James Madison University Constitution Hall As-Built Scan



  • High definition as-built survey
  • Scanning of 2 buildings totaling 7 stories and approx. 225,000 SF
  • Point cloud used to quality check architectural and structural models
  • Key areas modeled for structural clarification

Project Background: James Madison University (JMU) is located in the City of Harrisonburg and was founded in 1908 and today has a student population of approximately 19,000. JMU first announced plans to acquire the former Rockingham Memorial Hospital in 2005. The complex contains multiple buildings, all of which have major plans for renovation. W.M. Jordan Company (W.M. Jordan) was contracted to do the renovation of the hall and recognized the benefit of having an accurate 3-D as-built of the facility.

Work Performed: Rice Associates was contracted by W.M. Jordan to perform a laser scan survey of the structure renamed Constitution Hall, which includes two buildings and the connection between the buildings. Rice Associates’ first task was to establish a network of control that would allow for all of the scans to be tied together with a high level of confidence. A closed loop conventional traverse was established around the perimeter of the construction site and control points were then set on each floor and tied to the main control loop via total station.

Three sets of direct and reverse angles were turned to all control points. The high definition laser scan was performed with Leica scanners. The scanning took place over a period of four months and five mobilizations.

The scanning work was performed as the demolition crews moved through the buildings completing floors. Two
scanners were used per mobilization to maximize data capture and minimize the length of time required on site. Both
buildings and the connection were gutted, which made the site ideal for collecting the as-built information eeded.The
focus of the scanning was to capture the structural elements that would remain as a part of the renovation.
Construction was ongoing during the scanning and often required Rice Associates to work around these activities.

The point cloud was registered to the survey control first and then
registered to the design model provided by W.M. Jordan. Control
points were created at the intersection of modeled objects in the
design model as well as in the as-built point cloud and used to fit the
as-built to the design model. This allowed W.M. Jordan and all of
their sub-contractors to overlay the as-built data to review models for
conflicts or misplacement of the existing structural elements.

Once W.M. Jordan reviewed the point cloud, they found it necessary
to model some miscellaneous steel as well as the columns on two floors based on the as-built information.The deliverables for this project were the raw point cloud exported to a .PTX format and AutoCAD drawings of the as-built modeled objects. W.M. Jordan utilized Navisworks to overlay the point cloud and the model to quality check the location of the joists and beams. This method allowed them to identify conflicts with the MEP systems before installation began.