3D Animations using BIM and LiDAR Technology

By: ARFAi | Jul 19, 2023

Building Information Management or BIM involves the use of three-dimensional software in order to design and communicate the design of our projects. As we commence the design at ARFAi, we begin with creating a virtual environment for the project based on the existing site. Since the 1950s, firms utilizing airplanes have been gathering geographic information using LiDAR technology. These digital maps are now readily available to be purchased and they are used as the base for our virtual sites.

3D Animations using BIM and LiDAR Technology

Bringing this information into a three-dimensional animation file allows us to create an animation that reflects the foliage and vegetation on the site as well as the surrounding built environment. Nearby buildings are modelled in a three-dimensional software in order to inform the proposed new buildings relationship to its site.  We have found this virtual world to be incredibly informative at multiple levels:

  1. 1. It allows the architectural team to respond to the building environment for which the new project is being planned.
  2. 2. It shows the client the details of their project, and how the project interfaces with the areas around the site.
  3. 3. It informs Authorities Having Jurisdiction and Planners of these relationships, so that good planning decisions can be made.
  4. 4. And it demonstrates the projects relationship to the existing environment to invested stakeholders and community members who have projects located contiguous to the site.

At ARFAi we have coined a quote that “if a picture is worth 1000 words then an animation is worth a million.”  We have found that the collateral advantage of having animations is exponential on every front and actually does not cost much additional time or money to produce. It also allows us to create renderings from infinite vantage points.

Our three-dimensional software also allows us to analyze the interior of the building to the same degree, including the experience of looking through the windows from within the environment.

The comprehensive nature of this three-dimensional, virtual model is such that all aspects of the design could be vetted and verified long before the construction begins.  This value is immeasurable, and it greatly diminishes the amount of change orders and revisions throughout the course of construction.

This is due to the fact that the visualization is to such a comprehensive extent that the reality of the proposed construction can be clearly understood.

The virtual, three-dimensional geometry is further explored in corroboration with the engineering disciplines. This allows us to provide “clash detection”, ensuring that the design is geometrically, coordinated. A specific example is in ensuring that mechanical ducts do not interfere with structural beams limiting headroom in any particular environment.  This is just one small example of all the benefits of the three-dimensional digital model.


The ultimate application of the BIM technology is in the use of the virtual model, such that it can direct the management and maintenance of the actual facility. The model can be embedded with a great deal of information, including maintenance items which require seasonal attention, such as furnace filters, and other associated HVAC requirements. It can also Identify lamp and lighting requirements simplifying replacement protocols. At ARFAi, we have developed a proprietary building maintenance protocol called AMLAM, which stands for Asset Management and Liability Assessment Matrix. BIM drawings can be used in collaboration with this matrix to aid in identifying and managing these servicing protocols.

We have found that this technology is greatly beneficial to our services, and we look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate this benefit to our clients.

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