Point Cloud Survey in the Modern Construction Industry

Posted on: 28 February 2017

Often used by construction engineers to gain an accurate map of a structure or topographical region, a point cloud survey produces extremely accurate representations of the physical world. By collecting information from a process of laser scanning, a surveyor is able to produce a three-dimensional data set that corresponds to the size and shape of a building. The figures taken in a point cloud survey can then be uploaded, shared with other users and put into software which is able to produce a 3D model of the surveyed area.

This process is extremely useful for structural engineers and other designers, such as architects and lighting engineers, because it allows them to manipulate new designs within the virtual model to see which ideas work best. For instance, various orientations of windows and can be modelled at almost zero cost to gain an understanding of the best configuration. In addition, it allows them to show clients various new design options, like where to add new parts of a building, for example.


Computer-aided design (CAD) has long been used by product designers for developing new ideas and prototypes. These days, it is also widely operated in the construction industry, as well. A point cloud survey is usually conducted in the first instance to create a model that CAD packages be uploaded with. Rather than requiring designers to enter lots of data into CAD software, a survey means that much of the work is done for them. As well as CAD, construction industry professionals use building information modelling packages (BIM) that perform a similar task but which are more specialist for the demands of structural designers. As such, point cloud surveys are an important part of any firm's take up of both CAD and BIM, especially those that design landscape architecture as well as buildings.

Advantages of Laser Technology

Although point cloud surveys can be conducted with a device as simple as a tape measure, dimensions need to be recorded by hand. On the other hand, when laser scans are made software is able to record the data collected as the survey progresses. Not only does this cut down on factors like human error, but it means for greater accuracy than with hand tools. Needless, to say the automated process is also a lot quicker. LIDAR is the type of laser technology most frequently used with point survey laser scans. In many cases, huge topographical areas, as well as individual buildings, can be surveyed in one go when such equipment is attached to vehicles that can roam over wide areas, like drones and helicopters.


Home Improvement: A Plumber, An Electrician And A Builder

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