3 Takeaways: How Corgan Drives Construction Efficiency at LAX

When we began working on a $1.6 billion aviation project at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), our mission at Corgan was to integrate leading technology into the construction workflow to ensure efficiencies in project delivery across the five-y

Our team was seeking a SMART device that would help us gain efficiencies in virtual documentation, field validation, and collaboration over the duration of the LAX project.

We settled on the Matterport Pro 2 Camera that combines 4K capture resolution and structured light to capture a 360-degree scan. The camera captures photographic information and overlays that on the geometric information to get a 3D model that is both spatially accurate and has an incredible resolution to see a lot of detail.

We selected Matterport over traditional laser scanners based on affordability, speed, and ease of use. If you are interested in learning more about our case studies and how we are applying BIM technologies at the LAX project using Matterport and Autodesk, you can check the recording of our on-demand webinar.

In the webinar, we'll dive deeper into our scanning process, sharing visuals and best practices. For now, I'll leave you with our top three takeaways:

1. Gain Efficiency by Scanning As-Built Conditions before Design Begins

One of the largest hurdles to overcome on a new project is capturing the existing conditions to begin the design phase. Many times we need to capture as-built information for future tenants for validation. For the first phase of our LAX project, a utility tunnel ~575 feet long and 18,000 square feet, we scanned existing conditions to gather all of the data at one time, capture measurements off that geometric information, and share it with the project team.

We captured the data in ~46 scans in less than an hour. Once we completed the scanning process, we uploaded the project to the cloud for processing. 7.5 hours later, we received the point cloud files and a digital clone of the utility tunnel.

Using the Matterport Pro 2 camera, we eliminated the reliance on measuring tapes and lasers, the expense of having the project professionally scanned, manual production of point clouds, and the need for return site visits. We validated that the space built aligned with our design and construction models, overlaying point clouds with design models using Autodesk tools, including Revit and Navisworks.

This video demonstrates how to manually place the point cloud. After inserting the point cloud, select an ideal, pronounced corner and place it in the inside corner of the project. Because there are no columns in the tunnel and our 0,0 location was not in this area, we placed the point cloud manually. Alternatively, Recap allows you to set the 0,0 location.

2. Capture Key Milestones and Create Creating Virtual Punch Lists

Using Mattertags, we created a color-coding tagging system to identify issues in our 3D scans and collaborate more rapidly throughout the construction lifecycle. With one link, we had the ability to share situational context and coordinate punch lists with the contractor, the design team, and the owner. This eliminated repeat field visits and ensured we were on the same page, resolving outstanding issues.

Epoxy Injection

In this example of the utility tunnel at LAX, we identified a crack. The structural engineer came up with an Epoxy injection fix, and we tagged the issue orange once complete. With the high-resolution scan, the structural team could zoom in and ensure the injection fix was completed correctly without a return site visit.

3. Document Progress and Share 3D Records with Owners for Facility Management

The LAX project was over 1 million square feet, multiple levels, and spans a five-year duration. Therefore, we needed to determine the best method to document a long-term project with so much square footage and volume.

As you can see from the digital clone above, we found 3D scanning for multi-level structure and project progression was more valuable and accurate than 2D photos.

We selected the Matterport based on speed and ease of use, so we could onboard new team members quickly over the course of the five-year project. When tackling the concourse, we scanned it multiple times and had two team members assume scanning duties with a minimal learning curve.

Using the Matterport system, we documented the construction process and shared a 3D record of milestones along the way. This provided a context of project progression without repeat site visits. Owners can also reference 3D visuals for long-term facility management purposes or share the construction progress with their team members.

The image below provides a closer look at our progression scanning. On the left, is our concourse scan from August. On the right, is the plumbing installation four weeks later.

Milestone August
Milestone September

This documentation is useful for sharing visuals of infrastructure before the walls were closed, which is particularly helpful to contractors and facility management professionals.

If you are interested in learning more about the LAX case studies, I hope you’ll check out our on-demand webinar. We will also share a data analysis on the time to scan, as well as a cost comparison of staffing an in-house scanning team vs. contracting a professional scanner. In a nutshell, we found that the savings of scanning in-house practically pays for the camera itself!

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