3D Laser Scanning & Heritage Buildings

Land surveyors play an important role in the building, construction and development industries. From land mapping to residential subdivision surveys, land surveyors assist in a wide range of important applications. Another important and interesting aspect of their work is heritage architectural scanning. Using a 3D laser scanner, land surveyors are able to carry out detailed scans of heritage buildings to determine structural damage and what repairs are required.

How Does 3D Laser Scanning Work?

3D scanning provides highly accurate and complete data. Typically, a scanner will be mounted on a tripod. The scanner rotates rapidly and a precise laser emits a beam. Together, these elements record millions of data points in a matter of minutes. Using a single axis, this data generates a point cloud, which makes up the image of a structure’s surface. For a building, the setup is repeated on each side to compile the resulting 3D image: in this case, the model of a heritage building.

Advantages of 3D Laser Scanning

Historic and heritage buildings require special treatment. They often have inaccessible areas and problematic surfaces.

Some of the advantages of 3D Laser Scanning include:

  • Faster and easier than other methods
  • Creates highly-accurately architectural records
  • Non-intrusive approach protects vulnerable buildings
  • Structural damage can easily be identified and repairs initiated
  • Follow up scans can be compared to check that restorative work is in line with original design plans.


Perhaps the biggest advantage is the creation of a historical record. For example, in the event of a natural disaster, a heritage building could be restored using the detailed models and data from 3D laser technology.

FARO Laser Scanner: 3D Documentation and Land Surveying

Ideal for quickly capturing highly accurate and detailed data, the FARO Laser Scanner constructs 360-degree point clouds of scanned surfaces to create 3D models used in building restoration or historic preservation plans. Providing researchers and scientists with 3D CAD models of as-built plans used to determine structural integrity, the FARO Laser Scanner offers a robust solution for restoration or scientific analysis purposes.

Do you manage a historical site or heritage building in the Shoalhaven or nearby? Leslie & Thompson are your local Shoalhaven Surveyors.  Get in touch with our experienced surveyors for more information on our expert surveying and land mapping services.