Flat Floors on Day One

Author / Sean Higgins

Despite the technological developments that are currently transforming the construction industry, too many parts of the building process remain unchanged. Even as fabrication and design technologies grow more and more advanced, workflows for determining floor flatness and levelness (FF/FL) and obtaining industry-compliant ASTM E1155 reports remain the same as ever—burdensome and costly.

However, a new generation of 3D technologies is set to change this. By directly addressing the challenges associated with traditional methods they promise an efficient, cost-effective method for getting flat floors on day one. Here’s how.

The problems with traditional methods

First, it’s important to understand the problems with current methods. Today, many projects use a floor profiler, which involves sending an operator to walk across the floor with a tool, taking measurements every 12 inches. This presents a number of challenges.

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Incomplete Insight

Profilers capture sample measurements rather than the full floor—limiting the amount of insight they offer.

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Timeline Restrictions

Profilers can be used only once the concrete has dried, severely limiting scheduling options and making it impossible to correct

As a result of these drawbacks, contractors often choose to work with third-party specialists. These specialists can use more advanced tools to perform the work faster and get more comprehensive data. However, this approach comes with significant challenges of its own.

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High Cost

Using a third party requires waiting a day or more to obtain a single FF/FL report. This can add extra costs in the thousands, as well as stress for project managers, contractors and workers.

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Inadequate Reporting

Finding time for a specialist to visit a busy site is extremely complex, causing even further delays. When adjustments need to be made after the initial FF/FL analysis, that means scheduling another site visit.

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Inadequate Reporting

The final reports are often insufficiently detailed, or not directly actionable, which costs even more time as projects determine what needs to be done first.

THE SOLUTION:
Smart 3D Analysis

Fortunately, current 3D tools optimized for FF/FL analysis address many of these problems directly. A new generation of laser scanners make it possible for contractors to gather detailed FF/FL data entirely in house. With their greatly improved ease of use, and features that streamline the capture process, they make it possible for nearly any professional to capture the data they need for advanced analysis.

By combining these tools with an intelligent, automated QA software application, contractors can generate industry-compliant reports in nearly real-time, enabling them to take control of their QA work and get flat floors on schedule. These workflows offer a number of benefits over previous methods:

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Detailed Measurement

3D scanners capture data points between 0.1 - 0.5 inches apart—a much higher information density than the profiler’s 12-inch grid.

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Faster ASTM E1155 Reporting

A 3D laser scanner and an intelligent QA software tool can generate ASTM E1155 reports in a matter of minutes, compared to the hours or days it takes using other methods.

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Early Action

Some of these laser scanners, like the GLS-2000, are optimized for capturing wet concrete. This means that high and low areas can be located immediately after screeding, and then corrected before the slab sets.

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Detailed On-Demand Reporting

Specialized QA software can visualize deviations in a number of ways. Rithm, for example, can quickly produce heat maps, contours, and grid points, reducing reporting time from days to minutes.

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Full Workflow Integration

Rithm offers native integration with Autodesk® Navisworks®, an industry standard software, to streamline your existing processes.

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More Affordable

Rithm offers native integration with Autodesk® Navisworks®, an industry standard software, to streamline your existing processes.

These tools empower users to take control of their QA, and get detailed actionable data without the scheduling problems that come with third-party specialists. Now, concrete finishers can now produce a flat, level floor on day one.

For more information about our advanced FF/FL analysis workflow, which combines the GLS-2000 laser scanning and our Rithm QA tool
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Sean Higgins is an independent technology writer, former trade publication editor, and outdoors enthusiast. He believes that clear, buzzword-free writing about 3D technologies is a public service.