BLK2GO and Cromwell Speeds Up Construction

BLK2GO and Cromwell Speeds Up Construction for Patient Care Facilities at UAMS Medical Center

This article is authored by Christopher Dollard and originally appeared on the Leica Geosystems “In the Wild” blog.”

During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction professionals who work on-site face difficulties with the need to maintain social distancing while performing hands-on work. When those professionals work in active healthcare facilities, the safety stakes become higher. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Medical Center in Little Rock already had plans for construction to increase patient care capacity prior to the pandemic and were able to accomplish this necessary task more quickly with the help of professionals who use handheld laser scanners.

UAMS hired design firm Cromwell Architects Engineers, Inc. to complete projects for them at the Winthrop J. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. While UAMS didn’t intend to construct more space for patient care specifically for COVID-19, they chose to do so at the right time. John Wehmer, a BIM specialist with Cromwell, drone scanning pro, and BLK2GO operator, took the lead on scanning the UAMS project. Handheld scanning made his workflow a lot faster and a lot safer.

Photo by Dero

“Working with drones has been great because of all the detailed data we get very quickly for the external scanning of a building,” John said. “But in the past we have had a much slower process inside of buildings. Then I saw the BLK2GO and I was blown away by how fast it is. I knew this scanner could help us gain the speed we were looking for when scanning interiors.” 

Fortunately for John and Cromwell’s clients, the BLK2GO came along at just the right time. 

“We work with UAMS regularly and they requested us to report the progress of the space that is under construction,” he said. I was able to do an initial walkthrough, scan the space and verify my scans all within three hours.” 

John not only gained efficiency, but he also increased safety and reduced his time on-site.

Scanning large, active healthcare workspaces and maintaining social distancing

Let’s face it. For those of us who can work from home, we’re able to stay safe and keep our work moving forward through digital collaboration and communication. But for those of us that must get to active job sites for laser scanning, like John, maintaining social distancing may not always be possible. An active hospital during a pandemic is an imposing job site where safety is paramount and social distancing is a must.

Photo by Ken West

“We’ve mostly been doing healthcare projects with the BLK2GO,” John said. “Honestly, it’s been an amazing tool for healthcare projects during the pandemic because we want to spend as little time as possible in a high-risk facility.” 

With that in mind, both John and UAMS were well prepared for the project to take place. 

“This was probably the least contact job I’ve done since March of 2020,” John said. “I never came within six feet of anyone.” 

With the BLK2GO, specialists like John can work alone on laser scanning projects, and they can work much faster. 

“I didn’t need to carry a tripod or wait for each individual scan to finish,” John said. “Because I was going to spend much less time scanning with the BLK2GO than with a tripod-based scanner I had time to walk through each floor and plan how I’d walk through it with the BLK2GO.”

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