no idea these were Rogi’s favs! #nailedit)

Abby: Cheesecake or ice cream cake?

Rogi: I would go for cheesecake. New York-Style cheesecake specifically.

Abby: Star Wars or Star Trek?

Rogi: Star Wars! Have you seen the Mandalorian? Have you seen BABY YODA? He is so cute!

Abby: Camping or 5-star hotel?

Rogi: Camping for sure. I love nature.

For more team profiles and behind-the-scenes, stay tuned on our blog!

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 608 Andy McFarland

5 Key Traits of A Great As-Built Survey Partner

Whether you’re seasoned in working with an As-Built survey provider or looking for a new way to create efficiency in your workflow, there are 5 key traits to look for in a great partner. It’s crucial to ensure the As-Built partner you choose can deliver on time, has great customer service, is always professional while on site with your clients, and most importantly, delivers accurate As-Built drawings every time.

Here are 5 Tips and Tricks to Finding the Right As-Built Survey Partner for You.

1) Process

Does the As-Built survey partner have a repeatable, time-proven surveying process?

Organization and process are key to any successful undertaking. When vetting a an As-Built partner, here’s what you should consider. Can the service provider walk you through their process from beginning to end including proposals, scheduling, on-site surveying, CAD/BIM workflows, and communication with your team? Look for a process that’s well-communicated, transparent, and thorough. Does their process include steps to ensure accuracy and clarity in the deliverable? Do they ask the right questions and consider your needs throughout the process? Your As-Built provider should be able to demonstrate how they approach their craft, and why their process will yield great results.

2) Capabilities

Does the As-Built company offer all the services you’ll need for your various size and types of projects?

Consistency and continuity in your As-Built drawings are important for a smooth process. Using one As-Built partner who can provide deliverables that are easy to understand, who can follow your template requirements, and are consistent across all plan types will make your workflow easier in the long run. We recommend looking for a partner with a team of experts in all types of As-Built services including CAD drafting, 3D Laser Scanning, and BIM modeling. We also recommend choosing a partner who is dedicated to learning and working with new technology that can make your project more efficient, accurate, and timely well into the future. Most importantly, your As-Built partner should be able to keep up with your evolving needs as your business grows and changes.

3) Professionalism

Does the As-Built company represent themselves professionally in all aspects of communication and appearance?

Your reputation is important, and your As-Built partner will be the face of your company when arriving on site and meeting your clients. Look for a team you can trust will represent your business the way you want to be represented. Can you trust your partner to arrive on time, be professional, communicate their on-site process to your client, work quickly and efficiently, and leave the property as they found it? You’ve worked hard to build your reputation. Your As-Built partner should be an extension of your professional brand.

4) Track Record

Does the As-Built company have a proven track record of successfully serving the needs of architects, engineers, designers, contractors, and building owners?

It’s important to learn about your As-Built partner’s client base including who they’ve worked with, the types of projects they’ve worked on, and what their clients say about them. Look for online reviews and ask for a portfolio. Do their clients speak highly of their service and recommend them without reservation? Your As-Built partner should have positive online reviews, a large list of satisfied customers and lots of repeat business.

5) The Extra Mile

Will the As-Built company go the extra mile for you when your business changes, or your project needs something different?

Customer service is a key element in any partnership. Look for an As-Built partner who has the right team of experts to provide efficient, timely and well-communicated service. Pay close attention to a company’s core values and beliefs. Are they customer-oriented and truly care about the quality and support they provide? Should your project require an untraditional scope, will they work to meet your needs? And, will they support your project and answer questions throughout the lifecycle of your project should you need to loop back with their team? Your As-Built partner should have the type of company culture and core values that align with yours. They should be that company you want to do business with.

As the first step in the process, your As-Built survey sets the tone for your entire project. Following these tips and tricks to properly vet your As-Built partner will land you in good hands and send you on your way to a more efficient workflow, increased productivity, happy clients, and overall success!

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 608 Andy McFarland

3D Laser Scanning for Historic Preservation

3 Historic Landmarks Preserved through Digital Archiving

In October of 2013, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Philippine region of Bohol. In April of 2019, a fierce fire engulfed the roof of Paris’ famous Notre Dame Cathedral claiming the spire and causing devastating damage to the roof and upper walls. Fortunately, a 3D laser scan of Notre Dame exists that serves as a digital blueprint of every inch of the exterior and interior. The scan will likely be utilized in its restoration process. Unfortunately, many of the churches of Bohol were not so lucky. Crumbling to rubble and dust, only photographs and postcards remain. As natural disasters, increased tourism, exposure to environmental elements, and lack of maintenance lend to the decay of historical buildings, preservationists and historians are adopting the use of 3D laser scanning for historic preservation – digitally memorializing and safeguarding these beloved sites for centuries to come. Here are just a few iconic historical sites proactively archived by this technology.

1. Notre Dame Under Fire. Memorialized in 3D.

On a Monday evening in April of 2019 a devastating fire tore across the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France while the world watched in shock. For 9 hours, the beloved cathedral burned. Flames claimed the cathedral’s famous spire, roof, and upper walls leaving Paris in devastation as it prepared for a financial and logistical course of restorative action.

Rewind to 2015 – American Professor of Art at Vassar College, Andrew Tallon, visits Notre Dame while seeking to “understand how medieval builders erected some of Europe’s great cathedrals.” Using 3D laser scanning, Tallon digitally archived every square millimeter of the structure through billions of data points in the form of a 3D point cloud. It’s believed that Tallons scans will play a crucial role in reviving Notre Dame, but unfortunately, Tallon passed away in 2018 and will never know the impact of his work on likely the most high-profile 3D laser scan to date.

