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7 Powerful Ways of Using Imerso to Supercharge Your Construction Projects

Imerso is a must-have tool if you’re serious about boosting work productivity and eliminating errors and delays in your construction projects.

What began as a way to democratise 3D scanning to every construction project, is now becoming the digital standard for routine As Built monitoring and quality control.

In this article, we examine seven ways of using Imerso to instantly improve control over your construction projects, prevent costly rework and delays, and keep your teams on the same page.

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Written by Frederico Valente
Updated: April 20, 2023
BIM, As Built

Table of Contents

What is Imerso?

Where is Imerso used?

7 Powerful Ways of Using Imerso to Supercharge Your Construction Projects:

Conclusion

What is Imerso?

Imerso is a software platform that combines BIM, Reality Capture, and AI technologies to automate construction site supervision and quality inspections with one simple workflow. Since the foundation in 2015, our platform has inspected more than 10 Mn square metres across 500+ projects, enabling construction companies to avoid project risks and delay costs with real-time monitoring of site status and work quality. 

Our free add-on to the platform is Imerso Capture - a mobile app, which simplifies 3D scanning process and import of files into the platform.

 

Where is Imerso used?

Nowadays, Imerso is used in eleven countries across multiple construction projects, including:

  • Commercial: office centres, malls, hotels, other buildings.
  • Industrial: factories, plants, warehouses, and specialised facilities.
  • Public: hospitals, universities, swimming halls.
  • Residential: apartment buildings, senior housing, other buildings.

If your project has BIM models which can be set as performance targets, then you're ready to go with Imerso. Our platform supports multiple languages and doesn’t require from users any special skills or background. 

 

7 Powerful Ways of Using Imerso to Supercharge Your Construction Projects

1. Leverage easy 3D scanning for weekly As Built Capturing routines

Embracing modern construction methods.

Gone are the days of relying on subjective checklists, photos, and manual inspections to track the As Built reality of  jobsites. You can now have a real-time Digital Twin of the jobsite, up-to-date with insights on what your construction teams are doing, and reflecting the most recent onsite conditions. 

Let’s take a closer look at how it works on the jobsite process-wise.

Cutting complex procedures in your construction projects.

Use Imerso Capture - the mobile app for one-button jobsite scanning, and capture millimetre-accurate As Built data in minutes. Alternatively, it's equally easy to upload scan data without Imerso Capture. For that, just use a scanner of your choice and then simply upload the scans to Imerso.

Capturing As Built information with traditional methods can take hours to several days. With Imerso this is done in minutes with the press of a button using 3D scanning technology.
Capturing As Built information with traditional methods can take hours to several days. With Imerso, this is done in minutes with the press of a button.

 

Once scans are uploaded, Imerso automatically places them according to your BIM models, and doesn’t require  target markers, or geo-localisation. This way, you don’t have to spend time on preparing the jobsite (for target markers), or handle complex procedures for geolocation. Of course, Imerso supports geolocalised data (in case your team wants to user such workflows), but we normally recommend bypassing it to  speed up your processes.

Enhancing Lean Construction.

Without the need for expensive third-party services, or specialised users, your team can implement  weekly routine scanning tasks, completely independently and following the construction work plan. This way, as soon as current works are reaching their planned delivery date, your team can easily capture the As Built conditions to verify work quality and progress. This means your team can:

  • Track and document completed work
  • Verify that everything has been built As Planned  
  • Identify deviations early to resolve issues before paying invoices and bringing the next teams to the site.

This is a core principle of LEAN construction: tracking and validating every step, keeping everyone on the same page, and eliminating surprises and resource waste. 

Cross-team collaboration can then function as a well-oiled machine, where everyone sees where the project stands, and what to prioritise.

Depending on the scanning device your team uses, you can achieve a much wider coverage of the jobsite than would ever be possible through traditional methods. 

Screenshot (9)-1

Happy customers love finding smarter ways of working, credit to our good friends at Drees&Sommer

 

Leica BLK360 and Imerso Capture combo for As Built documentation.

Using a Leica BLK360 1st generation scanner with Imerso Capture, our customers easily document over 1.000 m2 site coverage per hour. In statistical terms, this is at least 53 times faster than with traditional As Built documentation methods, while using less than 2% of the labour resources they would normally require. 

