American Society of Civil Engineers

Construction Engineering Requirements for Integrating Laser Scanning Technology and Building Information Modeling

by Tristan Randall, M.ASCE, (Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., 303 Second St., Suite 700N, San Francisco, CA 94107. E-mail:

Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 137, No. 10, October 2011, pp. 797-805, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Special Issue: Construction Engineering: Opportunity and Vision for Education, Practice, and Research
Section Heading: Building Construction Engineering
Abstract: Laser scanning for rapid spatial data acquisition is an established technology in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector with a wide range of applications. An understanding of the wide variation of technical requirements and considerations associated with these applications is critical to decision making about laser-scanning implementation on projects. Furthermore, significant industry transformations in the use of building information modeling present extraordinary opportunities for AEC professionals to employ the use of laser scanning in the context of holistic, collaborative workflows grounded in three-dimensional model-based design. This report analyzes the construction engineering requirements of laser scanning technology for applications across all phases of the project life cycle and proposes a multidisciplinary framework to integrate applications of laser scanning technology with the fundamentals of three-dimensional model-based design.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Construction management
Information management
Digital techniques
Decision making
Three-dimensional models

Author Keywords:
Model-based design
Laser scanning
Point clouds
Building information modeling