Everything You Need to Know About Scan to BIM: Complete Guide 2024

Phil Lisher, BIM Project Manager

Meet Our Team Expert in BIM surveys

Phil Lisher, our esteemed BIM Project Manager, spearheads a diverse array of projects. His expertise ranges from intricate commercial endeavours to large-scale industrial setups like factories and plant rooms. Phil’s approach demystifies the complexities of BIM Surveys, guiding clients in an informative way to successful project completion.

BIM in Numbers:

While other emerging trends such as AI and digital twins are gaining popularity, the use of BIM is a major focus for the property industry in the coming years:

What is Scan to BIM?

In the ever-evolving world of construction and design, Scan to BIM has emerged as a revolutionary methodology, bridging the gap between the physical and digital realms. At its core, Scan to BIM services involve the process of digitally capturing a site or an existing building using a 3D laser scanner. This process generates a detailed digital representation referred to as a ‘point cloud‘. This point cloud data then becomes the foundation for a highly advanced digital approach known as Building Information Modeling (BIM).

What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is more than just an elaborate 3D modelling process. It is a comprehensive approach to building design and construction, which encompasses not only the physical but also the intrinsic properties of a building project (UK BIM Framework – BIM Standards, Guides & Resources). BIM integrates various elements of construction design and documentation, making it an essential tool for architects, engineers, and construction professionals. It facilitates a more collaborative environment and enables stakeholders to visualise the project in a shared and highly detailed digital space.

Who Needs BIM Surveys?

BIM Surveys are used across various sectors of the construction industry. It is particularly beneficial for:

  • Architects and designers for creating accurate and detailed designs.
  • Structural and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) engineers for coordination and clash detection.
  • Contractors and builders for efficient construction management.
  • Facility managers for post-construction management and maintenance.

Boiler Room 3D MEP Model

Process Explained: From 3D Laser Scanners to Point Clouds to BIM Models

The process of Point Clouds to BIM can be outlined in the following steps:

  • Data Capture: A 3D laser scanner is used for BIM surveys to capture the physical attributes of the construction site or building. This scanner rapidly collects data points from the surfaces within its range.
  • Point Cloud Creation: The collected data points are then compiled to create a ‘point cloud’, which forms a detailed 3D representation of the site. Point cloud data is processed and converted into a format that can be integrated with BIM software.
  • Model Development: Using this processed data, a detailed BIM model is developed. This model includes not just physical dimensions but also relevant information like material specifications, cost estimations, and project timelines.
  • Analysis and Implementation: Finally, the BIM model is used for various analyses, such as structural analysis, energy efficiency modelling, and more. It then serves as the blueprint for the actual construction or renovation work.

Showcasing Our BIM Surveys Successes

Red Laser’s portfolio includes hundreds of Scan to BIM projects and 3D models delivered to esteemed clients, encompassing factories, plant rooms, estates, and landmarks like the Barbican.

Key Benefits of BIM Surveys:

Royal Berkshire Hospital 3D Model LOD3/4

Enhanced Accuracy and Coordination

  • Foster seamless integration across trades and disciplines.
  • Achieve comprehensive designs and mitigate construction issues.
  • Utilise a unified 3D view for precise verification and conflict resolution, leading to cost-effective estimations.

Risk and Cost Reduction

  • Stay on schedule and budget with BIM’s precision in cost estimation.
  • Anticipate and address potential project hurdles, conserving resources.
  • Timely clash detection can save significant portions of contract values.

Time-saving, Productivity, and Efficiency

  • Facilitate collaboration with a unified virtual model accessible to all stakeholders.
  • Generate 2D drawings and schedules directly from 3D models.
  • Simulate various design and construction scenarios for optimal outcomes.


Employ digital modelling to reduce waste and develop eco-friendly construction methods.

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

Leverage an integrated model for accessible, team-wide collaboration.

Royal Berkshire Hospital LOD3/4

Applications of BIM Surveys Across Construction Phases:

  • Pre-Construction: Site analysis, cost estimation, design-model discrepancy resolution, risk mitigation.
  • During Construction: Progress monitoring, MEP service placement, early error detection, RFI reduction.
  • Post-Construction: Digital twin creation, record-keeping for future projects, facility management, compliance adherence.

How Red Laser Team Can Help You with your Scan to BIM project

At Red Laser, we understand the critical importance of accurate and efficient planning in construction projects. Our team specialises in providing top-notch Scan to BIM services, ensuring your project’s success from the get-go. Here’s how we can assist:

  • Expert 3D Scanning: Using 3D laser scanners, we capture your site or building with utmost precision.
  • Advanced Point Cloud to BIM Processing: Our team employs cutting-edge software and technologies to process point cloud data, transforming it into comprehensive BIM models.
  • Customised Scan to BIM Services: We don’t just offer generic solutions; our BIM surveys and models are tailored to meet the specific needs of your project, ensuring all your requirements are meticulously addressed.
  • Collaborative Approach: We work closely with all stakeholders, fostering a collaborative environment to ensure seamless integration of our services with your project’s workflow.
  • Ongoing Support and Consultation: Red Laser doesn’t just deliver a Scan to Bim service; we partner with you throughout your project, offering expert advice and support to tackle any challenges that arise.

Contact the Team!

Enquire about our measured building survey services and receive highly accurate and reliable as-built 3D models for your construction project. Contact us now and book in your service!



We aim to reply within 10 minutes

    If you know exactly what services you require and/or want to attach files,
    please fill out full form here. T&Cs apply.*

    About Red Laser Scanning

    Red Laser Scanning specialises in 3D Laser Scanning services for architects, interior designers, construction professionals and contractors all across UK. Our experienced team is here to deliver a quality service which is quick, efficient and reliable for your project needs.

    Case Studies
Red Laser Scanning, a laser scanner survey was commissioned to meticulously document the students' accommodation within this historic edifice, producing architectural CAD drawings at a scale of 1:50
    Measured Building Survey of The Iconic Trinity College Clock Building in Cambridge
By combining the detailed drawings at a scale of 1:20 with High-Resolution Orthophotos, we achieved an accurate representation of the exposed stonework, textured with a rectified photo collage.
    Measured Building Survey for Restoration of the Paradise Court, University of Chichester
Our measured building survey company completes measured building survey service for river view apartments for architectural elevations in London.
    Measured building survey to produce Architectural elevations for re-cladding purposes