Crombie Success Story

Reliable Data for Planning and Design

Planning and executing the redevelopment of a large retail and commercial building site is a challenging and lengthy process. A lack of current and trustworthy as-built documentation intensifies this challenge. SDMM’s 3D laser and building information modelling (BIM) delivers reliable data on existing building conditions that forms the basis for design and is an essential element of successful project planning and risk mitigation.


The Challenge

When Crombie REIT, one of Canada’s leading national retail property landlords, was planning a large-scale cosmetic renovation and site redevelopment of the Avalon Mall in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the first challenge they faced was a lack of good as-built records. A site of over 100 acres including commercial office towers, strip mall plazas, a parkade and 500,000+ square feet of leasable space, the Avalon Mall project required an accurate and comprehensive view of existing conditions that could be shared among the various consultants who were conceptualizing and planning future renovation options.


The Solution

SDMM has a positive history working with Crombie and understands their business, their challenges, and their needs. We had a vision for how we could use 3D laser scanning and building information modeling (BIM) to accelerate the uptake of large amounts of data, deepen everyone’s understanding of the project environment, and provide 3D visuals that would be navigable, computable, and measurable. Our goal was to provide meaningful spatial information that could contribute to better planning and design, thereby saving Crombie time and money in the long and short term.


The Result

Using cutting-edge reality capture techniques, we were able to accurately and efficiently capture the entire interior and exterior of the Avalon Mall, including the other buildings on the property, and create as-is BIMs for each of them. We provided this information in a familiar industry format that was easily transferrable to the other project consultants.  These models served as the basis for future design and provided our client the benefit of certainty about their existing assets.


The Advantage of Reality!

As-built records are the starting point of every renovation, refit, or refurbishment project.

Unfortunately, most as-built information is either non-existent or woefully outdated and inaccurate.  Access to reliable data on existing [building] conditions from current as-built information forms the basis for design and is an essential element of successful project planning and risk mitigation.  Without it, a design that relies on incomplete or inaccurate information encounters issues that become engrained or baked in to the project documentation.  As the project moves from one phase to the next, these issues become more complex and their impact on the overall success of the project becomes larger and more costly to fix.

Early detection of construction variances reduces costs and enhances overall project performance.

A large percentage of errors in construction occur during the building process, resulting in costly rework and adversely affecting the overall performance of the project. Reality capture technologies allow faster, easier, and more thorough collection of site information and help to identify potential clashes during construction.  For example, laser scans can quickly create 3D models of the as-constructed conditions which can be compared to the measurements taken from the design to identify errors and omissions.

It is widely accepted that the cost of building ownership is heavily weighted towards operation and maintenance over the lifecycle of the asset.

Traditional methods of managing and operating real property assets no longer support the needs of today’s sophisticated building owner and their increasingly technology savvy staff.  An overwhelming number of O&M workers are set to retire in the next 5-10 years and with them, a significant amount of institutional knowledge that is not documented anywhere will be lost. The emergence of new reality capture & computing technologies, combined with Building Information Modeling is providing building owners with data-rich digital models of their facilities that serve as a single, trusted source of information that supports computerized maintenance management systems, energy management systems, and building lifecycle/asset management systems.

SDMM Customer Advantage

SDMM’s Reality Computing Division provides customers the benefit of certainty by delivering reliable, current, existing conditions documentation as accurate 3D point clouds, virtual site access, existing conditions models for BIM, 3D models for CAD, realistic photo-models, and 2D plans of the built world that support all phases of project execution. Leveraging reality as the basis for design promotes confidence in the planning, review, analysis, design, construction, maintenance & operation of new and existing [building] assets.

Servant Dunbrack McKenzie & MacDonald

Land Surveyors  |  Consulting Engineers

Office:   (902) 455-1537, x240

Mobile: (902) 449-5307



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