Absolute Reality Capture walks us through the latest trends in Scan-to-BIM technology and practices

CanBIM interviews Tyler Buhr, Owner and operator of Absolute Reality Capture. A company offering powerful BIM compliant scanning solutions for efficient integrated workflows.

Interview conducted by Mohcine Sadiq.

CanBIM: Can you provide a brief introduction about your background.

My name is Tyler Buhr and I have 10+ years of experience in the Architectural Consulting realm.  I am the BIM Manager for an Architecture Firm in Saskatoon, Sk and am an active member of SaskBIM.  My interest in Building Information Modelling and Virtual Design and Construction keeps me motivated to push Saskatchewan forward in leveraging the latest tools, technologies and processes to achieve a better Digital Built Environment.

CanBIM: Can you provide a brief introduction about Absolute Reality Capture and its notable achievements.

Absolute Reality Capture (ARC) was established by my colleagues Trevor Bemis, Steve Schiml, and myself to deliver efficiencies that we collectively identified in our day to day workflow.  Our team scans existing spaces/objects to create a digital representation using Point Cloud and Photogrammetry technology.  Together, our backgrounds span Architectural Consulting, Mechanical Consulting and Prefabrication, so this technology quickly became a very applicable tool for all of us and we jumped on the opportunity to offer this deliverable to others that could benefit.  ARC was established in February of 2020 and we’ve had the opportunity to work on some incredible projects over the last year.  Our services have been leveraged to capture existing conditions to assist with Design and Coordination, parts and components to assist with Reverse Engineering, and as a contribution to a Digital Twin.  We are very fortunate to have worked on some very interesting projects and have learned a lot along the way as we continue to better ourselves with every Project.

CanBIM: As a small to medium-sized firm what are some of the major challenges in the industry your process will help to overcome? What's innovative about it?

We have come to really like the quote “one version of the truth”.  All 3 of us have experienced relying on data that ends up being inaccurate.  This happens almost always on renovations and additions.  I would say one of the major challenges in the industry currently is misinformation in a data-driven world.  We want to help eliminate this obstacle and what better way than providing robust and accurate data.  ARC prides itself on being innovative and we are always looking for ways to work smarter.  Our mantra is “We bring the site to you” and we believe there is value in that.  To be able to explore the site from your desktop to assess conditions, derive dimensions and generally analyze the space saves time, travel and money to any team that requires the information to do their job.  Exploring the space digitally is one thing, but to bring this deliverable into your modelling software truly contributes to a BIM/VDC environment.

CanBIM: Can you share with us some of the projects where your services have been used and tell us how it impacted the project’s workflow?

Our service has integrated quite seamlessly into a BIM/VDC Workflow as our deliverable is generally compatible with the process, to begin with.  Image 1 shows one of our deliverables loaded into our client's modelling software to help us re-create the space in a more intelligent way.  This allowed the client to not only model space with incredible accuracy but gave them unlimited access and insight into the condition of the building being modified.  Images 2,3 and 4 reflect our scanning process on a very complex project that required critical coordination of very sensitive systems.  The accuracy in the data we delivered was sufficient for their use in modifying the spaces with no disruption to the systems and functionality of the space.  Image 5 shows a Project at a remote location where we were deployed to scan a building that had limited access.  We provided our clients with an accurate and robust digital representation of the building for use in their design.  This building had some spaces that were very tight and congested and image 5 gives some insight on how we can be leveraged to capture those hard to get at spaces so our clients don’t have to.  Image 6 reflects another Project in which we are creating a digital representation of a building that requires significant attention to detail to maintain the heritage aspects of the space.  Image 7 is an example of a timeline simulation of a typical construction project and reflects when our services would be executed and how they can be leveraged by all stakeholders throughout the Project.  Our services pertaining to reverse engineering remains confidential due to the nature of the work but our deliverables continue to exceed the expectations of our clients and have provided significant efficiencies to their workflow.

CanBIM: What do you see as the most pressing future trends in the industry?

I think that BIM/VDC has created a spark to mine the value of data.  I think anything that is going to make the infinite world of data more manageable and intuitive to handle is going to continue changing the game.  The idea of Intelligent Cities and Digital Twins are incredibly promising in contributing to not only efficiencies but sustainability and responsible design and facility management.  3D Printing is another trend that I can only see getting stronger and more applicable as the technology advances.  We continue to monitor these technologies and trends as we forge a path to grow Absolute Reality Capture in a direction that contributes the most to our vision.

CanBIM: What is your view regarding the work CanBIM is doing, and what are your expectations from this collaboration?

I have been heavily involved with CanBIM for a number of years now and each year I am intrigued and inspired by the work they are doing.  Most recently I appreciate the development of the think tanks to call on like-minded people to collaborate and start turning a vision into reality.  I always appreciate the work CanBIM does to unite different industries in finding common ground to achieve the idea of OpenBIM and Interoperability.  CanBIM creates an interest for all stakeholders to be a part of a bigger discussion in a collective pursuit of enhancing the way we collaborate and work.


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