Reality Capture

Digital Construction Oil Interceptor Tank

04/11/22 - By Daniel Jordan

Digital Construction is successfully becoming normality in everyday projects.


Digital technologies and methods are an integral part of the AEC industry. The choice shouldn’t be when our projects will involve a single piece of technology to help us. But how much we are willing to learn the positive impact it can have on the whole project life cycle. Superseding traditional methods as they are successfully implemented.

Whilst working on a construction project we’re currently involved in, a large Oil Interceptor tank. We wanted to demonstrate how the benefits of Digital Construction boosted efficiency and performance through the entirety of the build.


Where possible, we applied as many viable Digital Construction practices to aid the planning and execution of this tricky construction project.

We’ve split the successful practices into the two categories below. This demonstrates how Digital Construction benefits each stage of the project we’ve worked on.

Pre-Construction – Digital Construction.

  • Collaboration of issued 2D design information – collated to a server location to ensure the entire construction team are working from the most up-to-date drawings.
  • Pre-entry Reality Capture / Topo Survey – to identify before construction starts, coordination issues with other contractors, and calculated cut volume of material to be exported.
  • 3D Design Model derived from 2D design drawings – to identify potential design errors, provide better information for material take-offs and visualisation for the construction team.
  • Verified Machine Control excavation model – which ensures batters are cut to Temporary works requirements. The extent of excavation footprint is established which demonstrates the interface with existing services.
  • 4D Model – to demonstrate how long the design will take to build, allowing construction progress to be visualised and ensures approved program dates can be realistically achieved.
  • Swept Path Analysis – to confirm the tank can be delivered in a logistically challenging environment. Swept path checked against point cloud survey, which highlights site constraints.

Construction Phase – Digital Construction.

  • Periodic Laser Scanning – to verify site progress, verifying the Machine Control works are being achieved to site tolerances, Temporary Works designs can be viewed in an accurate digital environment, progress updates can be shared with the construction team and stakeholders.
  • Scan to BIM comparison – used to check the design 3D model of Interceptor tank against the as built rebar, confirming the correct cover has been achieved before the Oil Interceptor tank is lifted into position.


As a company, we’re seeing contractors engage more and more with different verticals of Digital Construction. While it can be difficult to know, and trust, that some technologies realistically meet media hype, or biased White Papers of products that haven’t been tested in a truthful environment. We’ve found that the adoption of Digital Construction, where possible, far outweighs the sometimes-prehistoric traditional methodologies.

As Digital Construction evolves at a rapid pace with new tools, software and products being constantly released. Exposure to the advertisement of the latest and greatest releases is difficult to ignore through the mediums of social media platforms and email advertisements. We’re continuing to endorse the products that complement our existing workflows, but also continue to trial, successfully or not, the exciting technical opportunities that are available to us.

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