An existing conditions survey (or ECS) comes at the beginning of just about any project, whether new-build or renovation. Without an accurate representation of what you have to work with, all of your plans and drawings will involve a lot of guesswork.

With 3D laser scanning, that guesswork is a thing of the past. With today’s 3D data capture technology, you can quickly acquire CAD or Revit drawings of existing conditions that will be accurate down to the millimeter and allow you to design with confidence.

What an ECS Is

Every architecture student knows an ECS — sometimes called an existing building conditions survey — is step one for a new construction project, whether a greenfield environment or a renovation project.

Traditionally done with pencil, pen, and paper and a measuring tape or string, often with color-coding schemes and personalized note-taking, an ECS is a basic documentation of current conditions, including elevations, topography, and the plans for any structure that happens to already be on site.

Today’s reality capture technology, however, means that 3D laser scanning services can provide all of that information to a level of detail for your business that was never before possible. Every deviation from level, every window and door and curb cut, every warp and wobble, can be accurately documented and accounted for as you begin your planning and design.

Even better, the comprehensive 3D (or 2D, if you prefer) model and information that’s created means you never need to return to the site again because you forgot to document something. Nothing escapes the 3D scanner’s laser and you’ll find everything in the drawings.

“As-built” vs. “Existing conditions”

One of the biggest mistakes that architects make when beginning plans for renovation is assuming the building remains in “as-built” condition. Sure, the original plans may have been followed to the letter. Sure, the documentation at the end of construction may have been rock solid. But no building stays “as-built” for long.

Almost like living things, buildings grow and evolve. They settle. They lean. They are carved into apartments. Walls are knocked down to create “open concept” living spaces. Windows are installed or blocked up.

Nothing is worse than designing to as-built conditions, only to find out when construction starts that you were working from bad data.

By starting your job with an existing building conditions survey, you ensure that you’re working from current reality and that there won’t be any surprises when the hard hats show up to start work.

Why choose Archidata Services?

Archidata Services is a company with a long history — over 30 years — in 3D laser scanning services and the creation of existing conditions surveys, beginning with the earliest introduction of laser measurement devices and carrying through to today’s use of the most cutting-edge reality capture technology.

Our team of professionals knows the architecture, engineering, and construction industry intimately, having surveyed innumerable locations and buildings, and we can be an asset to your team, capturing conditions you don’t even know are important yet.

By working with Archidata, you know you’ll have an accurate representation of the way things are today so that you can confidently plan for the way things will be tomorrow.