Scan to BIM Role in Sports Stadia Design
Sports spectators typically consist of loud crowds, with high adrenaline, indulging in copious consumption of food and drink and enjoying great views to thrilling sports matches. The venues for these spectacles require careful planning and intelligent design and usually improvement or scaling up to cater for greater numbers with more comfort. As the BIM (Building Information Modelling) process becomes more popular in the AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) industry, the Scan to BIM course of action plays an important role in the update and re-design of sports stadia across the world.
So, what is Scan to BIM?
Scan to BIM is a process which uses the latest technology to convert point cloud data to detailed 3D BIM models. It begins with the scanning of a physical space or site by a 3D laser scanner. The resulting scan(s) are used to develop a precise digital representation of the space, which can then be utilised to plan, design, assess or evaluate the space. Scan to BIM is also widely known as point cloud to BIM.
A point cloud is a large group (sometimes millions) of data points in space, or a 3D coordinate system, typically created by 3D scanners. The scanners measure many points on objects’ surfaces or building surfaces, creating a cloud of points or a point cloud. Point clouds record surfaces in great detail, reducing the need for repeated site visits. Point clouds can help create 3D CAD models of manufactured parts in Revit and can be used for quality checks, visualisation, animation and rendering. Using point clouds, BIM models can be created, hence the term ‘point cloud to BIM’ or Scan to BIM.
Scan to BIM can be used by MEP designers, MEP contractors, consulting engineers and architects. The data in a Scan to BIM model can be exported or imported by surveying equipment in a format that it understands. The data can then be used to create as-built conditions or used for field verifications.
When Scan to BIM is used in sports stadia, minute details are extracted from point clouds. The interior and exterior of a football stadium can be scanned, allowing section cuts of seating areas and conference centres. The precise details gathered have a significant impact on the resulting efficiency and accuracy of the subsequently generated BIM model, contributing to an efficient stadium design. A brief look at the Scan to BIM process shows how.
Scan to BIM Process
The Scan to BIM procedure typically follows five steps:
5. Additional Information
The stadium site sets up 3D survey control markers, which are coordinated before the scanning takes place. These markers allow accurate tracking of the site data.
During this step, 3D laser scanners connect to 3D survey control markers. Point cloud data is developed with detailed stadium site data from scanners, aerial imagery, drones, etc. and fed into the BIM environment for stadium designers.
Collected point cloud data is downloaded and processed at different intervals, then checked against the survey control data at the stadium site for inconsistencies.
Stadium site data is relayed to modelers, who create a 3D model to represent the data of the stadium site. This model is shared between all project stakeholders to minimise or eliminate rework, as it contains large amounts of data and can be updated easily.
All additional necessary information is added to the BIM model.
Scan to BIM Benefits
The practice of Scan to BIM has several benefits, such as:
• Speed – 3D laser scanning enables fast collection of data at stadia sites
• Accuracy – amassing millions of measurable data points enables pinpoint accuracy of stadia site information
• Consistency – laser scanners ensure fast, accurate data, every time, at any stadium location
• Shareable Data – collected data can be measured, shared between the stadium project stakeholders
• Easy Retrofitting – complex MEP installations in retrofitting projects of old stadia are made easy due to data captured over the full measured range
• Transparency, Communication, Collaboration – stadium project stakeholders can access, use, modify, communicate and collaborate easily
• Reliability, Quality Assurance – the BIM model facilitates clash detection and elimination
• Visualisation – designers can visualise more details in BIM, such as sunlight on different parts of a stadium, during different seasons and different hours
• Sustainability – stadia with sustainable design can be designed through this method, calculating stadium energy requirements and performance
• Saving Costs – early detection and rectification of errors helps save rework and overall costs
Generally, Revit is a preferred software platform to create BIM models. As well as the advantages of the Scan to BIM process mentioned above, software benefits include:
1. Creating 2D drawings from 3D point cloud data
2. Inbuilt tools to create elements such as walls, columns, pipes, etc.
3. Easy renovation of older stadia
4. Created BIM models have high accuracy levels from point cloud data feeds
5. Efficient clash detection and clash eradication
Stadia Design Stages
Design stages for stadia generally follow the stages of architectural design. They include:
Surveys of the stadium site are taken, and ground conditions are studied and analysed.
Design changes and details, such as materials, the room types, ceiling heights, stairs and elevators, are determined.
The stadium structure is reviewed, with initial calculations, and systems are integrated. Design criteria, such as mechanical systems design and crowd modelling, are tested.
Detailed calculations are completed, equipment is selected, including lights, cooling units, fans, sanitaryware, kitchen equipment. Interior designers, kitchen operators, fire engineers, ICT specialists and broadcast specialists provide input and ensure local codes and standards are met.
Issue for Construction
Specification of materials, equipment and finishes are determined. Detailed drawings are completed.
Once stadia are re-designed through Scan to BIM, it is worth knowing how the process is applied. The main applications of Scan to BIM services in the construction of sports stadia are:
• Creation of as-built BIM models for retrofit, refurbishment and renovation of existing sports stadia
• Creation of as-built BIM models for stadia MEP services that alert stakeholders to clash detection early on, to avoid costly rework
• Improved BIM models due to accurate point cloud data
• Fast determination of true dimensions
So, how successful has this process been in the real world?
Sports Stadia Designed with Scan to BIM
The following stadium projects used Scan to BIM technology to improve speed, quality, efficiency and reduce the cost of construction:
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles – laser scanning was used to determine current seating and aisle ways for new seating requirements, to show existing structural elements and MEP services for the 56,000-seat baseball stadium
Camp Nou Stadium, Barcelona – 3D camera scans were used to help renovate a 60-year-old stadium, with an upgrade of Wi-Fi technology, improvements in VIP hospitality services and a projected increase of 6,000 seats. An underground parking area to improve access for fans and a roof are to be installed at the stadium.
College Football Stadium, South Bend, Indiana – 3D laser scans located underground utilities over 160,000 square feet at a college football stadium, showing active conduit, water and sanitary sewer lines inside the stadium concourse. CAD engineers used the point cloud data to bolster the 2D utility site plans. Additional structural and architectural features gathered in the scan data can be used for other projects in the same space.
As more stadia globally are changing their design for growth or comfort or new uses, moving in the direction of a Scan to BIM construction process is becoming popular. With the wealth of affordable, experienced technical talent available overseas, outsourcing Scan to BIM services presents several advantages, namely:
• Well-qualified technicians easily convert point cloud data into data-rich BIM models from surveyed data images and point clouds.
• Licensed architects and certified scan technicians deliver high-quality as-built surveys.
• Delivery of accurate Scan to BIM services help design teams make quick decisions.
• Delivery of precise build-cost estimates reduce errors and results in significant cost savings.
Before the evolution of BIM processes and BIM modelling, the design and construction of sports stadia required much cumbersome documentation, was lengthy and involved high costs. Using the Scan to BIM process, every aspect of a stadium can be represented in a single digital view, allowing project teams to communicate and collaborate with significantly greater effect and efficiency, resulting in the construction of beautiful and technically sound sports stadia that stay within budget, especially with the attractive option of outsourcing these services.