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Bury Associates complete epic laser scan to Revit BIM project in Edinburgh

Laser scan and Revit model
6th May

Originally Posted on Feb 13, 2017 by Steve

In 2017 Bury Associates completed their largest ever laser scan to Revit BIM project of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Steve Bury describes how the project was carried out and gives a few facts and figures about this huge undertaking.

Bury Associates have completed a large, highly detailed laser scan to Revit BIM project of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The model is being used by the design team working on converting it into additional education facilities for Edinburgh University.

When it opened in 1879 the hospital claimed to be the largest in the whole of the British Empire. It was replaced by new NHS facilities in 2003 and until recently has sat disused and in need of repair.

In order to aid the restoration and conversion project, that was all to be carried out using BIM, the client required a comprehensive measured survey including the Revit model of the main building and site, a topographical survey showing the surrounding areas, elevations of all building facades facing onto the site and a 3D massing model showing all the surrounding buildings


In total 3288 laser scans were taken using Faro scanners to capture the main building, its gatehouse and all the surrounding boundary walls. Additional scans were also needed to capture the surrounding buildings. The Infirmary building has 6 main floors plus a clock tower, although rotten floor boards prevented our surveyors from scanning the upper part of the tower – it goes without saying that we always put safety first!

After the scanning was complete we ended up with 442 Gb of raw data to process. By the time we had processed all that data the combined file had grown in size to a staggering 1.86Tb! After processing the data was loaded into Revit for modelling.

As well as modelling all architectural detail, we had to show every single piece of cut stone and its joints all around the 1km long building facade. In addition, image files were created from the point cloud so every stone on every facade could be logged and inspected. This included unfurling images of the round turrets to create a single continuous image for each one. All this was an extremely time consuming process, but was invaluable to the conservation team working on the restoration of the stonework.

The final Revit model took nearly 2000 man-hours to complete and was just over 400 Mb in size.

As with all projects carried out by Bury Associates, all modelling for the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was completed solely by our highly skilled in-house team in order to maintain our high standards. On this, as with all other projects, we worked very closely with the client and our strict quality control system ensured the final model was of an exceptional standard and more than met the requirements set.

For further information about all the services we provide please call us on +44 (0)1905 622495.

Thanks for reading!