School systems and their administrators continually seek to bring about the best learning environments for their communities. They are tasked with creating environments that enable high-quality instruction within budgets that are often stretched.
Adept administrators look to maximize their budgets, facility and asset utilization, and staffing efficiencies to yield the best possible learning outcomes. The ability to provide high-quality instruction is often impacted by decisions and activities across the school system. Organizational wins can often come from surprising places. Utilizing existing conditions modeling is one of these.
A school system in Florida turned to IMAGINiT Technologies and existing conditions modeling to increase efficiencies, and better understand their assets. Existing conditions modeling uses a small LiDAR scanning device to measure and capture data to create models that produce efficiencies that can be felt beyond the Facilities or Engineering Departments.
Each year the school drastically changes the usage patterns for its facilities in response to desired learning outcomes and class size. The administrators understood that getting the facilities usage wrong could drastically alter education initiatives, budgets, and overall effectiveness across the school system.
Perhaps it seems strange that a small LiDAR scanner that sits atop a tripod and spins could impact learning, but accuracy for the device is within a quarter of an inch and takes three minutes to complete the scan of a room. Previously this work would be carried out by two staff members who would go room by room with a tape measure in hand and a notebook.
Upon returning to the office, a staff person would need to transcribe the data and enter it manually. With an expected error rate of at least twice that of the scanner, and the excessive hours consumed in gathering and entering the data make this manual approach more than just antiquated. Wrongly entered data, which could cause a school to make poor facilities usage decisions, is also a risk administrators cannot afford.
LiDAR scanning makes it possible for one person to scan a room accurately in about 3 minutes. The cost savings per room is realized by the drastic reduction in man-hours. The speed and decreased costs are huge wins for the school’s Facilities Planning Department.
Additional efficiencies are possible because the data is run through the Point Cloud software for cleanup, removing any extraneous objects. It’s then imported into engineering design software creating a digital, identical twin of the facilities. The school can be certain that all of its facilities can be leveraged to meet each incoming school year’s needs with optimal learning environments.
Introducing a new technology to staff can be daunting. To ease the adaption of this solution, IMAGINiT has developed the BLK360 SmartStart Program” to help clients integrate this solution quickly and painlessly.
Jeff Bowers, IMAGINiT’s Director of Reality Capture Services led this two-day workshop, which delivered trained staff and usable data to launch the project. Day one of the training was completed in the field with staff learning how to set up for the scanner, scan rooms, and collect data.
On day two, the data collected was brought back to the office to process the data and create the digital twins of their facilities. “By the time it’s over, the facilities’ staff have foundational knowledge to continue working in a productive way. All information gained through training is usable data,” Bowers shared.
This technology and approach to existing conditions mapping will allow the school to gather accurate and timely data each year. The administrators will continually have the best possible understanding of their facilities and assets, can make better decisions across the board, and eliminate errors that could impact budgets. The result is a school system that can better meet its goals for the highest quality instruction for its students because its assets and personnel are utilized effectively.
For additional information on how existing condition modeling can be used to help schools and other government organizations and agencies, click HERE to download the case study, “School system keeps buildings updated with laser scanning.”