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Why Universities Leverage Laser Scanning and BIM for their Campuses

May 20, 2020 10:14:00 AM

Finding your way around a big university campus is notoriously tricky. To make campuses less intimidating and easier to navigate, schools have been creating interactive 3D maps for students and visitors. The most accurate and effective way to do this is by using building information modeling (BIM) documentation and laser scanning. It’s no surprise major institutions like Tufts University regularly leverage this technology.

Digital Records

Laser scanning and BIM gives you a precise digital record of a campus. It provides you with critical information, including more accurate measurements than you get from manual measurements. In the past, campus mapping was a time-consuming and far less accurate process. Maps often weren’t to scale, making it much harder to use them to find your way around an intricate campus. 

Using Existing Condition’s laser scanning technology, you get so much more than point to point campus measurements. In fact, you get billions of points of data that are turned into a colorized, interactive 3D representation of the campus.


The benefits of leveraging laser scanning and BIM documentation for university campuses don’t stop at creating 3D maps. When it comes time to renovate or remodel, this information gives you the most accurate as-built dimensions available. 

Laser scanning and BIM documentation is far more accurate and precise than manual measurements. But its benefits extend further than accuracy and precision. The time it takes to do laser scanning of a major campus is minuscule compared to the time it takes to manually measure every point of the grounds. 

It's simply a better method

Additionally, laser scanning is a much less intrusive process than manual measuring. There’s no need for big shut-downs and interruptions while the scanning takes place. Existing Conditions deploys small, uniformed crews on site with a small tripod-mounted 3D laser scanner. From time to time, we may also use other noninvasive equipment to get the job done. Depending on the scope, we typically will move around the exterior and interior perimeter of the campus and building roofs to collect scan data.

No campus is too big or too small to benefit from laser scanning. We work on building and projects of all sizes, from small academic and dormitory spaces up to entire university campuses and institution-wide documentation. We can work with you no matter where your campus is. We routinely work throughout the United States, North America, United Kingdom, and the European Union.

Would you like to learn more about laser scanning for university campuses as well as BIM documentation for a variety of industries? Get in touch with us today.

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Jared Curtis

Written by Jared Curtis

President, Existing Conditions