Digitizing AEC demolition workflows: SKANSKA and the Leica BLK2GO
The world never stops building. If you consider it, construction and development work are some of the oldest industries in the world – and while they’ve changed dramatically over centuries, even millennia, they’ve never stopped. SKANSKA, a company founded in Sweden in 1887 and now located in Poland, is one of the largest construction and development companies, with 38,000 employees and over 10,000 projects worldwide. One of the company’s key initiatives is sustainability within development – including demolition work to make way for new construction.
As a leader in the AEC industry, SKANSKA is constantly working with developers, whether in construction, demolition work, renovating large and small property clients, or planning for communities and businesses to better adapt to their growth and needs. With a forward-thinking approach to utilizing innovation and technology to improve the company’s workflows, SKANSKA, in an ever-changing world, is committed to finding solutions that boost efficiency and, further, the company's sustainability mission to be ethically responsible in construction practices for a greener planet.
And in a circular economy, the AEC industry will recycle building materials, equipment, and other potential waste during demolition and construction, which presents an opportunity to reuse materials from one project to another. Companies like SKANSKA that utilize digital technology in the construction and demolition planning phase can ensure that waste and extra materials are all accounted for and used.
That’s why SKANSKA was called in to begin demolition plans for a 23-story office building in Warsaw. They needed a building inventory to model the calculation of demolition works, and for such a large building, they needed a way to do it quickly. How companies like SKANSKA demolish and build is getting smarter by the day with new reality capture technology, and that’s where the Leica BLK2GO came in.
Taking building inventory with speed
Before you can tear down a building sustainably, you need a building inventory. Creating a BIM-based inventory and a 3D model of the building cataloging everything within it, including all surfaces and structures, allows a team to know the entire scope of the demolition. Because of BLK2GO's speed, size, and agility, the handheld scanner became the perfect choice for SKANSKA. The model needed to be created quickly, and SKANSKA needed to use it to plan demolition work, and especially to ensure quality.
SKANSKA had a tight deadline to meet, and a standard tripod-based scanner wouldn’t keep up with the pace of the job. However, what would’ve taken weeks to complete was done within two days by the BLK2GO.
“A new and interesting challenge had been set before us. We wanted to quickly and accurately perform a BIM-based inventory of a relatively large facility. A standard tripod-based scanner would not have allowed us to meet the order deadline,” said Dagmara Gołębiowska, BIM specialist at SKANSKA.
Learning to scan with the BLK2GO was straightforward and didn’t require lengthy training for SKANSKA employees; with some previous familiarity with the handheld scanner, they got to scanning the building after just ten minutes of training and a trial run.
"Using the BLK2GO scanner, the entire facility was scanned in two days. The speed of this process surprised me. The building has 23 floors above ground and three underground. This is probably the best solution for building inventory and, additionally, we get 360-degree pictures,” said Tomasz Seroka, Senior BIM Specialist at SKANSKA.
Scanning the building proved to be no issue with the BLK2GO; it was valuable for cost efficiency and tackling the task at hand with speed. In those two days, the entire building was scanned, point clouds were registered, and 360-degree photographs were all captured by the BLK2GO. “The BLK2GO handheld scanner proved to be an exceptionally good device, tailored to our needs and accelerated our work incomparably. The speed of scanning is its greatest advantage, and the accuracy is just right for inventory,” Gołębiowska said.
The SKANSKA team assigned to surveying the concrete building scanned each floor, taking inventory of the building and comparing the data from the BLK2GO with the previous partial documentation of the existing building state. From there, the team created a 3D model planning the demolition work by calculating the classification and amount of demolition to be completed.
After the team scanned with the BLK2GO and captured the necessary point clouds, 360-degree photos, and measurements of each space, SKANSKA processed the data in Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS, producing a registered dataset of the entire building. From there, the team used Leica Cyclone PUBLISHER Pro to publish the building's point cloud results for the team. With Leica TruView Digital Reality Viewer, SKANSKA rendered the dataset in VR for collaboration needs and as an easy, quick reference of the project to all within the project's ecosystem. Then, with Leica CloudWorx for Revit, a point cloud plug-in, the team created a BIM model of the existing building directly within Revit.
"With the comprehensive software solutions and the support from the Leica Geosystems team along with Autodesk’s Revit, Navisworks Manage, Docs, and ReCap , we were able to accurately present visuals for the whole team at SKANSKA to work with, reference, and eventually construct and demolish from," said Gołębiowska.
Using software deliverables, the team could begin demolition, ensuring everyone was on the same page about the measurements, placement of existing structures, materials, and orientation of the different spaces and rooms of the 23-story building. Accounting for all the work that needed to be accomplished, the SKANSKA team trusted Leica Geosystems software results and then moved on to the construction and demolition phase.
Creating fast digital demolition workflows
SKANSKA, with the BLK2GO's speed, was able to reduce costs and save a considerable amount of time, as scanning projects of this scale typically ranges from one to two weeks instead of two days. The BLK2GO gave SKANSKA the competitive edge to work quickly and sustainably with a much faster workflow that advances their use of reality capture for demolition purposes.
By digitizing their demolition workflow with the BLK2GO, SKANSKA sped up the overall project timeline and gave the company a path forward to increase its sustainability practices. Utilizing robust Leica Geosystems software along with third-party programs, the team at SKANSKA was able to create the datasets and models for the planned demolition of the 23- story building in a fraction of the usual time.
“Determining the demolition work for the building was a matter of clearing each stage of the project, and with the BLK2GO and Leica Geosystems software, we were able to accomplish the work very quickly and bring this project to completion,” said Seroka. As the company continues its practice of building and demolishing responsibly using digital tools, technology like the BLK2GO furthers transparent, efficient, and fluid workflows that bring data together quickly and enable teams to work effectively, all while holding to SKANSKA's sustainability mission.