Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Real-Time Monitoring: Augmenting Building Information Modeling with 3D Imaging Data to Control Drilling for Embeds into Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks



Manu Akula, Robert R. Lipman, Marek Franaszek, Geraldine Cheok, Kamel Saidi, Vineet Kamat


A major contributing factor attributed to accidents in construction is the lack of hazard recognition due to limited visibility that characterizes construction projects. Real-time monitoring systems that utilize context aware computing techniques facilitate construction personnel with supplementary information that can potentially help them in taking more informed decisions and in recognizing potentially hazardous situations. This paper presents a framework for developing real-time monitoring systems and demonstrates its potential by addressing the problem of placing embeds into reinforced concrete railway bridge decks. The problem of placing embeds into reinforced concrete structures, after concrete is poured, without damaging reinforcement bars (rebar), is an industry-wide challenge encountered across the construction industry. In concrete structures such as containment vessels, bridge decks and post-tensioned concrete floors, damaging rebar may compromise structural integrity and result in considerable rework. This paper presents research that investigated and implemented conceptual solutions for processing and incorporating point cloud data obtained from various 3D imaging technologies into the drilling process in real time. The 3D imaging technologies were used to map the locations of rebar within a replica of a section of a railway bridge deck. Once the point clouds were processed, zones which are safe for drilling are automatically detected and saved as a Building Information Model (BIM), which is then used to provide real-time feedback to the drill operator about whether it is safe to continue drilling based on the position and orientation of the drill. A conceptual method for providing visual feedback about the rebar and utility line locations to the drill operator using a laser projector was also developed and is also presented. Visualization methods for comparing the data obtained from the various 3D imaging technologies using the BIM are discussed. (...)
Automation in Construction


Building Information Model, 3D imaging, embeds in reinforced concrete


Akula, M. , Lipman, R. , Franaszek, M. , Cheok, G. , Saidi, K. and Kamat, V. (2013), Real-Time Monitoring: Augmenting Building Information Modeling with 3D Imaging Data to Control Drilling for Embeds into Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks, Automation in Construction, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 15, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021