Using the 2nd generation, the newest version of the same device with Imerso Capture, our customers are reaching over 5.000m2 per hour onsite. Some devices can be even faster.

2. Use Filters to Prioritise Objects of Construction Inspection and Save Time

With the scan data uploaded to Imerso, you can now trigger an inspection against the BIM specifications. 

Select the right BIM files to use as targets, according to the stage of construction and the object you’re interested in checking (e.g. structures, structural openings, MEP / HVAC, etc). 

Use Imerso’s  BIM-Dev mode to get the results of your inspection colour-coded in the BIM model:

  • Green - in tolerance
  • Orange - misplaced
  • Red - missing onsite.

Such analysis gives you an overview of the entire site’s As Built status, subject to the area you’ve captured in the scans. 

You can easily navigate between different colour-codes to review the results of inspection, and create issue cards informing your teams about problematic deviations. 

Uncovering hidden clashes in construction projects with the BIM-Clash tool by Imerso
 
You might have several dozens, or even hundreds of items to review — depending on the number of scans submitted for inspection, and the number of BIM inspection targets. Don’t get discouraged, of course we have a way around it. 

To achieve a fast and systematic way of reviewing results, filter them further. Besides using the colour-coded categories, you can also isolate single object classes (e.g. columns), to see all the results related to those objects. 

BIM Dev Tool 2

This means that despite having analysed several additional objects captured in the scans, you can easily prioritise the object classes to check and create dedicated reports for specific teams.

3. Catch Future Problems with Imerso’s BIM-Clash


Imerso’s standard inspection feature mentioned in the previous section, provides a comparison report of the current construction state versus the BIM plans. 

Instead, BIM-Clash lets you spot future problems before they actually happen.

This functionality inspects BIM models of upcoming installations against the As Built conditions to identify changes leading to problematic clashes.

BIM Clash Uncovering hidden clashes with the BIM-Clash tool
 
Let’s say your project is in the initial structural stages. You can use the BIM-Dev and Scan-Dev inspection modes to check the quality of the current structural installations, and see if there is any deviation from the plans.

In addition, BIM-Clash uses models of the future technical disciplines (e.g. HVAC & MEP models) and checks whether these deviations lead to problematic collisions with other future disciplines. Use this feature to confirm everything is going to fit as planned, or define a future clash that will affect your technical teams.

BIM-Clash allows you to uncover hidden problems, and get them fixed well in advance while the responsible team is still onsite. With the added cost of a single construction issue ranging from EUR 10.000 to EUR 17.000, Imerso brings tremendous opportunities to save unnecessary costs and delays from impacting your projects. The earlier such deviations are uncovered, the larger the cost-savings.
 

4. Analyse Surface Flatness Following DIN18202 Protocols

One of Imerso’s popular features is the surface heatmap, which colour-codes every point in your scan data for its distance to the BIM model. This allows seeing at a glance any out of tolerance depressions and elevations in objects like floor and ceiling slabs, walls, and columns. The subtitle legend tells you the distance measured for each colour.

Besides this visual information, you can also use the Surface Measurement Grid tool, to lay a grid pattern following the DIN18202 standard. You can customise the size of the grid and the tolerance threshold according to the regulations of your country, and the tool will highlight any out of tolerance areas automatically. 
 
Screen of Imerso Surface Analyser that lets to confirm surface flatness levels, grid measurements to detect out-of-tolerance elevations or depressionsThe Surface Analyser lets you visualise surface flatness, as well as deploy measurement grids following the DIN 18202 protocol.
 

What would take several hours onsite if done manually, can now be completed in minutes. And if you want to repeat the measurement with a different grid size or tolerance, simply change the values and the tool will update instantly. Stay tuned for our upcoming feature to calculate volumes in the scan data, which will give you estimates on, for example, the amount of material needed to level such surfaces, or the amount of earth moved in excavations.

 

5. Keep BIM Updated Automatically with the As Built Reality

It's pretty much guaranteed that there will be changes made onsite that differ from what’s planned in the BIM models. Allowing the BIM models to rapidly divorce from the onsite reality is a recipe for trouble.

However, not all deviations require onsite rework – many cases are acceptable, and the new onsite situation can remain as-is.

In such cases, the best solution is to make a BIM update, reflecting the new onsite reality and updating the affected BIM models. It’s especially important when such changes affect other disciplines and upcoming teams. BIM updates must be done efficiently and frequently so that all teams are aware of the most updated version of reality.

