Automatic indoor as-built building information models generation by using low-cost RGB-D sensors

Yaxin Li, Wenbin Li, Shengjun Tang, Walid Darwish, Yuling Hu, Wu Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


To generate indoor as-built building information models (AB BIMs) automatically and economically is a great technological challenge. Many approaches have been developed to address this problem in recent years, but it is far from being settled, particularly for the point cloud segmentation and the extraction of the relationship among different elements due to the complicated indoor environment. This is even more difficult for the low-quality point cloud generated by low-cost scanning equipment. This paper proposes an automatic as-built BIMs generation framework that transforms the noisy 3D point cloud produced by a low-cost RGB-D sensor (about 708 USD for data collection equipment, 379 USD for the Structure sensor and 329 USD for iPad) to the as-built BIMs, without any manual intervention. The experiment results show that the proposed method has competitive robustness and accuracy, compared to the high-quality Terrestrial Lidar System (TLS), with the element extraction accuracy of 100%, mean dimension reconstruction accuracy of 98.6% and mean area reconstruction accuracy of 93.6%. Also, the proposed framework makes the BIM generation workflows more efficient in both data collection and data processing. In the experiments, the time consumption of data collection for a typical room, with an area of 45–67 m2, is reduced to 4–6 min with an RGB-D sensor from 50–60 min with TLS. The processing time to generate BIM models is about half minutes automatically, from around 10 min with a conventional semi-manual method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number293
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • as-built BIMs
  • Automatic
  • RGB-D sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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