Concrete Scanning for Coring Holes

The construction industry is embracing a trend of increased planning and preparation. This allows for timely and efficient work as well as risk mitigation. Despite this, mistakes and overlooked aspects of a project are still almost inevitable, especially on large projects with several parties involved. Xradar are able to work with project teams to reduce that element of risk to a comfortable level.

GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) concrete scanning and concrete coring teams work closely together when looking to perform safe, efficient and ultimately successful core drilling. In this brief article, we try to summarize a common scanning and coring scenario for Xradar in Vancouver or Toronto, and help to understand the value of having combined scan/core teams.

A Common Concrete Pouring Mistake

An example of a common mistake when prepping for concrete pours is improperly placed or missing cans.

These provide pre-existing openings in the concrete to run a variety of objects through (eg. electrical conduits or plumbing). With these mistakes being so common, “after the fact” penetrations through concrete slabs and walls are often required when building concrete structures and buildings.

Drilling into a concrete slab without a concrete scan can feel like entering the unknown, and you can be more hopeful than confident of success.

Countless contractors can tell you their story about taking the chance to penetrate the slab without performing a proper GPR concrete scan. It's regrettable, time consuming, and expensive when hitting a conduit or other embedded object.

A Vancouver High-Rise

Recently, a client from the Lower Mainland constructed another multi-story building in Vancouver. Whilst doing their pre-pour lay out, they unfortunately incorrectly placed three stacks of cans, which were intended for plumbing.

The client could no longer run their pipe in this location, so they required new holes drilled in alternative locations. Assuming that nothing “important” would be in the slab, they attempted to drill a hole themselves, striking an embedded conduit. This is a costly mistake, leading to delays and repair costs. After the incident, they decided to reach out to Xradar.

Scanning and coring locations on multiple floors

Conflict-Free Coring

Xradar was contacted, and our dispatch team scheduled the client in a way that accommodated their schedule. An Xradar Scan/Core team then mobilized and headed to site.

For these types of concrete scanning jobs the antenna of choice is a GSSI high frequency hand held palm that is ideal for scanning in corners and stairwells due to its small size. Lower frequency antennas tend to be much larger in size, and are less agile in small spaces.

The scanning team proceeded to efficiently mark out all of the embedded objects in the slab for the new proposed locations of the holes.

With this info gathered and documented, Xradar provided recommended conflict-free core locations to the client. In this case they were able to avoid all embedded objects, including rebar and conduits.

If this step was taken prior to the contractor attempting to core one of the locations themselves, with no data, it is most likely that this initial incident could have been avoided. Xradar has come across this scenario countless times and hope to demonstrate the value of scanning before penetrating concrete structures of any sort.

Now that the area was fully scanned and labelled to represent the objects within the concrete, it was time to diamond core drill the agreed locations.

Within the same day the Xradar coring team was able to efficiently and cleanly core uniform holes of the clients requested diameter through the slab. The team left the client happy, and their cored holes ready to have plumbing installed without any further project delays.

Clearly marking out potential hazards before proceeding
Clearly marking out potential hazards before proceeding


The construction industry is fast-paced, and the ability to achieve results quickly is often rewarded. Production speed is only valuable if it's achieved in a safe and sustainable manner.

We feel Xradar's services provide balance to the commonly imbalanced judgement of speed vs quality.

This case study not only highlights an ability to help avoid costly repairs, but also achieve a safety level that all construction sites aspire to maintain. This level of care and regard for safety doesn’t just represent what Xradar stand for. Our processes help clients reinforce their reputation for quality work that doesn’t cut corners.

If you want to learn more about concrete scanning, visit out Blog Home, or this article outlining Concrete Scanning FAQs.