Worry-Free As Builts
1080 565 Andy McFarland

3D Laser As-Built Surveying in the Information Age

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

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?

576 321 Andy McFarland

WORRY-FREE RENOVATIONS

How Great As-Built Surveys Lead to Worry-Free Renovations

On the simplest level, PPM is an As-Built surveying company.  That’s what we do.  However, what motivates us and keeps us working towards our goals goes far beyond just providing As-Builts.  Don’t get me wrong – the WHAT is important.  Every company needs a WHAT – in terms of a product or service – in order to get clients and stay in business.  But over time, it’s the WHY that keeps everyone engaged and working towards the same goals.  The WHY includes things like a company’s Core Values, Mission, and Purpose.  At PPM, lately we have been talking more and more about our Purpose and how it drives all of the decisions and actions that we take as a company.  What is our Purpose?  To help enable “Worry-Free Renovations.”

Our Worry-Free Approach – Since Day One

The concept of Worry-Free Renovations has been a part of PPM’s soul since our founding in 2002, and in fact is the reason why PPM even became an idea and then a company in the first place.  This ideal – to have a smooth and trouble-free renovation (remodel, addition, tenant improvement, landscape project, etc.) is something desired by all parties involved in the process.  But it remains frustratingly difficult to achieve, as most people who have been through a remodel will attest. Renovation projects by their nature are big, complicated, and messy.  Everyone understands this when they decide to undertake one. But what makes a renovation project so frustrating and worrisome is when something doesn’t go as planned.  If you’re told a project will take 6 months but it ends up taking 9.  Or if a problem is encountered during construction that causes the cost to increase by 20%.  That is when the stress and the worry really starts to ramp up.

 

Start Your Renovation With A PPM Worry-Free As-Built Survey

And that is where PPM comes in.  PPM started providing As-Built surveys for a few landscape architects in Southern California for exactly this reason.  It was (and still is) a common problem for these professionals to have difficulty obtaining accurate, complete, and reliable site plans that fit the project budget.  With a lack of attractive options, they resorted to inadequate “solutions” – such as using incomplete or inaccurate plans, or trying to get by with no As-Built plans at all. The result?  Bad or incomplete information that caused delays, cost overruns, plan changes, and other negative consequences.  Hardly a Worry-Free experience.  PPM’s purpose was to eliminate those problems by giving these customers a much better option with our professional As-Built drawings, thereby allowing them to start off their projects with everything they needed to execute confidently on their design ideas.

Our As-Built Surveyor using the 3D laser scanner on a current project.

PPM is using the latest in As-Built survey technologies for your renovation project, such as the Laser Scanner that produces detailed 3D plans.

Your Renovation Project’s Best Chance of Success

Fast forward 16+ years and that is still exactly what PPM is doing, and the reason why we still exist.   The clients and projects have evolved, but the driving purpose of helping to enable Worry-Free Renovations remains the same.  As As-Built Surveyors, we sit at the very beginning of the renovation process, so our service can be thought of as the first link in a chain that will extend for many months/years, and will involve many other consultants.  We can’t control what happens to the rest of the “chain” after our portion of the project is complete – but we CAN say that we are giving the project the BEST chance for success, the BEST chance to be “Worry-Free”, if we deliver great As-Builts with outstanding service.  This is our goal for every project, and the Purpose that will continue to sustain for the next 16 years and beyond.

Fill Out Our Easy To Use On-Line Quote Form

Are you interested in a Worry-Free As-Built Experience on your next project?  Fill out our QUOTE form for a fast, free estimate and consultation with a PPM project representative.  See how working with PPM can save you and your clients time and money on their renovation project.