BAM Ireland utilise 3D laser scanning technology during the construction of a new children’s hospital in Dublin

Case Study

Leica Geosystems TruStory New Children’s Hospital - Dublin

Author: Simon Hall

Referred to in planning documents simply as the New Children’s Hospital (NCH), the new facility is due to combine the services currently provided at Dublin’s three tertiary children’s hospitals: Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street and Children’s Health Ireland at Tallaght.

The New Children’s Hospital (NCH) project comprises the main hospital on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital and two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres known as CHI at Connolly at Blanchardstown, and CHI at Tallaght.

Bam Ireland New Childrens Hospital Dublin Site Image Leica BLK360

The NCH project will have a significant impact on 25% of the population and is a Government priority, it is the single most significant capital investment project in the healthcare system undertaken in Ireland today. It will bring together the services currently provided at the three Dublin based children’s hospitals into a modern, custom-designed, digital, hospital on the campus shared with St James’ s Hospital, to deliver the best care and treatments for Ireland’s sickest children and young people.

As well as playing a central role in the provision of acute paediatric healthcare services, the new children’s hospital will be the primary centre for paediatric education, training, and research in Ireland. It will be a child-centred, world-class facility that will support innovation and excellence in paediatric healthcare, and create an environment that is supportive of children, young people, their families, and the hospital’s staff.

The new hospital is planned to be seven storeys high. Including the underground car park with 1,000 spaces there is due to be approximately 160,000 m2 of accommodation with 6,150 rooms and spaces. The plans include 320 individual inpatient rooms each with ensuite facilities and a bed for a parent or carer, 60 individual critical care rooms with associated parent overnight accommodation, 93-day beds, 22 operating theatres, five MRI’s and a hospital school. There is also a plan for a 53-bed family accommodation unit adjacent to the new hospital.

BAM Ireland were appointed as the main contractor for NCH and the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres at Connolly at Blanchardstown and Tallaght, with construction on the first phase of the project beginning in 2016.

“I have been using Leica Geosystems hardware and software solutions since 2010. Working as Architectural Technician in Surveying companies in Ireland and the UK, I was first using Leica Cyclone and Leica CloudWorx software. In 2015 I started scanning on site using Leica ScanStation P40 and Cyclone for office post-processing. BAM acquired three Leica BLK360 imaging laser scanners in 2017 and is actively using this type of scanner on most building sites in Ireland.”
Juraj Knotek – Digital Construction Specialist, BAM Contractors

The company is using 3D laser scanning during the preconstruction and construction stages of projects. A laser scan survey of building site and surrounding area is carried out on most important projects prior to construction works.



The NCH is one of the most significant capital investment projects ever undertaken in healthcare in Ireland.

Using laser scanning  equipment in a live and busy construction environment has its own specific challenges. For projects of this size, there are often limited times when certain areas of the site are accessible, considering exclusion zones and construction activity while adhering to health and safety regulations. Thus, it is especially important to capture, process and deliver scan data as quickly as possible.

Laser scanning survey and verification of constructed and installed elements, including M&E of the building, is an integral part of the project.

“3D laser scanning is the best and fastest way to capture geospatial data. It is a cost effective solution for both BAM and our clients.”



BAM began using the BLK360 imaging laser scanner in 2017, together with Autodesk ReCap. Laser scanning of the as-built structure and verification of as-built elements is a key part of the contract and is crucial for delivering quality and cost-effective solutions.

BAM implemented the BLK360 to capture the concrete and steel building frame and for validation of M&E equipment installed by its subcontractors. The imaging laser scanner captures the world around you with full-colour panoramic images overlaid on a high-accuracy point cloud. Simple to use with the single push of one button, the BLK360 is the smallest and lightest imaging scanner of its kind. Anyone who can operate a mobile-device can now capture and visualise the world around them with high resolution 3D panoramic images.

“Leica Geosystems offered us the best solution. The combination of a small and easy to use scanner for personnel with no survey background, the reliable and intuitive Cyclone FIELD 360 in-field mobile device app and Cyclone REGISTER 360 post-processing office software gave us a lot of export and import options. I often use the BLK360 together with the ScanStation P40, where the BLK360 is used for capturing small areas and rooms. This makes the workflow an ideal solution for a building construction company.”

Using Cyclone FIELD 360 app, the BLK360 streams image and point cloud data to a tablet computer or smartphone or final project data directly to Cyclone REGISTER 360 or Cyclone REGISTER 360 (BLK Edition) via Wi-Fi. With automated workflows in both software offerings, the BLK360 plus the software solution dramatically streamlines the reality capture process thereby opening this technology to non-surveying individuals. Simple export of LGS or RCP files makes working with point cloud data downstream in the Leica Geosystems and Autodesk suites simple and efficient, allowing users to spend less time processing data and more time creating meaningful deliverables.

One of the major milestones of the project is the completion of the building frame by spring 2021. The entire structure must be captured by laser scanning and total station equipment, and with two BLK360’s and the ScanStation P40 operating on this project, BAM are confident that the target will be achieved.

Bam Ireland New Childrens Hospital Dublin Leica BLK360



BAM began using laser scanning technology from the very outset of the project, from the tender stage through to the handover of project to client. Verification of pre-existing structures and installed services is crucial for contractors, and the BLK360 was implemented to make the laser scanning work more accessible. Surveys can be carried out more efficiently, with the results available the very same day.

BAM can capture larger areas much faster than using standard surveying techniques, allowing their staff to capture 30 mid-resolution scans with images in 1.5 hours, or up to 50 scans in two hours without images.

“The BLK360 with Cyclone FIELD 360 is easy to use, reasonably priced and easy to introduce to site teams for everyday use. For BAM Ireland, it is particularly important to have a product with support and updates. The BLK360 imaging laser scanner is small, easy to operate, portable and lightweight, making it the perfect solution for surveying in difficult and tight spaces. Together with Cyclone FIELD 360, it is ideal combination for plant rooms, services chambers, and small spaces, and it can be used without tripod. The BLK360 combined with Cyclone FIELD 360 and Cyclone REGISTER 360 increased productivity of our survey team, and therefore saved money for the company”.


A view to the future

In next phase of the construction, the BLK360 will be used to survey specific areas or special rooms and spaces, such as boiler rooms, switch rooms and plant rooms.

“BLK360 with Cyclone FIELD 360 and Cyclone REGISTER 360 brings back confidence to our staff and to our clients. The scanner is also much easier to use and, this is very important for BAM, it is much quicker to train people which have no previous experiences with this technology.”

Cyclone FIELD 360 and Cyclone REGISTER 360 enable BAM to use the BLK360 for regular surveying work, as well as in locations where the ScanStation P40 was previously used, such as stairways, plant rooms and attenuation tanks.

The BAM NCH Team will continue to utilise the BLK360 as the best-in-class solution to deliver accurate records and to support the handover for this critical infrastructure project.

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