When measuring the space of a commercial real estate (CRE) property, speed and accuracy are key. After factoring in COVID concerns, tenants don’t want people in their spaces for extended periods of time. With tenant comfort and safety top of mind, property management teams are always searching for new ways to keep relations at ease.

Laser scanning technology is making commercial space measurement projects quicker and easier than ever. Reasons for space measurement include – potential to maximize the rentable square footage (RSF) of a building, centralizing space measurement data in one location, updating to the latest measurement standards, etc. 

Keep reading to learn how handheld laser scanners are being used to turn around measurement projects faster, without disrupting tenants.

Tenants Continue to Demand Sustainable Office Spaces

Tenants Continue to Demand Sustainable Office Spaces

A sustainable building design can increase tenants' rents by 10% or more.

What Does the Laser Scanning Process Look Like?

The field process can be a choke point for many measurement projects. However, handheld laser scanning devices are proving to speed along the time spent measuring a CRE property.  

With previous measurement methods, when no existing floor plans were available, field technicians had to use pen and paper to sketch the floor plans of a building. They then used a digital measuring tape to take individual measurements from point A and B and annotated those dimensions on the paper floor plans. They kept repeating these steps until the necessary measurements were captured. 

Now, laser technology scans 420,000 points per second to measure a space. Laser beams bounce off objects and walls and create a 3D map of the property called a point cloud. A point cloud is a set of data points that represent a 3D shape or object. The data collected from this process also creates exact 2D floor plans and panoramic images of a property. With older technology, teams were only able to scan one floor of a building per day. Now, laser scanning devices have the potential to scan properties amassing 150,000 square feet in one day. By expediting field work, workflows remain on pace.

The Due Diligence Measurements 

During the due diligence measurements phase of buying, selling, or refinancing, clients are looking for a quick turnaround. With laser scanning technology, it’s possible for some building scans to be done within a day. This helps to avoid disturbing tenants and building personnel. 

  • Small buildings (<150k square feet) in one day 
  • Medium buildings (<500k square feet) in several days 
  • Large buildings (>500k square feet) in one week 

Property owners don’t want teams to spend days, or even weeks, measuring their spaces. That is a huge problem for potential buyers who have limited access to buildings since they don’t have full ownership yet. It’s difficult to do the necessary due diligence for space measurement when the current owner only offers limited windows of time to tour a space. Because of these challenges, time is of the essence. With laser scanning technology, measurement scans are done quickly and accurately to avoid disrupting building activity. 

It is important to note that although time in the field can be cut down, the post-scan processing of the data can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks, or more, depending on the size of the building. This includes creating floor plans as well as area calculations. 

Space Measurement Checklist

Space Measurement Checklist

Your due diligence to ensure you have the most up-to-date RSF data.

The Most Efficient Way to Measure CRE Properties

Laser scanning technology has allowed space measurement projects to adapt and meet the needs of property teams – with the pandemic, tenant concerns, building personnel, and project workflows in mind. And it limits the tenant-facing side of measurement projects – a win for all parties.

Handheld laser scanners maximize efficiency by cutting down the time measurement teams spend in the field. Consider working with a company that offers such technology and expertise. At Building Engines, we offer both laser scanning technology and expert field technicians to measure your properties. With accurate space measurement data, you can have confidence in exactly what you are buying, selling, or refinancing.