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Utilizing Heat Maps To Ensure Level Floors, Saving Time

Colleen Wischnewski

Baker Tilly is a reputable professional services firm that offers a wide range of financial and advisory services to clients across various industries. The company’s Milwaukee office, previously located in the US Bank Building, has decided to relocate to the BMO Tower for improved facilities and a more strategic location. The new space comprises the entire 20th floor and half of the 19th floor.

Project Overview

With Baker Tilly’s lease in the US Bank Building coming to an end, there was a pressing need to complete the tenant build-out project in the new BMO Tower space within a tight schedule of three months. To ensure a seamless transition, Baker Tilly engaged the services of JP Cullen, a trusted General Contractor with extensive experience in construction projects.

The Challenge

A crucial aspect of the build-out project was to create a comprehensive understanding of the floor’s levelness. A level floor is essential for the successful layout of office spaces, the installation of doors, and the overall functionality of the workspace. Given the importance of this factor and the time-sensitive nature of the project, Baker Tilly sought a solution that could provide accurate information quickly.

Utilizing Virtual Design and Construction (VDC)

To tackle the challenge of assessing floor levelness, JP Cullen’s project team turned to their in-house Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) team. The VDC team is well-versed in leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance project planning, visualization, and execution. The VDC team decided to employ a heat map approach to create an accurate representation of the floor’s elevation variations. This involved the integration of laser scanning data, linework from AutoCAD drawings.

Heat Map Creation Process

  1. Data Collection: The VDC team utilized laser scanning technology to capture detailed measurements of the floor’s surface. Multiple tripod setups were employed to ensure comprehensive coverage.
  2. Point Cloud Generation: The laser scanning data from each setup was aggregated to create a Point Cloud, which is essentially a massive collection of individual data points representing measurements.
  3. Elevation Bands: The team defined a series of “elevation bands” based on the 1/8″ elevation spectrum chart. These bands categorized the measurements into specific ranges of elevation values.
  4. Colorization: Autodesk’s software was used to colorize each individual point in the Point Cloud based on its elevation value. This colorization process created a visual representation of the elevation variations across the floor.
  5. Overlay with Linework: The colorized Point Cloud was overlaid with linework from the project’s AutoCAD drawings. This integration provided a comprehensive view of the floor’s elevation variations in the context of the project’s design.

The heat map created by the VDC team provided Baker Tilly with valuable insights into the floor’s levelness. By visualizing the elevation variations in a single PDF document, the project team could make informed decisions regarding adjustments to the layout and construction process. This enhanced accuracy in planning minimized the risk of errors during the build-out and door installation phases.

The use of advanced technology, including laser scanning, Point Cloud generation, and elevation-based colorization, enabled JP Cullen’s VDC team to create a highly informative and actionable heat map. This solution facilitated the assessment of floor levelness in a time-sensitive manner, ensuring a successful and efficient build-out project for the company’s relocation to the BMO Tower. By collaborating with JP Cullen and harnessing cutting-edge tools, Baker Tilly was able to meet its project goals while delivering a modern and functional workspace for its Milwaukee office.

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May 28, 2024