Photo Credit: Print Collector/Getty Images from Town and Country Magazine

In April of this year, French president Emmanuel Macron announced an ambitious plan to restore the cathedral in 5 years. Original construction of Notre Dame began in 1163. The famous spire was added around 1250, and the cathedral has undergone numerous changes throughout the years from revered cathedral to rundown storage facility and returned to the limelight following the famous novel Hunchback of Notre Dame. Its next chapter impatiently awaits. Although the cathedral may never be a complete replica of what once was, Tallon’s 3D laser scan gives the restoration team the best chance of restoring it to its iconic glory.

2. Tampa’s Famous Jackson Rooming House in Distress

Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Times

Located in Tampa, Florida, The Jackson Rooming House served as the only “Boarding House of the Stars” during the segregation period. Its walls housed African American superstars and famous activists whose status did not exclude them from the social offenses of the time including Martin Luther King, Jr., James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles. During this era, the house was one of the only places for traveling African Americans to stay in the Tampa area.

Photo Credit: The Tampa Bay Times

Today, the historical 24-room house remains in need of extreme repair. Built in 1901, the house has seen its day and is under pressure from the city to address serious safety issues. With “broken windows, a sagging roof, and splintering walls, it looks as though the slightest breeze could topple the century-old structure,” says the Tampa Bay Times. The local paper reported that a team from the Tampa Bay History Center and the University of South Florida used 3D laser scanning for historic preservation to create a digital point cloud and record every inch of the two-story, 4,000-square-foot building in efforts to preserve its history. Not only will the team use the 3D digital data to create a 3D replica and virtual tour, they may also help replicate and reopen the real Jackson House to the public one day. As of late, beams have been installed to shore up the Jackson House as further plans are in discussion.

3. Belsay Castle Proactively Preserved with Point Clouds

Photo Credit: BBC.com

The fourteenth-century Iron Age hillfort castle situated in Belsay, Northumberland, England (14 miles northwest of Newcastle) was originally the home to the prominent Middleton family. Passed down through the family, it was eventually abandoned as a residence in the early nineteenth century when the family built a new Grecian-style residence on the same grounds which became known as Belsay Hall. Although an estate of this magnitude seems indestructible, preservationists have secured it’s history through 3D laser scanning should distaster or the test of time take its toll.

The medieval icon’s famous defense tower dominates the castle and was built as both a statement of family pride as well as protection from conflict and tension in this border region between Scotland and England. The tower is one of the best examples of a still-existing pele tower (also known as peel tower) – similar to a mini castle that is easy to defend. When King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England and brought the two kingdoms under union and relative peace, he decreed that all pele towers should be torn down and that the borders should be known as “Middle Shires”.

Despite the turbulent climate and King James’ ruling to remove pele towers, Belsay Castle and Hall remain a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building respectively. English Heritage, the non-profit organization administering the estate, undertook laser scanning of the entire grounds to ensure a digital point cloud replica. With the completion of the 3D laser scans, preservationists have ensured its history is protected against exposure to the elements, tourist traffic, and natural disaster.

Bohol Partners with 3D Laser Scanning Specialists for Historic Preservation

Bohol, Phillipines Church | Photo Credit: Reuters by way of BBC.com

After the devasting earthquake of 2013 in the Filipino region of Bohol, 3D technology specialists DigiScript Phillipines began utilizing 3D laser scanning to digitally preserve UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This digital data in the form of high-resolution point clouds, ensures historic buildings can be restored should disaster strike again. The efforts will include four Baroque churches erected during the Spanish colonial period including Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, Sta. Maria Church in Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, and Miagao Church in Iloilo.

Proactive Protection. Digitizing History.

As the fear of natural disasters and foreseen decay weigh heavy on preservationists’ minds, the relief of 3D laser scanning plays a significant role. There’s now a solid, digitally archived backup plan. The partnership between preservationists and skilled 3D laser scanning and modelling professionals is key. Proactive planning with an As-Buit Surveying and Drafting/Modelling team you can trust ensures our century-old buildings are preserved for centuries more to enjoy.

About PPM

Precision Property Measurements is a full service As-Built Survey and Drafting/Modelling firm who utilizes 3D laser scanning and traditional measuring tools for historic preservation, home remodels, commercial properties, and national brand expansion. PPM serves all 50 U.S. states and has over 17 years of experience in capturing precise, existing building measurements.  For more information on our historic preservation As-Built services or other surveys, please reach out to us at [email protected], or visit https://ppmco.net/quote for quick and easy quotes.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

Sources:

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/notre-dame-fire-destruction-futurehttps://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/notre-dame-spire-collapsed

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a27210982/notre-dame-cathedral-paris-restoration-history/

https://www.dw.com/en/frances-macron-vows-to-rebuild-notre-dame-cathedral-within-5-years/a-48342036

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/travel-guide/a27118099/emmanuel-macron-notre-dame-cathedral-restored-in-five-years/

https://www.tampabay.com/tampa/laser-scanning-may-help-preserve-historic-jackson-house-digitally-at-least-before-it-collapses-20190219/

https://www.tampabay.com/tampa/laser-scanning-may-help-preserve-historic-jackson-house-digitally-at-least-before-it-collapses-20190219/

https://www.tampabay.com/hillsborough/watch-beams-were-installed-to-shore-up-the-historic-jackson-house-now-they-may-hasten-its-fall-20190424/

https://blog.hexagongeosystems.com/measure-what-you-treasure-laser-scanning-for-heritage-conservation/https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/3d-laser-scanning-heritage/heag155-3d-laser-scanning/

http://www.castlesfortsbattles.co.uk/north_east/belsay_castle.htmlhttp://www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle/2018/02/13/119744/filipino-specialists-in-3d-laser-scanning-take-a-swipe-at-preserving-unesco-world-heritage-sites/