BIM surveying

 

Since the term “BIM” first started appearing in the 1990s, new tools and technologies have brought Building Information Modeling to many disciplines of building work, including design, construction, utilities, transportation engineering, asset management, and civil and structural engineering––just to name a few.

 

And while you’ll likely get wildly different definitions of what BIM is depending on who you ask, no one disputes the importance of rich information in developing these advanced models.

 

BIM isn’t just for architects and it isn’t just a design tool. It’s a way to enhance collaboration among data-gathers, designers and builders––streamlining workflows, reducing rework and simplifying operations across projects.

 

The surveyor’s role in BIM projects

 

As data-gatherers, surveyors have become valuable resources in BIM projects, offering the geospatial data points that are among the first and most important layers in a building project model as well as the subsequent phases such as construction, inspection, financial control, and more.

 

In particular, surveyors are becoming integral for BIM projects in a few key ways, such as:

 

  • Generating a reliable 3D reference framework by managing the horizontal and vertical datum transformations between site and building design models;
     
  • Providing expertise and tools for layout, utility connections, quality control, volume measurements and inspections; and
     
  • Supporting the positioning and layout processes for a building’s MEP systems by creating and maintaining the coordinate framework and extending it to include interior horizontal and vertical control points.

 

While surveying skills are extremely valuable for creating BIM models, they may not be used in the way an experienced surveyor is used to. Since the goal of BIM is creating data useful throughout the whole life of a structure or asset, surveyors should ask themselves how they can apply their expertise over the long-term, rather than just the design and construction phases.

 

With this in mind, we’ve highlighted a few important tools that can help surveyors gather the precise, reliable data points needed for BIM projects. 

 

The surveyor’s BIM toolbox

 

To new surveyors, BIM might look daunting. However, most of the geospatial data BIM models rely on is collected using the tools and technology surveyors are already familiar with. Traditional ground surveys, for example, are essential. Data gathered from GNSS and total stations is integrated with LIDAR and photos to generate geo-references, improving model precision and accuracy in fine detail.

 

Here are a few surveying tools well-suited for BIM projects:

 

  1. Rothbucher Mini Prisms

 

RS Mini Prisms

 

These innovative mini prisms offer precise alignment from almost any position and can be installed on surfaces other prisms simply can’t go. These qualities make them perfect for BIM applications where data is needed for surveying, construction layout and ongoing monitoring throughout the structure’s lifecycle.

 

Rothbucher’s mini prisms are available in several sizes and both 180º or full 360º rotation ranges. Surveyors also have the option of using target reflectors. The versatility of these mini prisms enable surveyors to find multiple ways to reach the best solution for their project.

 

Other BIM-friendly advantages include:

 

  • Multiple affixing options, including bolts, screws, adhesive or magnetic attachment
  • Optional stainless steel “fix point” that enables surveyors to remove prisms and return to the same measurement point accurately again and again –– even on nonmetallic surfaces such as wood, stone and concrete.
  • Plastic prism cap to protect against dust and debris along with magnetic protection cap, which can be used to remove and replace caps in out-of-reach places.

 

Learn more and browse our products:

 

 

2. Rothbucher Smart Survey Targets

 

RS30 and RS40 Smart Survey Targets
 

RS30 and RS40

 

These are Rothbucher’s most versatile markers––essential for advanced construction layouts common among BIM projects. They easily attach to a variety of surfaces with epoxy, screws, or bolts––a ‘go to’ survey control monument for construction.

 

  • For quick positioning, angle and distance measurements with tachymeter and all common measuring devices
  • For measuring subsidence – a surveyor's pole can be attached
  • Observation of facades, supports, bridges and building construction
  • For the long-term monitoring of bridges and buildings
  • For measuring and monitoring facades
  • For industrial construction and hall construction
  • For ensuring the correct measurement of heights and axes
  • Temperature and UV resistant
  • Can be mounted even on difficult surfaces
  • Permanent establishment of heights and axes on all construction projects

 

Learn more and browse our products:

 

 

 

RS50, RS60 and RS70 Smart Survey Targets
 

RS50 RS60 RS70

 

RS50, RS60 and RS70 Smart Survey Targets are flexible, permanent, precise and easy to attach.

 

For accurate control and precise 3D monitoring, the RS60, with reflective tape, is the best choice for use with modern total stations. The RS70, with simple, high-contrast cross hairs, is best for ultra-quick, super-precise elevation checks.

 

Reflective Survey Targets RS50 & RS60:

 

  • For quick positioning with tachymeter and all common measuring devices.
  • Range from 10m to 100m
  • For bridge and tunnel construction
  • For long-term monitoring of bridges and buildings
  • For measuring and monitoring facades
  • For industrial construction and hall construction
  • For the quick and precise leveling of finished parts
  • For the leveling of production and assembly lines
  • For ensuring the correct measurement of heights and axes
  • Temperature and UV resistant
  • Can be mounted even on difficult surfaces

 

Construction Targets RS70:

 

  • For ensuring the correct measurement of heights and axes
  • For leveling tile grids
  • For industrial construction and hall construction
  • For the leveling of production and assembly lines
  • Temperature and UV resistant
  • Can be mounted even on difficult surfaces

 

Learn more and browse our products:

 

•      RS50/RS60/RS70 Smart Targets & Accessories ⟶

 

3. Rothbucher Finished Floor Markers

 

RS11

 

Monitoring accurate finished floor levels (FFL) are essential to maintaining accurate BIM data during and after construction. When markings disappear, surveyors are forced to do costly rework before serious problems arise.

 

Rothbucher RS11 Finished Floor Markers are the best way to maintain precision throughout any project’s entire lifecycle. Millions of these markers are already in use around the world and have brought a new standard to construction sites.

 

For an accurate FFL overview, fix a network of reference points on staircases, elevator shafts and several on each floor. From these permanent reference points the FFL can be transferred to any point it’s needed.

 

Documentation, verification, and permanent proof for:

 

  • SFL - Structural Floor Level
  • FFL - Finished Floor Level
  • FFH - Finished Floor Height
  • AFF - Above Finished Floor
  • AFFL - Above Finished Floor Level

 

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4. Rothbucher Construction Laser Wall Targets

 

 

Rothbucher’s RS21 Datum Markers are the smart, high-precision way to keep control monuments in place before and after surface treatments. These are low profile, self-adhesive markers that attach easily to the points you want to monitor, and flexible stubs on the sturdy, UV resistant marker body are easy to find after plastering.

 

These wall targets are great for backsights, check shots, elevation references and monitoring situations––the best way to take advantage of your investment in high tech survey equipment. Save crew time, keep employees out of danger, get better BIM data.

 

Learn more and browse our products:

 

 

Have questions or want to learn more about Berntsen’s products? Contact us today or request a catalog.