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Today, information and communication technologies (ICT) are key productivity drivers for the construction industry. According to the report, Construction 2.0 L’efficacité par le numérique, resulting from an ÉTS initiative, interoperability contributes to ICT effectiveness in the field by ensuring information exchanges between the databases of different software or applications. An application created by a team of researchers from the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers (ENSAM) provides an innovative technical solution for building construction and renovation, meeting the challenge of interoperability in the design and construction phases.
3D Digitization and Modeling of Building Information
For architects and surveyors, the different steps involved in conducting a survey and making a diagram to produce plans for existing buildings are now a thing of the past. Indeed, 3D laser scanner and photogrammetry technologies allow the real-time capture and digitization of architectural or site dimensions and geometry as three-dimensional point clouds. This digital information is then converted into digital plans and models. In recent years, devices that take measurements and produce 3D digital models simultaneously are also available. These models are the cornerstone of Building Information Modeling, known as BIM. It is a working process designed to share data between different stakeholders in a construction project. The technology facilitates communication in this era of energy and digital shifts for buildings, especially renovation projects. As this video explains: “BIM is an intelligent model-based process that connects architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals so they can more efficiently design, built and operate buildings and infrastructure.”
AR2BUILD, A Solution Adopted by BIMEO
Éric Lerognon, president of the French company BIMEO, which is developing a BIM platform, wanted to increase the speed of 3D building digitization. The AR2BUILD application, launched in January 2018 by the research engineers of the ENSAM LAMPA laboratory (Laboratoire Angevin de Mécanique, Procédés et innovAtion) and AMvalor, a subsidiary of Arts et Métiers, addresses the measurement issues faced by BIMEO.
AR2BUILD replaces 3D scanners and other cumbersome tools and makes the technology of capturing and digitizing visual and geometric data available to all project participants. The application is developed from ARCore, a Google technology that makes it possible to design augmented reality applications.
How Does AR2BUILD Work?
After installing the application on a smartphone (Lenovo Phab 2 Pro), the user scans the walls, floor and ceiling of a room. At the same time, the user can edit Post-it notes in BCF format by photographing and annotating structural and functional elements of the space. The BCF format is a communication interface between participants that also makes it possible to comment on previous versions of the digital model. It is also easy to integrate room openings like doors and windows. From the data, the application produces a digital model of the room in IFC format without having to go through the step of generating point clouds. Stakeholders can access the model from the BIMEO platform.
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AR2BUILD was among the 15 winners of the CIRQ business incubator for the construction of ARTIBAT, the Salon de la Construction de l’Ouest, 2018 edition, in Rennes. The application was also presented at Laval Virtual Asia, held from June 27 to 29, 2019 in Qingdao, China.