The construction industry isn’t often known for embracing new technology quickly, but construction companies and managers were quick to adopt both traditional construction job site cameras and, also, drone cameras. If you’ve adopted camera technology, it’s worth revisiting the top 10 construction industry trends in 2016 to determine if you can eek more value from the cameras you already own to save money and give your company and projects a competitive advantage. It might be as simple as taking a fresh look at the challenges in front of you and thinking of creative ways to address them with your cameras. Following are some ideas to get you started!
Addressing 2016 Top 10 Construction Industry Trends with Construction Cameras
Trend #1: Skilled labor shortage will continue to plague construction companies
A shortage of skilled labor means the role of the job site manager, project manager, and estimators is more important than ever. These roles need to collaborate and audit onsite performance to effectively manage the job site with less skilled employees – and often from afar. Construction site cameras are the key to supplementing lesser skilled employees and still seeing project success. They provide the insight you need to determine where you have gaps, and once you’ve addressed the gap you’ll be able to effectively manage the correction of that gap from near or afar. For example, if you’re rebar guy isn’t skilled and you doubt the quality of his work, then monitor his process using your cameras, provide valuable feedback with marked up photos or time lapse videos, articulate what you expect, and hold him accountable for improving. If he doesn’t improve, you’ll have a better idea of what skills you need in order to replace his role and/or you may gain insight into what other reasons to explore that might be causing the quality issues (weather impact on the concrete, faulty rebar supplies, inadequate crew onsite to ensure correct implementation, etc.) What areas of managing poorly skilled labor could you use your cameras for?
Trend #2: Prefab/offsite construction methods will become more popular
As prefab or offsite construction methods become a daily occurrence in a site manager’s or project manager’s life, their ability to monitor the quality of the prefab product being delivered and measure the cost/time savings realized from using prefab pieces is critical to keeping the project on time, under cost, and with the best quality possible. In addition, the scope of any issues that arise because you’re not able to see the materials until they’ve already been delivered could easily be rectified with the use of construction cameras. Imagine you commissioned a roof (joists and all) to be built and delivered to your job site that’s 600 miles away from the production facility and on the day it’s delivered you’re able to see first-hand why it was late, whether or not it’s to specification, and how long it takes to install the roof after delivery. As a project manager, you can do all this with your construction cameras (depending on which ones you own and the depth of their features and functionality) using panoramic, live viewing, time-lapse videos, and photos. It allows you to build a solid, dependable case for repeat use of prefab pieces or a well-documented list of why and how it’s negatively impacting your projects.
Trend #3: Construction companies will be more cautious about project selection
Cameras mounted on drones have become popular for construction companies because it gives them the ultimate flexibility in accessing all the different areas of a construction site, but have you considered that you could use your drones BEFORE a project starts to explore a job site and identify potential issues or validate your confidence in a particular project? If construction companies have to be more cautious about choosing which projects to take on, then drones are one of the best tools for exploring a site without deploying a lot of employees into the field.
Trend #4: BIM will become a necessity, and owner interest in the technology will grow
Your construction cameras dovetail nicely with this trend. The building industry thought leaders popularized and standardized the term BIM as being the “…common name for the digital representation of the building process.” While other technologies, like CAD and 3D rendering also come into play here, your construction site cameras also document and model out the progression of your build. It can be a very handy asset when working with your investors or management firms, as it’s much easier to show someone how the project is coming along, rather than just telling them and asking them to take your word for it.
Trend #5: Green building will grow in commercial and residential sectors
While the use of cameras doesn’t aide in the actual building of green projects, the construction camera technology can be used to document and MARKET green projects. Videos of key aspects of the product process tied to requirements of the LEED green building certification program can be used to promote building projects, demonstrate commitment to being green, and encourage others to do the same. It can make you a thought leader in the space, while simply using your existing technology to highlight aspects of a green build.
Trend #6: Job site accidents and criminal indictments on the rise
There is no denying that construction cameras have become pivotal in shortening dispute cycles, insurance claims, and reducing risk of off-hour break-ins and theft. They have also become important tools in addressing job site accidents and either aiding in indictments or fighting them. Not all construction cameras are the same on this front, though. If you’re cameras include time lapse video functionality, security recording features, and remote control via a web software interface, then leverage these features to their fullest to protect you, your project and your company. You can’t document something AFTER it’s happened so start from the beginning of the project.
Trend #7: Booming multi-family sector will slow down as single-family sector picks up steam
This trend can’t be directly affected by the use of construction cameras because it’s more likely that construction cameras would be used for those larger, multi-family condominium-type projects, but if you’re a manager of single-family builds, keep in mind that cameras that are truly turnkey and plug-and play could still be very valuable to you. They take very little time to set up and can be used to manage multiple single-family job sites at once using the web software interface. The same features and functionality of the cameras that help large projects can benefit single-family build project managers in the same way—security recordings, time lapse videos and photo albums that can be used to market to prospective buyers.
Trend #8: Laser scanning technology will gain popularity
Similar to BIM, laser-scanning technology is being adopted quickly by construction companies. And while the resulting 3D image created by joining multiple scans from different points that captures the dimensions and spatial relationships of a project are very helpful and cutting-edge, imagine pairing that 3D image with live videos, annotated photo albums, time lapse videos – all of which are in vibrant color. NOW you have a great tool for building trust with investors, selling your skills as a project manager, and selling your end product.
Trend #9: Remodeling will have a strong year, especially in the luxury market
The luxury building market is a place where the “cool” factor of technology like drones becomes a value-add for developers, designers and builders. They can impress their luxury remodel clients with cool fly-by videos of the exterior of their properties and grounds. Not to mention that the security features of the PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras are an added bonus to clients who have very valuable homes and properties.
Trend #10: Homebuyers will seek out simple, walkable communities
Walkable communities provide many benefits. In addition to the health benefits affiliated with walkable communities, these same communities tend to exude environmental and economic benefits as well. Allowing people to freely move around a community fosters support of local businesses, promotes tourism and increases property value. All of this foot traffic also makes people feel safer and from an environmental perspective because walkable communities reduce the number of cars on the road, resulting in an associated reduction in carbon emissions. Imagine building one of these “walkable communities,” a subdivision that’s capable of having such a positive impact on our world and now envision using your construction cameras to create videos that show a walking tour to people anywhere in the world?
We hope this jaunt down memory lane has sparked some ideas regarding some additional ways you can leverage your construction cameras to exact more value out of them! Here’s to an even better 2017.