The USIBD Technology Committee has been formed to provide leadership, vision, standards, education and R&D as they pertain to technologies in the building documentation industry. Co-chaired by me and Ted Mort, operations manager at Precision 3D Scanning, the committee has outlined its goals and objectives. However, since this organization is in its infancy and the committee is quite small at this point, we have the ability to be extremely flexible. We thought we would share our ideas with you and ask for your input.

Technologies

We have identified several categories of technologies, both current/emerging and fanciful/futuristic. We have our eye on both since one dictates to the other, and vice versa. Following is the resulting outline of our thoughts.

Reality Capture

Laser Scanning – This is not a new technology, but it is core to the building documentation industry. We will continue to work on removing inefficiencies in the products and processes required to go from scan to model.

Photogrammetry – This emerging technology cannot be ignored. Leaps and bounds have been made in this area, confirming it as a suitable solution for building documentation. We will explore and test this technology and report on our findings.

BIM

Models and FM - We have identified two initial areas of interest with regard to BIM: As-built modeling and facilities management from the models. We will continue to push the envelope in these areas.

Augmented Reality

Magic and X-rays - Augmented reality, or AR, is beginning to take the world by storm. There are AR apps for many industries, and the built environment is no exception. There are apps that allow the user to see objects and data that are not visible otherwise, as well as to see into buildings or underground. We will work to bring this technology to the mainstream of the building documentation industry.

Facilities Management

Saving time and money – FM is a major expense for building owners and operators. We believe it is underserved by technology and the data that building documentation professionals provide. We will be researching existing solutions as well as solutions currently under wraps to ease the lack of connectivity and implementation.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is emerging in two distinct areas, computation and storage.

Computation – The cost of processing is dropping year after year. It has now become cost effective to “rent” a multitude of machines in order to return results in “seconds on the minute.” What does that mean to us? Let’s find out.

Storage – With the price of storage dropping and bandwidth growing, online storage offers data accessibility as never before. We will test some online storage solutions and let you know what we find out.

Opportunities for Involvement

We have a few more tricks up our sleeves, but this should be enough to give you an idea of what our committee is all about. 

None of this will happen overnight or without effort. We are looking for people to take on bits and pieces of the work that will be needed to bring benefit to all of our members. If you have a working knowledge of any of these or other technologies or simply desire to get involved, please let us know. 

Also, please share with us your thoughts on technology as it applies to the building documentation industry. We are listening.