Reality Capture and BIM for Drywall Installation Planning


One ‘benefit’ of skilled labor shortage is that it motivates the constructors to seek ways to improve their labor productivity through the applications of innovative technologies. One advanced technology that has been widely adopted by the construction industry is Reality Capture (RC). RC technology consists of LiDAR scanning, 360 degree photography, and photogrammetry. Its applications in construction include as-built documentation, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC), progress reporting, planning, damage assessment, marketing, etc. The aim of this research is to collaborate with an industry partner to investigate the potential use of RC technology and BIM to develop a framework for creating drywall prefabrication shop drawings.

Thanks to the support from the CCIC, the project team was able to complete all of the activities that were initially listed in the project proposal. These activities include:

  • Conducted a pilot study with Robins & Morton to collect initial data from an active hospital project site in Florida in November 2022.
  • Developed a framework, as shown in Figure 1, using LiDAR, photogrammetry and BIM to create drywall “shop drawings” (Figure 2) for cutting and installing drywall boards.
  • Tested the proposed framework at two active construction sites for accuracy and feasibility. The team also carried out a time study at the second site.
    • Opelika Middle School Project, February 2023, collaborated by Bailey Harris Construction
    • Summer Classic Project, Pelham, AL, June 2023, collaborated with Robins & Morton
  • Dissemination:
    • The PI (as a co-author) published a paper entitled “Reality Capture (RC) Technology for Drywall Installation: A Scan-to-Prefab Approach.” In: XVI International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components Proceedings, Beijing, China, October 2023.
    • The PI also included the findings from this project in an invited technical workshop titled “Reality Capture for Built Environments,” at The 13th International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century, Arnhem, Netherlands, May 2023.

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CCIC, Research

Related people:
Junshan Liu