Eco3d recently provided 2D and 3D deliverables to Structured Real Estate Partners for the adaptive reuse renovation of a church in Scotts-dale, Ariz. The structure, called Meetinghouse at 3080, will be converted into commercial office and retail space.

The church, located in the heart of Old Town, features high ceilings, exposed wood beams, stained glass windows, and the potential for a mezzanine. Eco3d virtualized the physical environment of the entire interior of the structure by digitally documenting it in 3D, with the measurements provided to Structured Real Estate in a point cloud deliverable that can be updated at any time. Eco3d was able to accurately capture measurements of the entire church interior, a crucial factor of the building conversion due to the unique shape and construction of many of the rooms, eliminating costly human error and inefficiencies that exist with traditional surveying methods.

“We are proud to be selected by Structured Real Estate to work on this truly unique, adaptive reuse project,” said Jim Kennelly, project manager, Eco3d. “Churches often have some of the most intricate designs, so manual surveying can be quite difficult and often leads to backtracking later in the project to fix mistakes. Our capabilities at Eco3d enable us to eliminate these inefficiencies and provide a more comprehensive measurement of the structure, in less time, allowing developers to use their precious resources in other areas.”

Eco3d was able to accurately capture measurements of the entire church interior, a crucial factor of the building conversion due to the unique shape and construction of many of the rooms.

Eco3d’s laser scanning technology provided a significant reduction in hours compared with the time it would take to manually measure a building of the size and shape or the former church. Scanning required half a day and data processing another half day. The firm used a FARO X330 laser scanner because of its short range accuracy and speed, Kennelly said.

For this project, Eco3d used FARO SCENE software to register the point cloud and then to apply the color photos to the point cloud to create the deliverables. Autodesk ReCap 360 was used to bring the point cloud into the Autodesk Suite — AutoCAD, Revit, etc. ReCap 360 also creates a viewer through which users can view the point clouds from the scan positions.

The 3D scan enabled Structured Real Estate to see parts of the building that were difficult to measure with the human eye, enabling developers to address those areas immediately rather than incurring additional time and cost further into the project.

“At Structured Real Estate, one of our key product focuses is adaptive reuse, where it is critical for us to have a complete understanding and accurate representation of our building’s existing conditions. Eco3d’s laser scanning technology allows us to gain that understanding in record time by replacing days of field measuring and dozens of visits to the site with the convenience of flying through the point cloud model at our office,” said Conor Keilty, development manager, Structured Real Estate. “We initially started taking measurements ourselves and quickly realized we weren’t getting the accuracy we wanted. The laser scan allowed us to uncover details and conditions that would have gone unnoticed until construction, enabling coordination and resolution of conflicts before they ever occurred.”

“A number of challenges exist with capturing measurements for this type of project — accuracy being the main concern,” Kennelly said. “With laser scanning, Structured Real Estate could be confident they were capturing accurate measurements of the existing conditions at Meetinghouse 3080. In the existing building, there are many difficult-to-reach areas that would require scaffolding and safety equipment to measure by hand. Challenges arise with speed as well; Eco3d was able to save a tremendous amount of time by using 3D measurement. The other advantage to scanning the space comes in the form of safety risk mitigation. Everything is measured from the ground in a non-contact manner that does not require any persons to climb ladders to pull measurements.”

According to Kennelly, the accuracy of the measurements procured by laser scanning allows structural engineers to create a model and analyze the structural integrity of the building at hand. Any structural defects — such as beams bowing or columns that have been laid out inaccurately — can be identified by examining point cloud data or the 3D model. In many cases, issues that can potentially cause great headaches and financial waste can be avoided with the use of laser scanning.

“For example, a common scenario, though it might seem unbelievable, is that entire beams in the existing building often do not match the existing drawings for the space,” Kennelly said. “Finding this out early on in the project saves considerable costs to labor and materials expense.”

Information provided by Phoenix-based Eco3d (, a portfolio company of Ecoark Holdings, Inc. that measures existing topographic, structural, mechanical, and architectural conditions using a variety of instruments and creates highly accurate computerized documentation of these conditions in 2D and 3D replications.