Geolocation is requested by its real estate clients to perform 3D scans of commercial spaces and rental housing buildings. Indeed, the redevelopment of these spaces sometimes concerns old buildings whose plans do not exist or recently built buildings whose available information is that shown on theoretical plans. The measurement and redevelopment projects require for architects to obtain precise measurements of the existing. The land surveyor, expert in measurement, is the perfect professional to quickly produce 2D and 3D plans of the existing. 3D laser scanning, or terrestrial LiDAR, is a technology applied to many industries. Indeed, its adoption by the fields of architecture, engineering and construction is more and more widespread. It is clear that the benefits of 3D scanning contribute to the smooth running of a project during the stages of design, construction, operation, maintenance, demolition and even when changing the vocation of a building. The quality and availability of laser data are beneficial in carrying out the different phases of a project. The 3D scan wonderfully fulfills these requirements, thanks to the point cloud produced which can even be colorized. Unlike conventional measurement methods, a single site visit might be enough to get all of the information we need, in addition to getting additional information we might need later. Among other things, a point cloud can be useful to know:

  •  the actual dimensions and areas of the rooms;
  •  floor levels;
  •  ceiling heights; 
  •  the thicknesses of the walls and partitions;
  •  the building envelope (facade and roofs); 
  •  the mechanical elements of the building (ventilation, piping, etc.); 
  •  sprinklers and other fire fighting devices; 
  •  the dimensions and positions of the windows;
  •  lighting devices; 
  •  furniture or other equipment;
  •  and any other element visible during the scan.

3D laser scanning now achieves extraordinary accuracy and precision. Even though the use of 3D scanners is becoming more and more accessible, it remains that expertise in the field is essential to be able to guarantee the accuracy of the data. Despite the fact that the precision of the points measured within the same scan is very high (of the order of a few millimeters), it remains that much larger errors can be generated during the calibration of the scans between them if one does not respect a rigorous methodology. The layout of the 3D scans must be done according to certain rules of the art (positioning of the scans, control point, routing, double-checking, etc.) which will ensure that the point cloud will be reliable and free from internal deformation.

There are many applications for 3D laser scanning of a building. Among these are:

  • the measurement of architectural elements; 
  • BOMA measurement;
  • the production of georeferenced plans of the interior or exterior of the building (plan, section and / or elevation view); 
  • structural analysis (example: slab or beam deformation); 
  • developing a BIM model for planning and designing a project;
  • the development of a BIM model for the maintenance and management of a building.


Reminder on BOMA measurement

The BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) standard is the standardized method for measuring buildings. This standard varies according to the type of building under consideration (office buildings, industrial buildings, multi-unit residential buildings, retail buildings and mixed-use properties) and is constantly evolving. Choosing the right standard and applying it correctly requires dealing with an experienced land surveyor.


BOMA measurement is linked to the concept of cost allocation. Indeed, its main objective is to determine the rental areas of each of the tenants of a building. The calculation of the leasable area counts and proportionally distributes the common spaces of the building. No space should be left in the calculation. For this calculation to be accurate and representative, it is essential that the data collected in the field be of high quality. Indeed, even the best analyst of the BOMA standard is helpless in the face of incomplete, imprecise or problematic raised ground. Being the measurement expert, the land surveyor is undoubtedly the most suitable professional to supervise and ensure the quality of the land surveyed.


If you need 3D data for your projects, don’t hesitate to call on the Geolocation team!