Data Center Building Upgrades Require GPRS 3D Laser Scanning

Data Center Building Upgrades Require GPRS 3D Laser Scanning

Building State-of-the-Art Data Centers

Telecom data centers are essential for many businesses, as they supply a vast range of services, including website hosting, business data storage, financial transaction processing, and more. There is a rising demand for data centers, as businesses need to scale their IT infrastructure as they grow.

A colocation center, also known as a “carrier hotel,” is a type of data center where you can rent space and bandwidth from the data center’s owner. They provide power, cooling, and network connectivity, but the tenants provide their own hardware, such as servers, storage, and supporting infrastructure. These facilities also might have food service, workspace for customers, and conference rooms.

Data center owners aim to provide state of the art facilities by upgrading the space, investing in the tenant’s expanding needs, and accommodating new content and network providers. Power and cooling continue to be primary concerns for the data center industry.

As clients upgrade their facility, they require comprehensive as-built site data for design planning and construction management. Telecom and data center facilities are calling GPRS for accurate architectural, structural, and MEP as-builts to reduce the reworks, delays, and costs associated from working with outdated plans.

The Pittock Block Internet Exchange Building, located in Portland, Oregon, announced capital improvements across several of its data centers. GPRS was hired to 3D laser scan a portion of the 8-story, 302,262 s.f. building and create a 3D BIM model to plan for renovations.

The 1914-built historic building evolved over the years from serving as an electric substation distribution location to housing the second greatest density of telecom networks and carriers on the west coast.  The data center facility includes 16 fiber optic carriers, 179 other service providers, and seven subsea cables connecting the building’s global grade Internet Exchange.

Infrastructure Upgrades in First Phase of Project

“With the expansion and further investing in Pittock Block, we will continue to support our tenants’ expanding needs while accommodating new content and network providers,” said J. Todd Raymond, CEO of the data center.

“The goal is to build and improve upon the existing building network to create an ecosystem of IT infrastructure providers and content delivery tenants. The first phase of this project will focus on common areas and mission-critical infrastructure to create turnkey data center halls and retail suites,” added Raymond.

The data center hired a large-scale construction contractor to complete the renovation project, including upgrades to the tenant and common areas on the ground floor, mezzanine level, fourth floor, and eighth floor. Renovation plans also included the construction of new entry vestibules, equipment and support rooms, as well as modifications to ground floor facades.

GPRS 3D Laser Scanned the Data Center

Daniel Jones, GPRS Project Manager, worked closely with the client to scope this project. The client requested as-built data of the basement, building levels 1-4 and 8 and the exterior roof. Some of the site was not ready for 3D laser scanning on the first mobilization, as it was in the middle of demolition. Daniel worked with the client to schedule a second mobilization to capture the as-built details of this space.

In total, Daniel captured approximately 200,000 square feet of space with the Leica RTC360, taking 504 laser scans. “We captured the main structural, MEP systems, data closets, and cooling system in the building, including the walls, floor, ceiling, doors, windows, exposed columns, beams, stairs, piping, conduit, and ducts,“ said Jones. Colorized point cloud data was delivered to the GPRS Mapping and Modeling team to generate an Autodesk Revit 3D Model for the client. A 3D model will accurately represent the structure’s geometry, spatial relationships, building structure, and systems.  

“This property spanned an entire city block and featured a central lightwell. My 3D scanning training and experience helped me to accurately tie in data from the lightwell to the rest of the building,” said Jones. “The roof also contained an extensive cooling system to ensure that hot air generated by the data center is expelled to prevent damage to the servers.”

3D BIM Model Data Center

3D Model Delivered for Design-Build

The GPRS Mapping and Modeling team delivered a design intent architectural/structural/MEP standard detail 3D BIM model. Design intent means the model will be delivered as a best fit to the point cloud, working within customary standards such as walls being modeled perpendicular to the floor, pipes and conduit modeled straight, floors and ceilings modeled horizontal, and steel members modeled straight and plumb.

A design intent 3D BIM model will produce cleaner 2D drawings and allow for easy dimensioning of the scan area. 2D drawings are useful for pre-construction, allowing teams to understand the project’s scope quickly, prior to getting into the finer details using a 3D model.

3D laser scanning and BIM modeling will allow the general contractor to expedite design-build plans and construction management. For example, when upgrading the cooling system, a BIM model can optimize system efficiency, with better fabrication and fewer errors. BIM tools bring powerful capabilities and help contractors to reduce change orders, delays, and costs.

“All of us face difficult obstacles on our projects, but at the end of the day, we collectively turn around, look at what we’ve created, and it takes our breath away. It’s why we do it.” - Tim Regan, President and CEO, data center Construction Contractor.

2D CAD Drawings Data Center
2D drawings are useful for pre-construction, allowing teams to understand the project’s scope quickly, prior to getting into the finer details using a 3D model.


You can trust the GPRS team to provide the best experience in laser scanning by walking you through the entire 3D laser scanning process from pre-planning through project completion.

We offer a consultative approach to project management, working with you to ensure our data, maps, and models are the perfect solution for your project. The data delivered is accurate within millimeters, and the maps and models provide complete as built and location data.  

Our elite team of Project Managers is required to complete an extensive training program before performing field services on your jobsite. Every Project Manager completes 80 hours of classroom training and 320 hours of field mentoring.

The Leica RTC360 laser scanner used on site captures two million data points per second with 2-6mm accuracy, delivering a colorized point cloud and HDR imagery in under 2 minutes per scan location. Automatic targetless field registration and the seamless transfer of data from site to office reduces time spent on the jobsite.

GPRS offers a wide range of laser scanning, photogrammetry, and visualization services. We work closely with each client to define the project scope and use the right tools to achieve the accuracy and deliverables needed to successfully complete each project.

All GPRS team members work together to help you Intelligently Visualize The Built World® to reduce change orders and costs, so that your projects come in on time and on budget.

For 3D laser scanning services in Portland, Vancouver, Seattle, Sacramento, Spokane, Boise, and the surrounding area, contact GPRS today at 419-843-7226 or email for your customized quote.

Customized quotes are developed for each client based on the scope of the project and the deliverable requested.

What can we help you visualize?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a colocation data center?

A colocation data center refers to a data center that enables you to rent out space for your own hardware. For example, instead of using your own space for your servers, cables, networking devices, and other computing equipment, you can rent out space in a colocation data center.

What are the advantages of a laser scanner?

A single laser scan captures millions of 3D data points per second, providing incredibly rich detail of a building or project site. Datasets are dimensionally accurate, measurable and shareable, expediting project planning and execution.

Will my project require utility locating?

Yes, utility locating will provide clients up-to-date utility maps so that any necessary excavation can be completed safely, and so that maintenance and repairs can be planned and targeted to reduce unnecessary excavation, utility strikes, and accidents. GPRS has completed subsurface utility locating for many of the large telecom companies in the United States; in fact, our highly trained project managers have experience in all telecom-related settings such as OSP construction, macro tower placement and modifications, ISP placement and installation, small cells, fiber optic installation, and much more.

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