What value do construction jobsite cameras provide for construction? Vinnie Quinn, cofounder and director of Evercam Construction Cameras shares thoughts with Constructech editorial director Peggy Smedley on the importance of project management cameras in construction and what will drive the use of the technology in the future.
Constructech (CT): What is the importance of project management cameras in construction today?
Vinnie Quinn: Cameras on construction sites are valuable for so much more than just security. Images and pictures can be used for a much more productive, proactive, communicative purpose. The role of visual communication in construction management is an ever-growing requirement within the industry. Construction cameras provide a full record of the construction process. With Evercam that digital archive is recorded in full video and stored both locally and to the cloud. That archive of footage and the live view from your camera are the single source of truth, which is so important in the case of a dispute, accident, or progress update.
Construction sites are busy, complicated environments with a lot of moving parts, images and video provide full transparency to the entire team, keeping everyone on the same page.
CT: What value do they provide?
Quinn: Construction is a high value industry, so when things go wrong it’s expensive. Having the full archive of video footage has helped our customers save money and resolve disputes.
After understanding how our cameras had become an integral part of construction site management, we became aware of the underlying need for verifiable intelligence around construction site activity. Such as with our Gate Report feature—a product that uses artificial intelligence to create a record of all vehicles entering and exiting a site—we are providing our growing client base with a much-needed degree of clarity, while helping them improve project efficiencies across the board.
CT: How can visual documentation help in construction?
Quinn: First, visual documentation provides a digital record of everything that happens on site. This digital record can be used for safety, quality, continuous improvement, marketing, and more.
Second, visual documentation means so much more than time-lapse to our customers. Where they find valuable information time and time again is in the event of a dispute or variation on their project. Variations may be caused by factors such as extreme weather conditions, site conditions, change in the scope of work, etc. These variations change the schedule of work, quantity of materials used, and in some cases the quality of work. Visual documentation—such as having a digital archive like Evercam—aids our customers’ ability to investigate an issue or communicate any variations. Having the ability to communicate more efficiently and solve queries can prevent delays, accidents, costly rework, and eventually construction disputes amongst the affected parties.
CT: What recommendations or advice might you have for companies beginning to use this technology?
Quinn: We recommend taking the time to choose the solution that is right for your project in the long term. Often companies rush into choosing a construction camera, only to find that it was not fit for purpose later in the project. Common mistakes include choosing cameras that don’t record full video and being disappointed when footage is needed in the event of a dispute. Many customers of ours have tried to create time-lapse videos using an ‘of-the-shelf’ solution, only to be later disappointed when they are unable to edit the hours of video footage. Spending the time and sometimes a little extra budget on a high-quality solution provides long term, beneficial value.
CT: What will drive the use of this technology in the future?
Quinn: Regulation. It’s becoming more and more common that construction cameras are becoming a requirement on government projects around the world. Government projects are often high value and high risk. Having the right visual documentation of the project means visual proof of compliance for audits and inspections. It allows for added security, safety, and best practice project management on a project. Time-lapse videos and live camera updates also provide resources for those who work on communicating these projects, so that the community and taxpayer are aware of the progress being made.
- There are also advancements in the industry. We know that reality capture is the future of digital construction. Construction cameras are a low input/high impact source of truth on construction projects. Every day we are seeing how our customers have saved money through reduced insurance premiums, supplier disputes, accident claims, and more—having a camera capturing everything that happens on site is a no-brainer. Having a camera that integrates with the project management tools and software you are already using will bridge the communication gaps that are causing decreased productivity on construction sites every day.