Defining industry standards for 3D laser scanning applications in healthcare facilities.

3D laser scanning applications in the sterile environment of a hospital is a process that requires following strict infection control procedures.

At an Indiana hospital project in 2013, PrecisionPoint devised many of the guidelines and processes that are now industry standards for scanning in active healthcare facilities.

Infection control procedures are usually initiated in hospital areas where patient or operating rooms are located. They are also required in rooms housing assets like sterilization units. The procedures involved enclosing our work space within floor-to-ceiling containment carts prior to removing ceiling tiles to access the plenum and begin scanning. We dress our PPI professionals in surgical garb as well.

The overall objective is to capture the 3D scans without letting any contaminant from the plenum space or our clothing drop into sterile environments.

Working in a live environment also presents its own set of challenges. PPI has project managers who are skillful at working with hospital staff to schedule scanning time windows in ways that minimize disruption.

Healthcare Client Snapshot

Client: Major East Coast Children’s Hospital

Project: Facility needed updated domestic hot/cold water lines and sewer lines. Water mains that were coming into the building were decades old and leaking.

Problem: Nearly all the pipes involved existed above ceiling tiles in the plenum space. In order to engineer the new system, the renovation team needed to know:

  • Where the pipes were physically located in the existing pipe system.
  • Sizes of the various pipes
  • Locations and types of valves, fittings, etc.

The engineer responsible for the design was planning to open ceiling tiles and reach in with a measuring tape to take basic reference measurements. Unfortunately, this method could only guarantee the hospital an accuracy of +/- four feet.  The hospital’s facility department knew this was too wide a margin of error.

3D scan to bim Healthcare PrecisionPointSolution: PrecisionPoint was called in to laser scan the plenum spaces to more accurately map the locations and sizes of water pipes. The final deliverable was a BIM model of these spaces with a degree of accuracy within +/- a quarter of an inch.

Ancillary Benefits: More than just the pipes were picked up during scanning—everything else in the plenum spaces was also digitally captured. As a result, the hospital has point cloud data to complete as-built structural and architectural models of the portions of the building that were scanned. Down the line, when the facility is ready for an HVAC renovation, for example, they will already know where the ducts are. Moving forward, the hospital’s facility department will be using new 3D scans to create an as-built BIM of the entire building, one renovation project at a time.

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