ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume X-1/W1-2023
05 Dec 2023
 | 05 Dec 2023


J. Knechtel, J. Behmann, J.-H. Haunert, and Y. Dehbi

Keywords: As-built BIM, Hidden Utilities, Electric Lines, Reasoning, Thermal Camera, Wire Detector

Abstract. Knowledge on the utilities hidden in the wall, e.g., electric lines or water pipes, is indispensable for work safety and valuable for planning. Since most of the existing building stock originates from the pre-digital era, no models as understood for Building Information Modeling (BIM) exist. To generate these models often labor-intensive procedures are necessary; however, recent research has dealt with the efficient generation and verification of a building’s electric network. In this context, a reliable measurement method is a necessity. In this paper we test different measurement techniques, such as point-wise measurements with hand-held devices or area-based techniques utilizing thermal imaging. For this purpose, we designed and built a simulation environment that allows various parameters to be manipulated under controlled conditions. In this scenario the low-cost handheld devices show promising results, with a precision between 92% and 100% and a recall between 89% and 100%. The expensive thermal imaging camera is also able to detect electric lines and pipes if there is enough power on the line or if the temperature of the water in the pipe and the environment’s temperature are sufficiently different. Nevertheless, while point-wise measurements can directly yield results, the thermal camera requires post-processing in specific analysis software. The results reinforce the idea of using reasoning methods in both the do-it-yourself and commercial sector, to rapidly gather information about hidden installations in a building without prior technical knowledge. This paves the way for, e.g., exploring the possibilities of an implementation and presentation in augmented reality (AR).