Episode 17: Brent Slawnikowski of Faro and Chris Rausch of the University of Waterloo

Using Reality Capture Technology in Prefabrication and Modular Construction

Welcome to Episode 17 of the Reality Capture Network Podcast! 

In this episode we welcome Brent Slawnikowski of Faro and Chris Rausch of the University of Waterloo. 


Brent Slawnikowski currently works as a Senior Account Manager for FARO Technologies providing solutions for the AEC industry.


Brent brings over a decade of surveying, laser scanning and civil engineering practice to the industry. Brent graduated from Purdue University Calumet in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. During his four year tenure at Purdue Calumet, he worked as an intern for Great Lakes Engineering and two years later took the role of Project Engineer at FALK PLI Engineering & Surveying. Expanding his reach a little further, Brent relocated to Florida in 2014 where he spent a year with CAPTEC Engineering as a Project Engineer. After his one year tenure in Florida, he relocated back to Northwest Indiana, where he picked up where he left off at FALK PLI Engineering & Surveying. Seeing an opportunity to offer his knowledge and experience to the AEC market, he joined FARO in June 2016.



Chris Rausch is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo, where he is developing algorithms and digital twin workflows to improve the state of modular construction. 


As part of his research, Chris uses reality capture technology to measure and track the geometry of modules to avoid rework during fabrication and onsite assembly. In addition to his research, Chris also works with Z Modular (a large multi-national modular construction company), where he is actively implementing the outputs of his research.


Question Guide for this Episode:

(0:43) Can you tell us a little about yourselves? 

(8:38) What are forces accelerating prefabrication and why do things seem to be going modular? 

(20:45) What’s the immediate problem that companies are trying solve by using reality capture technology in the prefabrication process?

(26:20) How widely adopted is the process of prefabricating modular pieces to bring in and construct?

(26:47) What are the reasons that the current adoption rate of this technology is so low?

(30:05) What are some of the main areas in which you see modular growing?

(37:15) How do you prove the upfront expenses with this technology will have save a company money?

(1:04:25) Chris, can you expand on some of your Ph.D. research?

(1:34:01) What is one technology, process, or workflow you’d like to see improved?



Extra Learnings:

(27:23) What are the differences between prefabrication and modular?

(32:00) Is modular construction actually cheaper than conventional construction?

(50:42) How builders can streamline their inspection process from different locations 

(1:13:00) Why educating yourself on reality capture technology is so important 

Brent and Chris’s advice to college students


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