As an electrical sub-contractor, daily jobsite documentation is critical for Canyon State Electric to ensure quality control and share on-site progress with key stakeholders. Before using StructionSite, capturing, organizing, and sharing photos was disjointed. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit the construction industry – hard – and the same volume of work had to be completed with fewer people on-site.
This case study highlights the multiple use cases and implementations of StructionSite into Canyon State Electrics workflows. Using StructionSite and state-of-the-art capture devices has enabled Canyon State Electric to ensure site documentation is constant and consistent in the frequency and quality of the data captured, do more work with fewer people, and spend quality time producing more.
When dealing with a project that was 2 hours from the closest city, Korsmo Construction was having difficulties keeping the schedule optimized for work to be completed onsite once it was ready for Subcontractors. The company also needed to keep out-of-state Engineers and Architects informed of the job status. Their previous documentation methods did not allow for easy communication among stakeholders, as it was disconnected and varied from person to person.
By using StructionSite for 360-degree project documentation, Korsmo was able to get their spec requirements covered. It allowed them to achieve just-in-time crew deployment, remotely view site conditions, and provide additional coordination information during subcontractor & OAC meetings. Subcontractors can now view 360-degree photos of their jobsite in the correct corresponding locations on a drawing, allowing them to easily review the status of a project from anywhere. StructionSite has allowed Korsmo to maintain their project schedule, keep their subs informed, and save hours of needless travel time.
Whip out your cell phone and take a picture. It’s that simple, right? Well, for the team at Choate Construction, a large commercial and general contractor headquartered in Atlanta, this was the quickest way to eat up all the memory on their smartphones. After the Choate team maxed out their cell phones, Tim Watson, Virtual Construction Manager, reports that they bought some hand-held digital cameras, and some bigger memory cards. Great, but the pictures just seemed to multiply like…well, photos in the digital age. How do you organize all of that? They had 100’s of pictures and they had to write down the location and unit number for each photo. Organizing the photos was a huge pain and taking valuable time away from construction projects.
The whole package really took Choate from 0 to 100 quickly, with a good ROI. In fact, the value of the StructionSite process to clients all around the world is hard to calculate, since this lets them see exactly what is going on at any given time. At turnover, this is a huge value to owners and FMs, “like X-ray vision to see where things are behind the walls.” Tim Watson continued, “StructionSite is the most natural evolution of photo taking for construction—from Polaroid to the digital camera, to Bluebeam, and now to StructionSite.”
Everyone from owners to subcontractors now expects digital documentation of projects every step of the way. For Bulley & Andrews, this meant using one primary software, supplemented by an estimated dozen others, in order to accurately capture, annotate, update and share jobsite pictures.
Although Bulley & Andrews was building quality into each step of each of their projects, this jumble of tech made it hard to showcase. In some cases, project pictures were stored in folders, and in the best-case scenario, each was dated accurately so the necessary parties could manually flip through them.
All of that changed when Bulley & Andrews adopted StructionSite. Virtually overnight, they had an easy-to-use, comprehensive solution that streamlined the documentation process of each Bulley & Andrews jobsite. Not only does StructionSite give Bulley & Andrews a tool to regularly and easily capture 360° walkthrough views of their projects, but it also helps them put that documentation to work for them.
StructionSite supports every part of the Bulley & Andrews process: from selling the job to project completion. This tool delivers the support they need to not only ensure they can maintain their quality levels in the digital age, but also the proof behind that promise.
Michael Gekas, Director of Virtual Design and Construction, and Dave Dalbey, Virtual Design and Construction Manager, described McCownGordon’s site documentation processes before StructionSite as limited. The team on site would take photos using their smartphones, then supers or field engineers would upload to Procore. These simple 2D photos lacked informative data and relied on a file-naming system for organization that was inherently complicated. More than that, these photos made it difficult to detect change over time and offered little information to help with decision making.
The many problems McCownGordon was encountering can all be summed up while working on a single project. The project was a 130-room university residence hall, where elevation photos of every room and wall were taken. Because all 130 rooms were virtually identical, it became very difficult to locate photos of a specific room’s progress, despite their best efforts in file naming.
According to Gekas and Dalbey, StructionSite provides long-term value by managing and mitigating risk. To properly manage risk, a VDC team needs to be empowered with visual information, which StructionSite has made easier and more intuitive than ever.
Gekas spoke at length about how the evolution of designs and drawing in construction illuminated grey areas and elevated the expectation of accuracy. “Having a tool like StructionSite, which can capture the lifecycle of a project and deliver information intuitively, is a must-have, not a nice-to-have.” Site documentation needs to capture information critical for decision-making in real-time, and StructionSite makes that possible.
Site documentation of the past was pretty hit-or-miss. Most companies had some documentation, but it could be pretty random and disorganized. This was a headache for all construction companies. But for Stiles Construction in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, comprehensive documentation with Structionsite offered not just relief from the chaos, but proof when they needed it.
In conversations on the site, in the trailer, or back at the office, the Stiles team can pull up pictures at any stage of the process. For a new contractor coming onto the job, StructionSite is able to quickly familiarize themselves with the site and the status of different elements with the photographic “digital twin” of the site. When it is time for hand-over to the owners, StructionSite is there with the complete construction history. As Rivera put it “Structionsite is lined up to bring value to all stages of the property lifecycle.” For Stiles Construction, it’s easy to see the value that Structionsite brings to the construction process. Rivera and his team are looking forward to seeing how Structionsite continues to expand and improve the building process. Inadequate site documentation can now be a thing of the past for the Stiles team.
Monica Chhatwani, LEED AP BD +C for DPR Construction®, was looking for a more efficient QC workflow to capture in-wall conditions before, during, and after wall closures for a large life sciences research building project. Using Takt methodology for scheduling, QC had its own Takt which was a 5-day activity per Takt ‘area’, with each area covering roughly 6000 sq. ft.
Using StructionSite for robust documentation with tagged photo timelines really improved communication between all trades on the site as well as removing the waste of needless field visits or information requests to see what was behind the walls.
When Skanska USA Building started using 360° cameras to capture the progress of their jobsites, Val Tzvetkov, Senior Manager of Virtual Design & Construction, knew it was going to be a big change for their process.
While 360° panoramic images capture a robust amount of information not available with traditional photography, it also presents a challenge. Their wealth of visual data needs to be given context and appropriately organized before it can be useful to the team. Tzvetkov explained that with so much to sort through, he couldn’t find the information he needed quickly enough. Even when he did find the information he needed, it often didn’t come with sufficient detail to best help him problem solve and devise next steps and solutions.
For stakeholders not onsite, particularly those thousands of miles away, reviewing daily progress was a high priority, but inaccessible despite its importance.
For Skanska USA Building, StructionSite didn’t replace an existing workflow or introduce a new one. Instead, it enhances, organizes, and supports what they are doing already, making their documentation easier to capture and faster to access.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Skanska USA Building saves time during building turnover and the as-built phase because it has thorough and organized documentation to support the handoff with the offline deliverable. On some projects where simply going between buildings to check progress could take upwards of five hours, the ROI with StructionSite has been greater than anticipated.