Don't panic though! – this tool doesn't change the federated model.

Creating such updates in Imerso is easy. One way is to export scans of the relevant areas and load them into a BIM authoring tool like ArchiCAD or Revit to model over the reality data. Another way is rather than spending countless hours in manual modelling, letting Imerso do these updates automatically.

Image of a construction inspection: misplaced column on the left is automatically moved to As Built location in the right image, and ready to export. BIM-Fix automatically moves misplaced BIM objects to their current location at the site, with the press of a button. 

Use BIM-Fix to correctly place all deviated objects to their real onsite locations, and hit the Save button. This will create a temporary IFC model that you can export from Imerso, and load into your authoring tool to manually review and accept changes that can then be merged with the federated model. Delete the temporary Imerso IFC targets, and voilá: your BIM models now reflect the onsite conditions.

Doing this throughout the construction process helps avoid surprises and disputes between your project partners. In addition, it drastically reduces the amount of manual work at completion for creating accurate As Built BIM deliverables at handover.

6. Leverage Export Functions and API Integrations to Distribute Data

Imerso supports both .RVT and .IFC files for BIM models, and exports all data in open formats to facilitate data exchange with other software tools.

Leverage .BCF exports to push issue reports from Imerso into your CDE, by uploading the files to your software of choice. To get a seamless exchange of data, you can enable Imerso’s API integrations with CDE’s like Procore, Autodesk Construction Cloud, and Catenda BIMsync. Then you simply push the “Sync” button to send all data across instantly.

Rather than manually uploading each new version of BIM models into Imerso, these integrations automatically pull the most recent BIM version available in your CDE. This way, you make sure that your inspections with Imerso are always based on the most current model version.

To uncover hidden consequences of caught work deviations, you can create a powerful workflow of Imerso in combination with model checker tools like Solibri.

Image of updating BIM to As Built: Finding and resolving issues in minutes by combining Imerso and Solibri.Finding and resolving issues in minutes by combining Imerso and Solibri.

 

In the example pictured above, (left) you can see the detection of a prefabricated staircase element done by Imerso. The staircase was placed over 4cm above its specified tolerance in BIM. To verify the consequence of this deviation, and decide whether on-site rectification is needed, our customer uploaded Imerso’s insights to Solibri and discovered several ruleset violations from the current placement of the element. Onsite rework is the recommended solution, and the responsible onsite teams are notified immediately before they leave the project. 

As a result, what usually took multiple weeks to investigate and several meetings to discuss, can now be solved within days.

7. Boost Your Weekly Coordination Meetings with Mixed Reality Visualisations

Weekly coordination meetings, so-called integrated concurrent engineering, or ICE meetings, are another heavily impacted area for Imerso customers.

Discussions are often lively – their main objective is to rapidly get everyone on the same page, highlight any issues and resolve bottlenecks by making decisions as a group.

Traditionally these discussions circle around visualisations of the BIM models while reviewing photos, diagrams, and reports from the onsite teams. However, time is money, and such meetings give a limited amount of time for processing several burning topics.

Imerso customers have created the habit of leveraging the digital twin in the platform to bring up the current onsite reality on the screens. It serves as a strong visualisation aid of what’s actually out there at the site and accelerates the discussions. 

Image of a digital twin presentation in a meeting: Weekly coordination meetings now bring the digital jobsite to the meeting room.Weekly coordination meetings now bring the digital jobsite to the meeting room.

 

Reviewing reported issues becomes much faster when everyone sees the same thing: participants show BIM models, onsite reality (in the 3D scans), take measurements, review detected issues, append notes and instructions, and much more.

The best part is that this process leaves out the need for assumptions or interpretations – teams see the project situation directly on the screen.

Common results our customers report:

  • 6-fold increase in the number of cases processed collaboratively during coordination meetings.
  • 96% acceleration in the time needed to review and resolve detected work issues.

 

Conclusion

Imerso offers a range of powerful features. Whether you’re a project manager, engineer, architect, or contractor, Imerso is here to help your teams to build better. By taking advantage of these seven powerful ways of using Imerso, you gain a competitive advantage, save time and money, and deliver high-quality projects that meet or exceed your clients' expectations. 

Start exploring Imerso's features today and experience the benefits for yourself.

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