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Architect Remotely Redesigns Condo

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

A diverse team employs 3d modeling to enable cross continental collaboration.

We received a call inquiring if our 3d scanners could capture accurate measurements for an architect in Europe. They wanted as-built floor plans in metric units and a 3d Revit model so the architect could get started on a redesign without having to fly to Miami.

They called us because the original developer's 1995 floor plan had a few measurements, rounded to the nearest foot. While great for imagining a renovation, this "schematic" information is not reliable for actually getting the job done. Since starting in this business at the end of 2017, we've discovered that most floor plans are incorrect (unless a 3d scanner was used to document a project after it was built, assuming no renovations were made).


The amount of information we are able to gather today is enormous. Curved walls, sloped floors, sagging ceilings and other details are now exposed for everyone to see. Our equipment is highly accurate to +/-3mm or 1/8".

If our plans were to include all of the data captured in a scan, they would be impossible to read. So by default, we include measurements that an architect might want in order to decide which walls to remove, which rooms to expand and ceilings to heighten. Varied wall thicknesses show which ones might be load bearing. In the detail below, note the increasing slope on the balcony outside the master bedroom (up to 7cm or 2.75") to allow rainwater to drain away from the sliding glass door.

Our 3D scanning allows output of exact measurements in either metric or imperial units. This helps suppliers in Indonesia working with architects in Germany can coordinate with clients in Miami Beach without fear of someone miscalculating a conversion from inches to centimeters. Even in the U.S., many contractors and subcontractors are from metric countries so democratizing measurements works locally too.

Condominium projects present special challenges with making all equipment easily accessible (while hiding it at the same time), managing noise by soundproofing surfaces and at the same time, maximizing living space. This is only possible with accurate as-built measurements.


Luxury oceanfront condominiums generally have a lot of windows and this project was no exception. With three bedrooms and other areas in a 1,900-sqft space, there are also a lot of doors. Our scans picked up all of them and inventoried each one inside the 3d Revit model.

How many different sizes of window openings do you have? How thick are the frames? What are the dimensions and thickness of each pane of glass?

How about doors? How many are glass? How many are wood? Are they all the same size and thickness? How many sliders are salvageable and how many do we have to replace?

With a complete as-built window and door schedule, you minimize the chance of human error in estimating, manufacturing or installation.

Is there anyone in the highly competitive window and door industry still working with hand measurements? What used to take days and weeks of labor now takes minutes and hours with 3d modeling.

Our raw scan data was used as a basis for building our 3d building information model (BIM) in Autodesk Revit. The RVT file was also output as an IFC, allowing for import into various other software programs like Sketchup, BIMx and others.

This condo project was scanned in a couple of hours and once that happens, there is no need to ever go back to the site until it's time to actually install. The 3D model can exist on a cell phone so there's no need to have blueprint tubes rolling around the back of your truck.

Any general contractor can tell you that renovating a high-end condominium is like a high stakes ballet dance. Access to the unit is strictly controlled, neighbors are only feet away, ready to film and share perceived violations with the board. Spaces are tight, requiring precision carpentry, rerouting electrical and plumbing has limitations unlike in a single family home. Your ability to navigate all of the above will determine if you are able to make a profit at the end of the job.

If we can help answer questions about how to get 3d scans, CAD/BIM files or precision floor plans into your workflow, please visit or call 561.866.4407.


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