Skip to main content

New York, NY
NBA’s Brooklyn Nets Call On 3D Experts At Gilbane

By TJ McCueFriday, October 10, 2014
3D, BIM, Construction

  • Carousel
  • Carousel
  • Carousel

Here’s a challenge: Create a new basketball training facility from a pre-WWII building where you have little information about the structure. Oh, and do it in about a year. That’s the challenge that Gilbane Inc faces in a cool project for the NBA Brooklyn Nets.

In a normal construction situation, where you are doing a major renovation, you have information about the building and area that helps you with the job. In this major construction effort, the Gilbane team has an old building with limited or incorrect information, in a pre-World War II artillery warehouse.

So, they grabbed their FARO laser scanner and got to work scanning. 65 scans, to start. They had to laser scan the entire facility and compare it to the as-built model to figure out the basics. They found out that many columns, walls, and elevator shafts were pretty far off a level or plumb mark. Columns were off by substantial amounts – three feet in some places. By pulling those scans into Autodesk Revit (building design software), they were able to compare old drawings and the new scan data, to create a new digital model to give to the design team.

The new Brooklyn Nets practice facility – is a huge space that will have practice courts, locker rooms, coach’s rooms, meeting rooms, and a spa/workout area, of course. As you can see in the photos, they are practically working from a blank slate, except that they have to re-imagine everything in 3D and take down what’s already there…

3DRV hung out with Rawle Sawh, Virtual Design and Construction manager for Gilbane, for an afternoon this summer. If Gilbane sounds familiar, it is because we also spent some time with Rawle’s colleague, John Myers, in Boston just a few weeks before this visit to New York. You can read that post here: The Future of Building With Gilbane Building Company

Here’s a bit of what their full process looks like:

1. Received design from the architect, an Autodesk Revit model, then started laser scans processing all the information in FARO Scene software

2. Brought those Scene scans into Autodesk ReCap – combined files into a single (large) file

3. Those polished scans are then brought into Autodesk Navisworks and Revit

4. Built Revit model based on existing conditions

5. Took that model back to Navisworks to combine it with pre-war drawing

6. Compared new model to old model to see where the differences were

As we walk the space, it is a deceivingly large space, but photos, video, and even drawings don’t do it justice. It is an enormous 80-year-old pre-war warehouse. It was previously used to manufacture artillery for WWII. It is built to withstand some serious weight and force (moving large artillery isn’t kind to a building), so in many ways, this is the perfect building for a team of guys to play serious ball.

Some other cool facts:

  • Gilbane estimates $150,000 cost savings on time involved in processing data in the drawing process vs. waiting until construction started
  • The whole roof of the center space, which is the basketball courts, will be raised. New columns will raise the roof to 30-feet. There are substantial trusses; they’re demolishing the roof around that
  • Gilbane has really cool visuals of the flatness of the slab; well, it isn’t flat. But they essentially created a heat map of the flatness of the slab. They will be doing some leveling to make that court smooth. No one wants to dribble uphill, although it might be a good way to increase your stamina. 

3D continues to change construction and keeping up with projects like this cannot be easy. But Gilbane is leading the charge and helping its clients find the best ways to build or renovate in record time, with great quality, thanks to their teams thinking in 3D.

Follow along at! #3DRV

Get on the Map

Want to be a part of the 3DRV experience?


It's as simple as a tweet or a post to your wall with the #3DRV hashtag.

  • Comment on the tour
  • Share your thoughts
  • Post a photo

Want to see your post on the map?

Set Geolocation to ON for Facebook and Twitter on your mobile device.
(Please note that all fanfare posts will be reviewed prior to inclusion on the map.)

Send a
to 3DRV