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3D Laser Scanning for
As-Built Documentation

How APEX Delivers Accurate As-Builts with 3D Laser Scanning

At APEX 3D Scanning Solutions, we’re well experienced in 3D laser scanning services for as-built documentation. This data is incredibly important in the world of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) because it allows you to be sure that completed construction is perfectly aligned with architectural plans and is up to spec.

Working with us, you’ll find experienced laser scanning professionals with a focus on customer satisfaction. We deliver accurate as-built drawings with 16+ years of experience in the AEC industry behind every project. Our advanced 3D laser scanning technology allows for as-built drawings precisely capturing your measurements down to the millimeters, so you can have confidence you need from the as-built documentation. Every component of the structure will be captured including some hidden elements like post-tension cables and rebar placements that may not be visible in traditional blueprints.

If you’re considering a 3D laser scanning service for your as-built documentation, there is no laser scanning company better for the job than APEX. Whether you’re a general contractor, architect, or an engineer, your as-built services are tailor-fit to your project and designed to ensure success.

Contact us today to receive the personalized 3D laser scanning services that we’re known for! Dave Schaff, the owner of APEX 3D scanning solutions personally oversees every job, so you can be certain that you’ll receive a quality service.

What is 3D Laser Scanning?

Putting it simply, 3D laser scanning captures the physical dimensions of objects or environments and converts them into precise digital data called a "point cloud". This has revolutionized the AEC industry in various fields and especially in as-built documentation as it allows for incredibly precise as-built data.

How it Works

3D laser scanning uses a technology called "LiDAR", standing for Light Detection and Ranging, which uses light (a laser in this case) to measure variable distances from the earth. Here's how this technology works step by step:

Laser Emission: The scanner emits a laser beam towards the target object or area.

Reflection and Capture: The laser beam reflects off the surface, and the scanner captures this reflected light.

Distance Calculation: The device calculates the distance to the object based on the time it takes for the laser light to return.

Point Cloud Formation: These distance measurements are collected at numerous points, creating a dense group of data points called a "point cloud."

What Are As-Built Drawings?

As-Built drawings are one of the most important elements of any project in the AEC industry because of the role they play in shielding architects, engineers, and contractors alike from legal issues as well as assisting in building management and maintenance practices. These drawings are incredibly accurate blueprints that are made once the construction process is finalized documenting any changes made during teh building process that differs from the original designs.

However, as-built drawings can actually be useful all throughout the construction process to document any changes on the fly and make sure that your job is up to spec the entire way through. Naturally, it's important to have a very accurate and detailed record of your current building information from MEP systems to your architectural and structural analysis. These could also be referred to as final as-builts or for-record as-builts.

The Advantages of 3D Laser Scanning for As-Builts

3D laser scanning is comfortably the best method for as-built documentation because it's simply unmatched in its capabilities of precision, speed, and versaitility. Here's how 3D laser scanning is taking over teh AEC industry professionals for their as built needs:

Unmatched Accuracy

Traditional methods for gathering as-built data relied too heavily on the human eye, but 3D laser scanning technology has opened the door to unparalelled accuracy with precision down to the millimeter. Unlike doing things the manual way where it can be easy to miss hidden and hard to reach areas, modern laser scanning technology is able to capture every aspect of the environment.

Increased Efficiency

The rapid data collection offered by 3D laser scanning is leagues ahead of traditional methods as well. Our laser scanners are capable of capturing thousands of square feet in just minutes. Even better, the data that we collect from these scans are easily imported directly into CAD and BIM software which drastically reduces the time it takes to go from data collection to the creation of your final as-built documentation.

Cost Effective

Choosing 3D laser scanning for your as-built documentation will also save you greatly over the lifespan of your project. With rework, change orders, and delays in the construction schedule being so common in the AEC industry, laser scanning allows you to avoid potential issues early on, so you can avoid many of these costly issues and even predict potential maintenance issues before they become extensive and costly repairs.

As-Built Laser Scanning Applications

The adoption of 3D laser scanning for creating as-built documentation has revolutionized various aspects of construction, design, and facility management. Here, we explore the diverse applications of as-built laser scanning, demonstrating how this technology enhances efficiency and accuracy across different project phases.

