How Can Laser Scanning Reduce Project Risk?
Have you ever worked on a project where you felt like you didn’t have all the information you needed to do a good job? Maybe you wondered if the information you had was correct. Have you ever had an awkward conversation with your client or boss that went something like this: “We didn’t know that was there” or “We missed that”? As designers, contractors, and project managers, the fear of unexpected problems, delays, or budget issues coming up during construction is what makes us lose sleep at night. When unexpected issues arise on projects it costs us money in the form of change orders, puts us behind schedule, and causes the entire team to look less credible. This results in our clients, bosses, and managers losing confidence in our ability to do quality work.
So what causes project mistakes to happen? There are several reasons for poor project performance, but often the issues occur from incomplete or inaccurate data. A recent construction industry study by FMI and PlanGrid found that 52% of all re-work in construction globally is due to poor data. The same study also uncovered that approximately $177.5 billion in construction labor costs on non-optimal activities is due to bad data. So, how much money could be saved, and risk reduced if we started our projects with better, more accurate data?
One way to achieve more accurate and complete project data is by using 3D Laser Scanning. This process documents insignificant detail existing field conditions and can monitor installation during construction. Laser scanning is much more accurate than traditional documentation methods like hand measuring or using a hand-held laser device. It also provides a more complete picture of the project, reducing the risk of unknown issues surfacing as the project progresses. Advantages of laser scanning over traditional methods to reduce project risk include:
- Provides complete and accurate data generally accurate to ¼” to ½”
- Eliminates inaccuracies in drawings and models due to missed or unreliable data
- Significantly reduces work stoppages or change orders
- Eliminates additional site visits due to missed information
- Reduces missed deadlines
- Minimizes project questions or requests for information
- Stabilizes your project budget and keeps the schedule on track
- Gives you, the designer or contractor, the confidence to deliver a project to your client without surprises because nobody likes unexpected project surprises.
In the design and construction industry, we’re all trying to gain every advantage, no matter how small. Each one of us is working to separate ourselves from our competition and stand out in the eyes of our clients, owners, or managers. We cannot afford to be the team perceived as “not being on top of things” or simply “not knowing”. Laser scanning is quickly becoming the industry standard for those designers, contractors, and owners who choose to limit the unknowns and minimize their risk, on their most critical projects.