Tunneling appropriate computational models from laser scanning data

Linh Truong-Hong, Debra F. Laefer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Tunneling projects often require computational models of existing structures. To this end, this paper demonstrates the viability of automatically, robustly reconstructing an individual building model from laser scanning data for further computational modeling without any manual intervention. The resulting model is appropriate for immediate importation into a commercial finite element method (FEM) program. The method combines a voxel-based technique with an angle criterion. Initially, the voxelization model is used to represent the façade model, while an angle criterion is implemented to determine boundaries of the façade and its openings (doors and windows). The algorithm overcomes common problems of occlusions or artefacts that arise during data acquisition. The resulting relative errors of overall dimensions and opening areas of geometric models were less 2% and 6%, respectively, which are generally within industry standards for this type of building modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIABSE Conference, Vancouver 2017
Subtitle of host publicationEngineering the Future - Report
PublisherInternational Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783857481536
StatePublished - 2017
Event39th IABSE Symposium in Vancouver 2017: Engineering the Future - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Sep 21 2017Sep 23 2017

Publication series

NameIABSE Conference, Vancouver 2017: Engineering the Future - Report


Other39th IABSE Symposium in Vancouver 2017: Engineering the Future


  • Angle criterion
  • Building damage
  • Building reconstruction
  • Finite element analysis
  • Laser scanning
  • Tunneling-induced settlement
  • Voxelization model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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