BAM Ireland delivering 3D laser scanning in partnership with Leica Geosystems


Operating since 1958, and ranking as one of the largest construction multinational in the country, BAM is one of the leaders in civil engineering and building construction delivery in Ireland. With projects ongoing in Northern Ireland, the UK and the Middle East as well as here at home, the company offers a full spectrum of construction activities.

Their service encompasses every phase of the construction process; from development, design and construction to operation and maintenance. In recent years  BAM developed a strong Virtual Design & Construction team and are extremely well regarded within the area of lifecycle BIM delivery.

BAM Ireland has been engaged in point cloud surveys for a number of years but in the last 12 months the frequency of need for this kind of data capture had grown exponentially. The natural progression was for BAM to procure their own laser scanner capable of meeting the diverse needs of the business.

When considering the ROI on the capital investment of purchasing a laser scanner, they carried out an exercise in forecasting all long-term possible uses with this technology for the business as a whole, therefore taking into consideration the longevity of the purchase.

Where the buildings and FM parts of the business have a requirement for laser scanning at relatively short ranges (<30m) but with a high frequency, circa 40-60/day; the Civils division require the ranges (distances) to feature longer with a lower frequency of scanning.  Also other head-office departments were looking for geo-referenced high definition imagery.

Regardless of distance, frequency and colour, all of the different business units have a requirement for reliable, stable and accurate measurement data. Once these requirements, in their totality, were defined, BAM went to market to assess the different suppliers and laser scanners available.

Following several months of trials and sample projects, they decided on Leica Geosystems as a supplier of choice through their Irish reseller Survey Instrument Services. The Leica ScanStationP40 was the most suitable laser scanner to satisfy the company’s diverse needs. BIM and its collaborative approach has already been widely embraced by BAM Ireland and their supply chain to successfully deliver the first independently certified Level 2 projects in Ireland under the Schools Bundle 4 Public Private Partnership’s (PPP’s).

One of the principal challenges to the successful delivery of a Level 2 BIM project is the delivery of a validated-as-built model for the Facilities Management operation.  It is largely understood that High Definition Laser scanning is the perfect tool for the efficient and accurate validation of as-installed data. With HDS scan data, the efficiency when comparing as installed geometry to install models or design models cannot be underestimated.

BAM projects enjoy the many benefits associated with cloud applications. By being able to facilitate the availability of HDS scan data from the Leica ScanStationP40 through our cloud technical solutions, all members of the project team can utilise the captured point cloud data to assist in their own validation of work. This is especially beneficial when dealing with existing structures or heritage buildings on some of their projects.

 Juraj Knotek, Architect and BIM Specialist at BAM Ireland

Juraj Knotek, Architect and BIM Specialist at BAM Ireland

Key features of the Leica ScanStation P40

The key features of the Leica ScanStation P40 have enabled BAM to manage the generation of reliable as-built data like never before.

Rapid scanning throughout the construction phase of the project was important to their methodology.  Moving quickly though the site using the traverse feature minimised the quantity of control required without reducing survey control tolerances and improving registration processing times. The resulting point clouds have been used internally and provided to their supply chain to help ensure the most accurate as build documentation. 

Delivering independently verified projects, on schedule and on budget is the goal of all construction companies.  As part of BAM’s larger BIM tool-box, the addition of the Leica ScanStation P40 HDS scanner has proven to be invaluable to ensure that they reach this goal.

“At all phases of a construction project we have found the Leica ScanStation P40 has consistently added value, and to date has returned dividends where there has been volumetric and validation challenges”, explains Paul Brennan, Virtual Design and Construction Manager, BAM Ireland.   “As we further develop our workflows and see new opportunities for laser scanning in construction, we are confident that we have invested in a future proof surveying instrument and support network with our partners at Leica Geosystems”.

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