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Laser Scanning Site Visit
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Archicad As-Built Models

PPM now offering Archicad As-Built Models

A New BIM Deliverable to Support your Residential Remodel Projects

If you’re an architect specializing in residential remodels, and you love collaborating and designing in intuitive, easy-to-use BIM software, our newest service offering has launched with you in mind! PPM is proud to announce Archicad as our latest residential As-Built deliverable! While we’ll continue offering Revit, this software addition gives you and your team versatility no matter your BIM preference. We know this isn’t the great Coke versus Pepsi debate, but we don’t want to be that lunch spot that makes you sip your second choice. We care about your preferences and are happy to stock two great BIM options brought to you by popular demand! Whether you prefer the simple and intuitive Archicad or the robust capabilities of Revit, you can now choose your 3D As-Built model that best meets your needs.

19 years ago, we entered into business to help architects ensure their As-Built plans were accurate, precise, and truly Worry Free prior to every remodel. Our objective was and still is to provide peace of mind knowing everyone working from the plans (architects, contractors, etc.) can make important decisions based on accurate measurements. Since 2002, we’ve evolved from the years of hand measuring, sketching, and AutoCAD drafting to adopting technology that would bring a new level of efficiency, accuracy, and versatility to our clients. In 2017 we introduced 3D laser scanning, in 2019 we introduced 3D Revit (BIM) modeling to our services, and today, we’re thrilled to announce Archicad!

The PPM Approach to Launching Archicad

We know that being a great partner means listening closely to our clients’ needs. A few months ago, we surveyed a sample of our recurring architects to get a better idea of the remodel software they use and to learn how we can provide more value. Through the generous feedback, we learned there’s a growing adoption of Archicad in the architectural community. This insight set our team on a mission to bring Archicad As-Built BIM models to our portfolio of services.

Revit expert, Blake Newey, of our Salt Lake City Production office spearheaded the initiative. He researched, took endless hours of coursework, and worked closely with a residential architect who works heavily in Archicad to design a product that is most useful to the architecture market. Along with his team, Blake has set processes and standards for modeling in this new platform, and we are thrilled to bring this offering to market today!

“Our main objective in this launch was to make sure all of our models meet the standards that clients have come to expect from all PPM deliverables. We wanted to ensure we met the needs of every client, and bringing ArchiCAD on board gives us another opportunity to provide Gold Standard service to even more clients. shares Newey.


Two BIM As-Built Options To Fit Your Preferences

Here’s The Scoop on Archicad vs. Revit

If you’re new to Archicad and curious how it differs from Revit, or you work in AutoCAD, but are interested in BIM in general, this will give you a little insight into the different features Archicad and Revit provide to help you make the best decision for your project.

Archicad by GraphisoftRevit by Autodesk
Conceptual DesignArchicad takes a simple, push/pull modeling approach to get to the mass form/conceptual design. Simpler and easier to master than Revit, it has all of the features an architect needs: push/pull modeling, instant and customizable geometry, and a smart multiple extrusion tool. It offers a more intuitive approach to the conceptual design phase.Preferred for complex models. Can connect different files into one, large complex file. Allows you to create conceptual masses and adaptive geometries that then integrate into the project environment. The different components or “families” as they’re called in Revit are nested into the BIM project environment where you can manipulate projects into parametric components or sub-components.
VisualizationWide range of capabilities with a suite of visual styles. Lacks the ability to customize specific elements the way Revit does. Ability to fine tune visualizations and ability to change an exact line. Can make changes on a global level or view-specific level. Overall, offers a wider range of control and manipulation capabilities.
Rendering (same for both software)Powerful rendering engine. Photo-realistic renderings for interior and exterior. Wide range of tools for fine-tuning.Powerful rendering engine. Photo-realistic renderings for interior and exterior. Wide range of tools for fine-tuning.
MEP and ConstructionCan use the easy-to-use MEP Modeler Add-On that allows for creation and coordination of mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic networks within the building design. This Add-On integrates well with standard software.Wide set of tools for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and construction professionals including design tools for HVAC, electrical and plumbing design, as well as the entirety of digital products that are able to create complex layouts and models as well as generating supporting documents.
PluginsCinerender and Grasshopper are powerful plugins that give Archicad the edge it needs to compete with Revit.Can utilize plugins, but Revit has more built-in capabilities than ArchiCAD.

Most BIM users who have experience with  both programs agree that Archicad tends to be more intuitive and user-friendly with plugins to extend its capabilities, while Revit is a more robust, yet more complex offering more capabilities without additional plugins (albeit the extended learning curve). Like any competitive software, we know our clients have set preferences, and we’re thrilled to offer the versatility your team needs to begin working with our files from the time of delivery.

We look forward to serving more architects in more efficient ways in the coming years with new service offerings. Have suggestions? Let your voice be heard. You can share your ideas here.

And, as always, quotes are quick and easy through our online quote request web form – now with an option for Archicad!

In need of As-Built plans for your upcoming remodel?

We’d love to help! Get started with a quick and easy quote.

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.

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.

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