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3D Laser Scanning for Historic Preservation (and now Metaverses)

Historic buildings and locations that have defined our communities are being digitally captured with 3D laser scanning, and as we continue to innovate for the future (including Metaverses), it is crucial to understand this technology.


Using 3D laser scanning, surveyors and engineers can reliably gather point cloud and photorealistic 3D images of any object or environment.


3D Laser scanners acquire point cloud data, comprising millions of 3D coordinates (or points). These points are then used to create and generate accurate 3D models (BIM) or reconstructions.


Read ahead to explore more about laser scanning for historic preservation, its importance, uses, examples, and how it works!


Protect the Future by Preserving the Past with Laser Scanning


Historic preservation has always been important for buildings and impressive structures because they represent an achievement in construction, design, or even sometimes linked with a significant era, movement, or individual.


3D Laser scanning and reality capture solutions can allow you to digitize all your buildings and architecture quickly and accurately.


This precise data helps design professionals manage historic restoration projects' complex planning and design processes more efficiently.

Using 3D laser scanning and reality capture solutions, you will be able to gather and document all of the buildings' unique surfaces, architectural features, and even changes in construction through time, at a degree of precision that was previously impossible to achieve.


Our team of engineers can conduct extensive examinations to identify structural integrity and vulnerability in areas that could otherwise go unnoticed by the naked eye, but are critical to preserving or restoring a historic building.


Our team also uses 3D laser scanning to plan out and verify the onsite installation logistics within building projects, such as embed layout/location, FF/FL analysis, configure HVAC systems, Metal Panels/Cladding, Custom Railing/Guardrail, and so on.


Advantages of Historic Prevention through Laser Scanning

  • Historic Buildings almost never match the out-of-date construction blueprints and plans. With 3D laser scanning and modeling, you can get exact blueprints / 3D BIM models of your structure before the work even gets started.

  • Eliminate the need for design/plan revisions and verify the accuracy of the work performed onsite.

  • 99% more accurate than traditional measuring/layout techniques.

  • Record, preserve, and duplicate the most minute aspects with 3D laser scanning. The digital documentation can be stored for future generations, retaining the existing conditions accurately.

  • Teams can avoid putting themselves in harm's way by using laser scanners to gather onsite information from unsafe or difficult-to-reach areas.


Examples where 3D Laser Scanning played a Crucial Role


AEC specialists worldwide work to incorporate cutting-edge technology into rehabilitation and building projects for historic landmarks. To comprehend the infrastructure and develop accurate blueprints/plans of these structures, reality capture methods such as 3D laser scanning are essential.


Here are a few famous examples where laser scanning played a vital role in preserving the sites, such as:


Notre-Dame Cathedral

Beginning in 1160, the work of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris started. However, by roughly 1830, Notre-Dame de Paris was in such a condition of disrepair that it was considered an alternative for destruction. Later in 1830, they terminated the plan of destruction. But on April 15th, 2019, Notre Dame was devastated by a fire that destroyed the spire, roof, and wood framing.


There remained hope that the cathedral might be restored to its original condition despite the devastation.


Andrew Tallon, a professor in the department of architectural history at Vassar College, scanned the entire building using a Leica laser scanner in 2010.


Although Tallon has passed away, he will always be regarded as a pioneer in his industry. The data he left behind is critical to the cathedral's restoration, which is expected to take 10-15 years to complete.


Stylites Church in Syria

Stylites Church in Syria is another example of a structure they had scanned before dismantling and destroying.


In 2016, a Russian missile strike partially demolished the church, dating back to the 5th century.


Crews from France have frequently been surveying the site since 2003, employing laser scanning as part of the process. This 3D data serves as a historical record of the structure and is extremely helpful for restoration purposes.


Royal Palace- Spain

In Madrid, Spain, the Royal Palace was digitally recorded with 3D scanning technology in 2018 to construct a 3D edifice model and document its present form.


How does 3D Laser Scanning Work?


3D Laser scanning allows engineers and surveyors to accurately reproduce any object, site, or building conditions in three dimensions.


The 3-D coordinates and point data are represented by a collection of dots, or "point clouds," generated by the 3D laser scanners that collect the point data by bouncing a laser beam off the building's surface.


Using a terrestrial 3D laser scanner is similar to taking photographs. The scanner is set up on a tripod and rotates in a circle to scan the structure or object.


After a complete scan cycle, the 3D laser scanner can be transferred to different locations around the building to scan and collect data around these other areas as needed.


Once all the scanning is complete, engineers can then bring the millions of data points from each scan together to construct an accurate point cloud of the entire site as a whole.


Our Summary


Within the building and construction industry, the importance of accuracy, schedule, and safety cannot be overstated. And because of the vast range of applications and benefits that 3D laser scanning technology provides, it will continue to be used and improved upon in the future.


3D laser scanning is used to document, maintain, and preserve older buildings and systems. However, even though it's a newer method, 3D scanning for historic preservation has helped retain some of the most important buildings/structures in the past.

ScanTek 3D's cutting-edge LiDAR and 3D laser scanning solutions provides unparalleled levels of detail and precision.


Architects and building professionals know they can depend on our team of experts to provide the most accurate 3D measurements, lidar, and reality capture solutions available today.


Get in touch with our team of experts to learn more about our solutions!