Thomas Roszak Architecture, LLC is a Chicago-based architecture firm. Over the past 25 years, the company has developed over $1 billion in real estate. In November of 2013 TRA was about to break ground on a 15 story residential building in downtown Chicago. The firm decided to try TrueLook webcams after a positive personal recommendation. The primary use for the cameras would be to remotely monitor jobsite conditions and activity.
The TrueLook cameras became an integral part of real-time information sharing, and were also used in ways TRA hadn’t anticipated. The camera was shared between the Construction Manager, Contractor, Foreman, bank, and marketing team for collaboration and real-time information access. “TrueLook is used much more than I imagined it would be. I get calls all the time when a truck shows up or when something starts going up, and I check in with the camera,” said Joe Vartanian of Steelgrass, LCC, the project’s Construction Manager and Owner’s Representative. “Everyone watches when something exciting is going up. And guys in the field and those in the office use [the camera] to keep track of things. A couple of weeks ago, a canopy blew down into the street. I was able to call the owner, and he was able to immediately check his phone and see what was happening on the app. Having real-time info in the hands of everyone at any given time is very helpful.”
Security Issues Arise
Early on, the jobsite also had a security issues with after hours break-ins. At this time, TrueLook was capturing time-lapse photographs of daytime activity. TRA contacted TrueLook about the break-ins, and within minutes a new night-time time-lapse was scheduled. TrueLook began taking time-lapse photos at night so TRA could see what was happening after work hours. In the time since this issue, TrueLook has added two new features to all their camera systems. Firstly, clients can now set up their own custom time-lapses directly within the web interface. Secondly, TrueLook now includes motion-based security video recording for exactly this sort of situation.
“Having real-time information for our team is a definite competitive advantage.” – Joe Vartanian, Construction Manager
Despite straightforward expectations, TrueLook ended up an invaluable tool for remote jobsite monitoring, team collaboration, project time-lapsing, and after-hours security. The firm’s marketing team even uses the time-lapse videos and camera images to show off the project to the public. TRA’s project serves as a great example of TrueLook’s adaptability to client needs.