How to Achieve 99% Accuracy in concrete Scanning

The Solution is Industry-Leading Methodology, Multiple Locating Technologies

How to Achieve 99% Accuracy in concrete Scanning

The Solution is Industry-Leading Methodology, Multiple Locating Technologies
A worker scans a concrete wall with ground penetrating radar.
Concrete scanning ensures you avoid costly and potentially dangerous subsurface damage during construction projects

The concrete slab under your feet is riddled with electrical conduit, rebar, and post-tension (PT) cable.

You don’t want to strike any of these things when sawing or drilling through that concrete.

Severing rebar or PT cable could lead to immediate, devastating structural failure that puts everyone in and around your jobsite at risk. Damaging conduit puts everyone at risk of electrocution.

Beyond the danger, it will cost you tens of thousands of dollars to repair the damage. A single damaged PT cable costs upwards of $20,000 to repair/replace.

To protect your people, your reputation, and your bottom line, it’s essential that you hire a professional concrete scanning company like GPRS to provide precision concrete scanning & imaging services.

Since our founding in 2001, GPRS has achieved and maintains a 99.8%+ accuracy rating on concrete scanning and utility locating projects.

We do this by combining industry leading methodology, state-of-the-art technologies, and GPRS’ standard practice of tailoring our services to meet your job’s specific needs.

The Methodology

Everything that GPRS Project Managers accomplish in the field for you goes back to the training they receive when they join our team.

That training is underpinned by the Subsurface Investigation Methodology, or SIM, the industry-leading process for conducting concrete scanning, utility locating, leak detection, and video (CCTV) pipe inspection.

The SIM standard specifies that a professional locating contractor must utilize multiple locating technologies – including GPR and electromagnetic (EM) locating – to create redundancy when locating subsurface objects.

To become SIM certified – a requirement to work in the field for GPRS – our Project Managers must complete a minimum of 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom training. Through this process, they face a variety of real-world scenarios to prepare them for even the most unique situations they may encounter in the field.

The national standard for certification for subsurface investigation (ASNT SNT-TC-1A) states that a minimum of 8 hours of classroom training and 60 hours of practical application coaching is needed to be certified as NDT Level 1. When you compare this to what it takes to become SIM certified, you start to see how GPRS Project Managers provide industry-leading accuracy in their utility locates, concrete scans, and other subsurface investigations.

SIM goes even further, providing a step-by-step approach to collecting subsurface data to ensure that the results are repeatable and accurate. This includes a checklist of steps Project Managers must complete to ensure optimal results for every situation encountered in the field.

That process starts before the Project Manager even arrives on site. By working with you to understand the scope of your work, the medium in which you need your data delivered and more, we can tailor our services to meet your needs and ensure you walk away with information that is both accurate and actionable.

A worker uses an electromagnetic locator while other workers are in the background.
GPRS Utilizes a variety of technologies to ensure redundancy and repeatability in our subsurface investigation methods

The Technology

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is at the heart of GPRS’ concrete scanning services.

The technology involves using a GPR scanner to send a radio signal into a concrete surface. The radio waves interact with any items embedded in the concrete, and those interactions are detected by the GPR receiver and displayed in a reading as hyperbolas that vary in size and shape depending on the type of material discovered.

GPRS Project Managers interpret these readings to tell you what kind of utility or support structure was identified and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of where you can and can’t cut or core into the concrete.

To compliment GPR, GPRS Project Managers also utilize electromagnetic (EM) locators.

EM locating involves either using a transmitter to emit a selected frequency through a known line, and a receiver to detect the signal, or just using a receiver to pick up ambient signals emitted from the buried utilities.

Using GPR and EM locating in concert allows GPRS Project Managers to find anything and everything hidden within your concrete.

Once concrete has been scanned, GPRS Project Managers can use 3D laser scanners to record the markings indicating the location of subsurface objects. This creates a permanent record of the findings that our Mapping & Modeling Team can turn into 2D CAD drawings, 3D BIM models, or other types of deliverables that aid in virtual design, construction, and renovation.

A workers uses a 3D laser scanner.
3D laser scanners can pick up the findings of subsurface investigations to create an accurate, permanent record of what’s beneath the surface of your concrete slab

Your Project, Your Rules

A large, national contractor needed to know the precise location, spacing, and depth of PT cable throughout 12 floors of a 49-story building. There’s approximately 12,500 square feet of concrete on each of those 13 floors, and each one of those slabs was laced with PT cable to support the weight of the massive high-rise.

Even though the cable was laid by the contractor in the newly built tower, each of those tendons would have shifted at least slightly during the curing of the concrete. So, GPRS Project Managers used GPR to locate and trace the cable, and then 3D laser scanned each floor to produce 2D CAD drawings and a 3D BIM model for virtual design and construction.

The architect on the project received a permanent record of the PT cable layout to complete fit and finish design plans for the 12 floors. This allowed workers to safely cut, core and drill through the concrete for building-wide MEP and HVAC installations.

By tailoring our services to meet your needs, GPRS ensures that you can Intelligently Visualize The Built World® while staying on time, on budget, and safe. We’re so confident in the accuracy and quality of the concrete scans conducted by our Project Managers that we created the Green Box Guarantee. If we place a Green Box within a concrete layout prior to you cutting or coring, we guarantee that area will be free of obstructions. If we’re wrong, we agree to pay the material cost of the damage.

What can we help you visualize? Click the links below to schedule a service or request a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is concrete scanning?

Concrete scanning is the process of using non-destructive technology like ground penetrating radar to investigate a concrete slab for items like rebar, post-tension (PT) cable, or conduits that, if damaged while cutting or coring, could lead to costly and potentially dangerous consequences.

How long does GPR scanning take?

It depends on the size and scope of the job, but GPRS Project Managers can typically scan large sections of concrete within a matter of hours thanks to the repeatable methods they learn through their SIM training, and the versatility and efficiency of their state-of-the-art ground penetrating radar scanners.

What is the purpose of rebar scanning?

By identifying the location and depth of rebar within your concrete before coring or cutting through it, you avoid the risk of costly and potentially dangerous structural damage to your facility.