Apex Surveys – Scan to BIM

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Apex Surveys offer a great range of BIM and surveying services. Managing Director Philip Mulreid gives us an overview of their BIM services and tells us about their work and the advantages their services offer clients.

Apex Surveys is a chartered surveying and mapping company with 27 years’ experience, operating across the industry sectors. The company head office is located at Unit 78, Dunboyne Business Park, Dunboyne, County Meath. The Apex BIM Department is one of the longest established for an Irish survey company and specialises in providing high-precision BIM surveys and related services.

“We have been involved in projects across many sectors, including work on prestigious commercial office projects, heritage buildings, underground utilities, and pharmaceutical plants,” Philip tells us.

High Demand for Apex’s Services and Accurate Surveys

From BIMIreland.ie interviews it is known that there is a high demand for BIM services and skills. Philip says, “Demand has been very high for our BIM services over the past year. We have an in-house specialist BIM Department with a large team working on BIM fulltime out on site and in the office.”

Apex Surveys are dedicated to using the best equipment to achieve the most accurate BIM surveys. “We use top of the range scanners on all of our work. We have great Quality Assurance. With our scanning, we provide a great level of detail which is modelled directly from the Point Cloud and this is useful to our clients. There is an advantage with Point Cloud that you don’t have to go out on site looking for more information; the information is already there and ready to be modelled. The Point Cloud is also a good document of what existed prior to construction. This has been useful on the office projects we have worked on across the country.”

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How Apex Surveys Capture Data

A Building Information Model by Apex often contains survey data obtained from multiple platforms including Terrestrial Laser Scanner, Drone, Total Stations and GPS.

Building and MEP surveys are predominantly carried out using Laser Scanner which provides 100% coverage of a building and a permanent record of the building at the time of the survey.

The resulting Point Cloud data is registered, processed and modelled in specialist software to produce the required BIM output. Images captured from the scanner can also be merged with the Point Cloud to provide photorealistic first-person visualisations, renderings, and virtual walkthroughs while working as a dimension tool for remote measurements.

Apex Surveys utilise state of the art drone technology to access difficult or unsafe areas such as roofs, confined spaces, towers and bridges. Various sensors can be mounted on the platform such as a high-resolution camera, infra-red sensors and a video recorder. Not only is the drone safer in these cases, it also reduces time and costs on site.

Apex’s BIM Department BIM Outputs

The outputs from the BIM Department over the past few years have encompassed models of Neoclassical, Georgian, Victorian and Modernist buildings to name a few. Bridges, quay walls, jetties and pharmaceutical plants are also in the Apex portfolio.

BIM Topographic Surveys, which can exist standalone or as part of an overall site plan can range from a low-definition DTM (Digital Terrain Model) to a fully modelled urban environment including footpaths, utility service covers, road markings and street furniture.

Apex also incorporates Underground Utility Surveys into BIM. Underground Utility Mapping undertaken with radiodetection and GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) provide a clear picture of underground utility infrastructure. Documenting pipes and ducts in a 3D model space has many advantages over 2D CAD such as enabling better visualisation and clash detection.

Traditionally the topographic, building and utility drawings were delivered independent of each other, perhaps one overlaid on the other. Apex have invested considerably in R&D in these areas and have developed a framework for an integrated model containing all of these elements. The benefits of such a model are endless – an interconnected BIM which contains accurately recorded spatial data above and below ground.

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