Construction Verification

3D laser scanning is invaluable for verifying that construction has been completed according to the architectural plans. It allows for:

  • Real-time Monitoring: Quick scans can provide immediate feedback on the construction progress, helping to identify deviations from the planned design early in the process.
  • Sequencing and Scheduling: Accurate data helps in effective scheduling, ensuring that construction phases are completed on time and in the correct sequence.

Design Engineering for Facility Upgrades or Expansions

When upgrading or expanding facilities, as-built laser scanning provides a critical foundation for the design process:

  • Accurate Retrofitting: Scans ensure that new designs fit seamlessly with existing structures, minimizing conflicts and engineering challenges.
  • Infrastructure Adaptation: Detailed models help engineers adapt designs to the unique constraints of the existing facility.


Using laser scanning for prefabrication processes offers substantial benefits:

  • Component Fit and Assembly: Ensures that prefabricated components will fit accurately with existing structures, reducing on-site adjustments and fabrication errors.
  • Streamlined Manufacturing: Enhances the manufacturing process by providing exact specifications that improve the efficiency and quality of prefabricated elements.

Clash Detection

In complex construction environments, clash detection is essential:

  • System Integration: Scans help identify potential conflicts between different building systems (like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC) before they become costly issues.
  • Problem Resolution: Facilitates the resolution of space and design conflicts in the planning stage, which reduces delays during construction.

Architectural Documentation and Historical Preservation

Laser scanning plays a vital role in preserving and documenting historical structures:

  • Historical Records: Creates detailed records of heritage sites for preservation and study.
  • Restoration Work: Provides architects and conservators with precise data to guide restoration efforts, ensuring that repairs respect the original craftsmanship.

Creating a Digital Twin

  • Facility Management: Digital twins created from laser scans allow for efficient management of building operations, maintenance, and lifecycle planning.
  • Simulation and Analysis: Enables simulation of real-world conditions, helping facility managers and engineers analyze potential changes and interventions.

Calculating Volumes and Deformation Analysis

  • Material Estimates: Accurate volume calculations help in estimating materials, which is crucial for budgeting and procurement.
  • Structural Assessments: Deformation analysis can highlight structural changes over time, providing insights into the durability and integrity of the structure.

Virtual Design and Construction

  • Enhanced Planning: Virtual design tools integrate laser scanning data to improve the overall design process, allowing for a more dynamic construction planning experience.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Facilitates better communication with stakeholders by providing realistic visualizations of proposed projects.

As-built laser scanning is not just a tool but a transformational process that impacts all stages of a building's lifecycle, from initial construction to ongoing management and eventual renovation or expansion. Its ability to provide precise, reliable data quickly and non-intrusively makes it an indispensable asset in the modern construction and facilities management landscapes.

Contact us today to get in touch with 3D laser scanning experts with an excellent track record for customer satisfaction!

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3D Laser Scanning FAQ for As Built Documentation

What is 3D laser scanning used for in as-built documentation

3D laser scanning is utilized to capture detailed, precise measurements of a building or structure as it exists upon project completion. This data is crucial for creating as-built drawings, which reflect the final constructed state, including any modifications made during the construction process.

How accurate is 3D laser scanning for as-built documentation?

3D laser scanning provides millimeter-level accuracy, making it highly reliable for capturing detailed geometrical data of complex environments. This level of precision is essential for ensuring that as-built documentation is accurate and trustworthy.

Can 3D laser scanning be used for both interior and exterior documentation?

Yes, 3D laser scanning is versatile enough to be used for documenting both the interior and exterior of buildings. It efficiently captures comprehensive data from all visible surfaces, regardless of whether they are inside or outside.

How does 3D laser scanning streamline the as-built documentation process?

3D laser scanning streamlines the as-built documentation process by significantly reducing the time required for data collection and increasing the accuracy of the data captured. This leads to faster creation of detailed drawings and models, helping to speed up project delivery and reduce the risk of errors.

What types of projects benefit most from 3D laser scanning for as-built documentation

Projects involving complex structures, historical renovations, infrastructure upgrades, and those requiring high levels of precision benefit immensely. Additionally, projects that undergo significant changes during construction or have intricate installations also see great advantages from using 3D scanning.

How is the data from a 3D laser scan typically represented?

The data from a 3D laser scan is usually processed into a point cloud, which can then be used to generate 2D CAD drawings, 3D BIM models, or other visual representations like virtual tours and detailed meshes, depending on the project requirements.

16+ Years Experience

Owner of Apex 3D Scanning Solutions, Dave Schaff

Dave Schaff

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