Benefits of 3D Building Modelling in Construction Projects

Most of the country’s buildings were built the traditional way, using 2D drawings to convey the vision of those who are assigned to build them. There were hundreds of documents for each project that required human interpretations, which tended to cause miscommunications between the design team and the field team. Most of the time, 2D documents are inaccurate that may involve costly rework and impact project delivery schedule.

A revolution is happening in the construction industry as more firms are adopting the 3D building modelling system and have changed the design and building process.  It offers an interactive system while providing one of the best visual interpretations of data since it displays a visual representation of our three-dimensional environment.

Building a 3D model


Creating a 3D model starts with sketching the infrastructure’s floor plans and section cuts. Through a 3D modelling software, dimensions are added by composting the 2D images with 3D assets. Added to the floor plan are the floors, roof, internal and external walls. Architectural features such as doors and windows are added to the design. The final touches are the colours and textures of the model.

However, not all 3D models come from scratch. Some models use 3D Scanning. It is a technique used to capture the shape of a structure or a terrain. The result of the 3D file of the object can then be saved, edited and even 3D printed.

3D Modelling & 3D Scanning in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra

With clear imagery and generous information plus the technology of 3D Scanning, Canberra was one of the first cities to be comprehensively mapped in 3D. It allowed a lot of people to explore the cityscape, from the courtyards of the Parliament to the small alleys. Then going north northeast of Canberra, the advent of 3D Scanning in Brisbane created ‘Virtual Brisbane’, a computer-generated 3D model of the city. This enables the City Council to visualise and plan the city’s future growth.

Then going down south, many businesses have benefited from 3D modelling. Sydney buildings and landscapes have been modelled using the technology to more accurately depict them. This technology is used to model the buildings and landscapes within Sydney. This allows for a better understanding of the spaces and how to utilise it to fit the needs of future investors.

There are countless benefits in utilising 3D modelling and 3D scanning. Canberra, Sydney, and Brisbane are some of the cities in Australia that have taken advantage of these great surveying innovations.

Benefits of 3D models

The lifecycle of an infrastructure project has five phases: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Performance and Monitoring, and Closure. Below are some of the many benefits of using a 3D model in the stages of the project.

Delivers a clearer visualisation of building designs

Half of the human brain is directly or indirectly devoted to processing visual information. Showing a 3D model of the project will result in a more positive reception from a client or a firm since it allows them a better grasp of spatial concepts. The old-fashioned way was going through hundreds of drawings and documents, wait for a physical model from the design team, and waiting again for the project to finish.

With the digitalised 3D layout, clients can see the interior and exterior of a building, from top to bottom, with a few quick swipes. Since they can see the final output, it helps them understand the development process and architectural design throughout the project’s lifecycle.

The conception of the project from the initiation phase can now be visualised in the planning stage with the help of the 3D models. The design team can spot and identify potential issues with the designs before they are built, which will save the investors a lot of money.

Allows flexibility of design

Chances are the design team will be asked to change some parts of the plan. With just a few little tweaks and manipulation, the 3D model can be fine-tuned and completed in less time, compared to going through redrafting of 2D drawings or recreating scale models.

Reduce time spent on designing and building process

Since 3D models are digitalised, sharing the designs are a lot easier. It brings the whole construction team, from design to the field, all on the same page. The transition from planning to execution is smoother. The scope of the project is easier to understand for anyone that is involved in the project.

Wherever you are in the world, time is money. Saving hours of work also mean saving expenses for investors. Since there is control over the precision of the measurements, there is no wasted time on measuring and re-measuring for the field team. The architects and engineers can have more time to accomplish other construction tasks.

For example, in renovating a building, 3D scanning is required. Through lasers, 3D scanning can collect data on the building’s shape, dimensions, and appearance. This data is then converted to 3D building models, so no need to create 2D drawings. The design team can immediately start planning on how to execute the renovations, thus reducing design time.

Provides accurate cost estimation

Part of the planning stage is cost estimation. Cost estimations in infrastructure projects play a vital role. When costs are overestimated, investors end up paying more than necessary and may cause cost overruns, potentially leading to project cancellation. On the other hand, when costs are underestimated, the contractor may end up bankrupt. To prevent these from happening, a 3D model provides reliable data and leaves little room for error in estimating the cost of a construction project.

Speeds up the assessment process for permits

In construction, it is very crucial to secure all necessary permits. The execution of the project cannot start without it. Some cities in Australia require 3D modelling. Sydney is one of them. 3D models help facilitate & streamline the decision-making and approval process of building and construction permits. The use of 3D models for assessing certain types of development applications can also more effectively identify potential opportunities for the development upfront.

In today’s fast-paced world, many processes have been modernised to increase efficiency and drive down costs. In the construction world, the benefits of 3D building modelling are indisputable, considering the valuable time and money it saves for builders and investors alike.

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