Journal Article

Reality capture of buildings using 3D laser scanners


The urgent need to improve performance in the construction industry has led to the adoption of many innovative technologies. 3D laser scanners are amongst the leading technologies being used to capture and process assets or construction project data for use in various applications. Due to its nascent nature, many questions are still unanswered about 3D laser scanning, which in turn contribute to the slow adaptation of the technology. Some of these include the role of 3D laser scanners in capturing and processing raw construction project data. How accurate are the 3D laser scanner or point cloud data? How does laser scanning fit with other wider emerging technologies such as building information modeling (BIM)? This study adopts a proof-of-concept approach, which in addition to answering the aforementioned questions, illustrates the application of the technology in practice. The study finds that the quality of the data, commonly referred to as point cloud data, is still a major issue as it depends on the distance between the target object and 3D laser scanner’s station. Additionally, the quality of the data is still very dependent on data file sizes and the computational power of the processing machine. Lastly, the connection between laser scanning and BIM approaches is still weak as what can be done with a point cloud data model in a BIM environment is still very limited. The aforementioned findings reinforce existing views on the use of 3D laser scanners in capturing and processing construction project data.

Attached files


Almukhtar, Avar
Saeed, Zaid O.
Abanda, Henry
Tah, Joseph H.M.

Oxford Brookes departments

School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-03-19

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Related resources

This RADAR resource is Identical to Reality capture of buildings using 3D laser scanners


  • Owner: Joseph Ripp
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live
  • Views (since Sept 2022): 185