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How Does Point Cloud Survey Pricing Work? 

Point cloud survey pricing can be varied and complex, especially if this is your first project using this survey method. With this in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to point cloud survey pricing to help you understand the different factors that can impact point cloud survey cost.

In this article, we’ll cover the processes involved from the on-site survey to the required deliverables, what key factors influence point cloud survey pricing, what information a provider will need to give you an accurate quote, and some example pricing.

Let’s take a look!

What is a point cloud survey?:

Before looking at point cloud survey pricing, it’s important to have some understanding of the technology, processes, and outputs involved. Put simply, a point cloud survey uses laser scanning to create a detailed 3D model of a building, structure, or site. This model is composed of thousands of data points that provide accurate information including the size, shape, and colour of all surfaces within the scanner’s range. A number of scans are usually needed to fully capture a building or structure. All the scan data is then combined through a process called point cloud registration.

Point-cloud-survey-pricing-point-cloud-example
A point cloud model is composed of thousands of data points that provide accurate information including the size, shape, and colour of all surfaces within the scanner’s range.

Once registration is complete, the point cloud can be exported as a complete point cloud (most commonly in .e57 format). The complete point cloud can then be converted into various formats, such as .dwg for architectural drawings (both 2D and 3D), .rvt for Revit, or .skp for SketchUp. This method is highly accurate and efficient, making it ideal for construction, renovations, and site analysis.

If you’d like to learn more about how a point cloud is captured and the various applications of the point cloud survey method, we have a detailed guide available. This guide provides in-depth information on the process and practical uses of point cloud surveys.

Factors that influence point cloud survey pricing:

1. Project scope and complexity:

The scope and complexity of a project are significant factors when determining point cloud survey cost. Larger areas, complex structures, or projects with multiple buildings, will require more data collection and processing time. The same is true of surveys that require a higher level of detail (LOD) to capture the intricate details.

Specific project requirements, such as the required format of deliverables, can also affect the overall point cloud survey cost. In summary, larger, more detailed, and complex projects demand more time, equipment, and processing, impacting the final cost of a point cloud survey.

2. Area size and scan density:

As we touched on above, a larger or more complex structure will require more scans to effectively capture. The same is true of projects that have multiple buildings or structures. If a project has particularly tall spaces such as a lift shaft, risers or an atrium, more powerful equipment may also be required to accurately scan far away surfaces. 

The level of detail required by the project can also affect the time needed on-site. Laser scanning equipment can perform scans at different levels of ‘point cloud density.’ Higher density scans capture more detailed information but take longer to complete. 

All of these factors can impact the time on-site required and therefore the point cloud pricing.

point-cloud-survery-pricing-equipment
Laser scanning equipment can perform scans at different levels of ‘point cloud density.’

3. Data processing and required deliverables:

Once the on-site data collection is complete, the data needs to be processed into the project’s required deliverables. Processing a point cloud survey is usually a two-stage process:

The first stage involves a process called point cloud registration, where a complete point cloud model is accurately assembled from each individual scan position. This data is then exported into a comprehensive point cloud of the building, structure, or site. Projects with a large number of scan positions or higher-density scans will take longer to register and export. Some projects will only require the point cloud model and will be delivered at this stage.

One of the biggest advantages of a point cloud survey is the variety of deliverables that can be produced from the on-site data. The second stage of processing is where the point cloud is converted into the required deliverables for the project, such as architectural drawings or a Revit model. This part of the process varies based on the project requirements, with some deliverables requiring more time and resources to produce than others.

Point-cloud-survey-pricing-revit-model-example
One of the biggest advantages of a point cloud survey is the variety of deliverables that can be produced from the on-site data such as a Revit model (pictured)

4. Accessibility and safety:

Site accessibility and safety can also impact point cloud survey pricing. Difficult-to-reach areas, such as remote locations or high-rise buildings, may require special equipment like drones or more powerful scanning equipment, adding time and expense. Additionally, obstacles like dense vegetation or confined spaces may require additional effort and planning.

Safety considerations also play a crucial role. Hazardous environments, such as active construction zones or industrial areas, require additional safety protocols, training, and possibly insurance. Obtaining necessary permits and ensuring compliance with safety regulations may also add administrative costs and time to the project.

Point cloud survey pricing – How to get an accurate quote:

When enquiring about point cloud survey pricing, a provider will need some key pieces of information in order to provide a quote:  

  • What is the project?
    (is it a residential property, a commercial office or an industrial site for example)
  • What is the use case?
    (For example: design & planning, property renovation or structural analysis)
  • What are your preferred deliverables?
    (CAD drawings – such as elevations, floorplans and a ground site plan, or a Revit model for example)
  • Do you have any information about the space?
    (An approximate Sq ft or floor plans is usually very helpful) 
  • Where is the property located?
    (With the full property address the surveyor can review the project using Google Earth which helps identify any access considerations)
  • Is there any other important info?
    (Safety considerations, out of hours access, property condition or parking restrictions)

Conclusion:

So there you have it, our guide to point cloud survey pricing. It’s important to be aware of several factors that influence the cost of a point cloud survey, including project scope, complexity, area size, scan density, data processing, required deliverables, site accessibility, and safety considerations. 

Larger and more intricate projects demand more time, equipment, and expertise so can result in higher costs. To obtain an accurate quote, try to provide detailed information about the space, what your preferred deliverables would be, the size, location, and any other relevant details, such as safety considerations and access restrictions. 

We hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you have a project in mind and would like to receive a no obligation quote, you can speak to a member of our team by clicking here.