Application of laser scanning in the construction industry

In the construction industry, accurate measurement and faithful representation of the same is very crucial to the success of every project. From as early as the design and planning phase, construction engineers will use precise linear measurements, while builders care to translate the blueprint measurement into the structure with minimal error. In today's evolving construction industry, the need to work with greater-accuracy measurements goes hand in hand with the progress in the tool making industry. This progress has now given contractors state of the art laser scanning devices. The ability of these devices to measure remote distances with great accuracy is their principal feature sought for by contractors.  Below are some of the uses of laser scanning in construction.


Surveying large scale projects such as roads and dams using conventional methods is tedious, time consuming and at best, an approximation. To counter this difficulty, modern laser scanning devices known as lidar are used with great fidelity in measurement. The laser scanning devices are mounted in high flying aircraft which make  several flight s over the project area while capturing information. This laser scanning method gives near-instant results, and the technology can be fully integrated with computers.   Modelling In construction industry, laser scanning devices are used to capture a detailed three dimensional profile of a structure.  The image so obtained can be run in computer software that simulate it inside scenarios such as earthquakes and storms, with a view to determining what modifications can be included advantageously. The same image can be used to create physical architectural models of the structure. These architectural models make it easy for architects to elucidate the project concept to builders. They can also be used for artistic purposes.

Site lay out

Before starting operations on a site, a contractor will use laser scanning devices to gather detailed information of the land, such as incline and dynamic contours. For example, contractors can use laser scanning information to decide where to best locate the material dump in relation to actual building site. Placing the material at an optimum position reduces the extra time spent getting it closer to building location. Furthermore, fuel and manpower are saved and redirected to other productive activities on site. Besides location of materials, contractors use laser scanning technology to plot out the pathways for vehicles and personnel without inconveniencing or disrupting work flow.

Highway design

Complex highway configurations entailing overpasses and extreme terrain are designed using data obtained using laser scanning devices. These devices are mounted both on the ground and in high flying aircraft. Here, the construction engineers aim to ease transportation while guaranteeing safety.