Reality Data Capture for Reclaimed Construction Materials


  • Adama Olumo1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • Jing Zhang Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo,
  • Carl Haas Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo



3D Scanning, Lidar, Reverse logistics, Reclaimed materials, Material reuse, Scan accuracy, Scanning efficiency, Scan layout, Scan Workflow, Scan processing


In recent years, opportunities are emerging to recover and reuse salvaged materials from building demolition and deep renovation projects to solve new design and procurement problems. However, the procurement process is often financially tasking due to the lack of well-detailed representations of reclaimed materials being readily available. Therefore, the exploitation of the advancement in 3D data capturing systems can aid the process and has already been applied widely for circular design strategies in building projects such as building adaptation, material refurbishment and regenerative design. Thus, this paper particularly explores the practicality of 3D scanning for reusable reclaimed elements at two secondary distribution sources in the Canadian environment. The paper outlines 3D material data capture processes at the two reclaimed material sources, using four different types of scanners to scan reclaimed elements like (1) structural steel, (2) windows & doors, (3) wood, (4) flooring, and (5) kitchenettes. Furthermore, the case study analyses the simplicity of the scanning process and the quality of the produced scans using commercialized scanners like; the faro laser, the freestyle, the dotproduct3D, and the iPad scanner. Based on the characteristics analyzed in this study, the two reclaim sources required different scanning systems due to the length and size of some of the building components and the layout of elements at each location. The findings in this study indicate the need to further assess scanning equipment for varying degrees of use across the industry to enhance equipment attunement, and advancements should support the movement towards a circular economy in the built environment.






Academic Papers