“With BIMmTool, you can always measure details in the point cloud that you sometimes don’t pay attention to at first, and you get a good insight into the project, even if you haven’t been on site yet.

Shirin Unterberger, 

Shirin Unterberger represents the youngest generation at BM-WERNER GmbH, Austria. She shares her BIMmTool experiences through a recent project case study.

General experiences

How would you present BM-WERNER GmbH?

BM-WERNER GmbH is a planning office that started 34 years ago. The 11 employees are active in the following areas (primarily as general planners):

  • Historic Preservation
  • Renovation
  • Commercial construction
  • Public buildings
  • Residential construction

Could you please introduce yourself, your background, and your experience?

I graduated with a structural engineering specialization at the Krems Higher Technical School (HTL) in 2020. During that time, I was already drawing with Archicad. I was then allowed to attend the introductory Archicad course before starting work. I taught myself BIMmTool on a small project with the help of a YouTube video and “learning by doing.”

What is the usual company practice and workflow?

We do surveys for rebuilding, refurbishment, and reconstruction and record the original site for new buildings. We design the 3D model from the registered data.

How do you ensure that the model you deliver meets the client’s requirements?

We pay attention to the correctness of positioning, representation, and presentation of furnishings.

What do you typically deliver?

We regularly deliver floor plans, sections, elevations, and often a BIMx model.

How is your technical equipment?

We use Leica BLK360 for scanning.

We model in ArchiCAD 24-26 with BIMmTool, on Windows 11, with the help of 27-inch 4K Displays.

What challenges do you normally encounter when working with point clouds?

The laser scan is sometimes positioned incorrectly; therefore, it is difficult to set all measurement points accurately.
Loading the point cloud takes a long time.

How does BIMmTool support communication between stakeholders?

We are independent due to autonomous surveying of existing buildings/original site. We can extract much information from point clouds thanks to photo-like images.

What are the main benefits of BIMmTool?

With BIMmTool, you can always measure details in the point cloud that you sometimes don’t pay attention to at first, and you get a good insight into the project, even if you haven’t been on site yet.

What advice would you give to other companies starting to work with point clouds?

Name the point clouds in a logical order right from the survey.
Drag the Navigator window to the 2nd screen for more accessible work.
Have a separate layer for the survey points and one for the point cloud.
Adjust the layer settings in a way that allows changing the representations with one mouse click.
Create several model view options for displaying the point cloud in various situations. It shortens the loading time.
Drag the point cloud to the correct elevation before drawing.
Create keyboard shortcuts to simplify showing and hiding the Navigator or the Palette.

Would you give us some examples where the point cloud-based as-built documentation has revealed construction/planning errors?

We discovered some differences from the last inventory plan in a wholesale store.
In another project, the laser scan revealed that the building is 1.25m longer in reality than in the as-built plan.

Project case study

The Project:

Project name: Kastner Vienna North

Project type: Wholesale market,

Project location: Catastral municipality: Leopoldau

What were the client’s requirements?

  1. Create an inventory plan including all shelves.
  2. Modifications in the existing market:
    – a new fruit and vegetable area;
    – an extension of the freezer room;
    – demolition of two elevators;
    – new restrooms;
    – alteration of the customer area on the upper floor.
  3. Building extension:
    – a new expedition area on the ground floor;
    – offices on the upper floor.
  4. Exterior facilities

The client desired:
– an extension with a cantilevered upper floor;
– a new design of the facade of the existing building (in connection with the business or the surroundings)
→ result: a wooden front with the look of a barcode

How satisfied was the customer with the outcome?

The customer was very pleased with the results!

How do you convert the scans?

We first situate the scan points correctly on the tablet and pre-link them there. Then, if necessary, we edit the points again in Cyclone Register 360 (BLK Edition) and render the E57 files from this program.
Next, we import them into Archicad using the BIMmTool function and place them in the predetermined layer. We unlock the point cloud and adjust the elevation as desired. Then we set the layer where we want to store the measuring points. After that, we model the building.

How did the project progress? 

We sometimes had too few scan points. We imported the scan points after each day of surveying. As a result, the connections between the data of different surveying days were somewhat poorer. The cross-floor point clouds were also more difficult at the beginning due to the links in the stairway. The links in the stairway did not automatically adjust correctly, probably because there were too few scan points. Consequently, we had to check every stairway and every single connection very carefully.

What were the main challenges with the project?

The challenge of the project was the large scale and the setup, which required a lot of scans – and using the proper hardware accordingly.

How did BIMmTool help meet design, deadline, and budget challenges?

Since this was our first large project with BIMmTool, we see it as a training/exercise. The final result, despite the longer work, was as we wanted it to be.