3D laser scan of a building showing the dots for each scan location.
Written by Nancy Matus

Start Designing Remodels Faster & with More Accuracy

How do you start designing remodels?

Project Challenge

Nadel Architecture + Planning partners with retail investors to create destination retail properties with engaging amenities. Beginning an exterior remodel for a Ventura County retail mall, they looked at a new solution for a common problem, lack of as-built documentation. With hard-to-reach measurements, they wanted to minimize the risk of inaccuracies and multiple site trips typically required to get the high level of documentation projects require.

Project Goals

The standard approach to obtaining accurate information would require Nadel Architecture to send a team out to gather site measurements using handheld lasers, measuring tapes, cameras, and note pads. The captured details would be brought back to the office for creating the existing condition 3D model in Autodesk Revit and the new design would begin. Since the new design will be adding new architecture on top of the existing building, getting the as-built details right is a high priority.


Nadel Architecture decided to utilize Kelar Pacific project services to take 3D laser scans of all building exteriors and roofs. The terrestrial LiDAR scans captured 3D details in a point cloud along with a photographic color background. The individual scans were stitched together to create a unified point cloud for viewing and measuring in Autodesk ReCap Pro. Now the design team could view the 360′ HDR images and the point cloud as a background in their Revit project on their desktop.

image of Faro S350 3D laser Scanner

3D Scanners can capture details down to millimeter accuracy for measuring as-built conditions.

Business Outcomes

The 3D laser scanning process proved more efficient on many levels. The manual process takes longer, requires more people, and includes risks associated with traversing variable surfaces. By continuously referring to the model, Nadel Architecture reduced redundant site visits for missed measurements saving time and expense. Overall, using a 3D scan service delivered lower cost on field verification, an increase in as-built accuracy, and a more reliable method to build their Revit as-built model.


“I had no idea that this could be so easy” – David Anderson, Nadel Partner and Studio Director. Nadel Architecture not only discovered the benefit of using 3D laser scans for creating the existing condition base model, but they were also able to keep their team focused on higher value tasks. Through the partnership with Kelar Pacific to use new processes and Autodesk Software, Nadel Architecture is increasing the value for their clients and contractors.

Service delivered – June 2020