“Truelook PTZ cameras provide complete visibility into the goings-on at the jobsite, helping us to ensure crews are productive and projects are progressing on-schedule.”– Luke Hazelwood , Senior Project Manager, Construction, Brixmor Property Group
- Gain visibility across multiple job sites while reducing the need to travel.
- Keep workers productive, and ensure compliance with safety protocols.
- Create visual record of projects to improve negotiations, avoid disputes.
- Hold contractors and subcontractors accountable for project delays or budgetary changes.
- Reduced travel, while improving jobsite visibility and surveillance.
- Improved worker safety and productivity and simplified troubleshooting.
- Improved collaboration and operations across Brixmor with shared access to cameras.
- Created visual documentation to justify budget and schedule changes, and hold contractors accountable.
From his office in sunny San Diego, California, Senior Project Manager, Luke Hazelwood manages multiple redevelopment projects for Brixmor Property Group in the Western region of the U.S. The company owns and operates nearly 400 retail centers across the country — and redeveloping and maintaining them is a constant and on-going endeavor
According to Hazelwood, projects range from complete redevelopments of entire shopping centers to preparing a single existing unit for a new tenant.
As a Project Manager with Brixmor, Hazelwood has multiple projects going on simultaneously at all times. “Knowing what’s happening at each jobsite is essential to the success of the projects,” he said.
Keeping Tabs on Geographically Dispersed Projects Was Challenging
With so many projects running simultaneously across the country, being physically present to oversee work in progress isn’t always possible. “Our projects span different regions and states, and traveling to all of them on a regular basis isn’t practical, even when we’re not in a pandemic,” Hazelwood said. “We needed a way to have our eyes on the projects every day, even though we can’t always physically be there on-site.”
Construction cameras were the logical solution, and there were many on the market to choose from. “We had used other construction cameras in the past, but their business model made it more difficult to transition cameras from one project to another,” Hazelwood said. “Every time we finished a project, we had to coordinate with the vendor to remove the cameras from one site and install them on a new site.”
That’s one of the main reasons the Brixmor team chose TrueLook. “With TrueLook, we can purchase the cameras, and they’re very easy to install,” he said. “When a project is finished, we just pick them up, throw them in the back of my truck and drive them to a new project. I have one of our contractors install them, then I just shoot TrueLook an email to activate them for the new project. It’s really easy.”
Cameras Watch Over Crews to Ensure Productivity, Compliance, and Safety
Hazelwood’s team uses TrueLook’s PTZ cameras, which provide a 360° view and can be controlled remotely using the TrueLook web interface to explore large jobsites and zoom in on specific areas that would otherwise not be visible from a fixed-position camera. “TrueLook PTZ cameras provide complete visibility into the goings-on at the jobsite, helping us to ensure crews are productive and projects are progressing on schedule,” he said. They also use the cameras to identify problems or issues that may cause delays or impact budgets and to ensure crews are compliant with various safety protocols.
“If you can see what’s happening on the jobsite, you can hold your contractors accountable,” Hazelwood said. “We just pull up the app on our computer or iPad in the morning and log in to see what’s going on. Did the delivery come on time? Are crews on the jobsite and being productive? Are workers sitting idle? If we see that no trucks are in the parking lot when work is supposed to be happening, we can call the contractor immediately and find out why. That insight helps keep costs under control and hold people accountable for impacting the schedule.” The cameras also help keep workers safe. “I’ve logged in and seen workers violating safety protocols such as being on a roof without the proper safety harness,” Hazelwood said. “I can send a screenshot to the supervisor so he can take immediate action to prevent accidents or injuries.
Advanced Features Such as Time Lapses, Security Recordings Add Value for Brixmor
TrueLook cameras offer a number of useful features, but Hazelwood really likes the time-lapses. “Time-lapses are a good way to easily communicate the status of a project to executive staff and other stakeholders that are in other states,” he said, adding that live viewing also helps with this process. “Rather than calling to request photos and information, they can just log in and see all the images, videos, and time-lapses through the TrueLook interface. Our marketing team also uses the time-lapses for investor presentations and promotional materials.”
Hazelwood likes being able to mark up photos and send them to stakeholders for updates on a project’s progress. “You can download and timestamp a photo, then add your logo to it to send out with progress reports,” he said.
Hazelwood uses TrueLook cameras’ security recordings to create visual documentation that can assist with investigations in case of theft or vandalism. These recordings alert him to potential security vulnerabilities, as well, whether caused by negligence or even bad weather, which, in some parts of the country, can have a massive impact on schedules and pose security risks. “One time a fence blew down in a storm in the middle of the night, leaving the jobsite wide open,” he said. “We saw it right away in TrueLook and notified the superintendent, so he could secure the site before any equipment was stolen.”
Cameras also help Hazelwood to predict delays that may result from extreme weather and adjust schedules accordingly.
Multiple Departments at Brixmor Benefit from Shared Camera Access
Access to TrueLook cameras is shared with all Brixmor employees across departments and business units through its internal company network, Brixnet. Employees can click on a drop-down list of all the active TrueLook cameras and use live viewing to see what’s happening on any of their properties. “Property managers can check on the condition of their properties, see if work is being completed on time, or check on issues that tenants report,” Hazelwood said. “It enables them to actually see the property and understand what’s going on beyond a paper-based complaint or report.”
Finance and redevelopment back-office staff also benefit from having a visual of the properties they’re working on because it adds dimension and meaning to the work they’re doing beyond just a stack of papers and forms. Additionally, the Specialty Leasing team can leverage the cameras to evaluate sites for temporary leasing agreements. “If we’re planning to rent out a parking lot for food trucks or a community event, it’s important to ensure there’s space for them,” he said. “The Specialty Leasing team can check the cameras ahead of time to help avoid any potential conflicts.”
Less Travel, Total Visibility
With TrueLook cameras deployed on the jobsites, the teams at Brixmor save time and money on travel. Additionally, the cameras help keep track of equipment and eliminate confusion if something goes missing.
For example, Hazelwood recalled an incident at his project at Mira Mesa, where an electrical meter was taken down and left on-site. “On Monday, the general contractor said the meter was gone and he thought it had been stolen,” he said.“ We were able to view the footage from the camera and see that someone from the utility company had picked it up. That level of visibility is very helpful for avoiding unnecessary disputes.”
Most importantly because TrueLook cameras create a visual record of an entire project from start to finish, Hazelwood finds it easy to justify or negotiate contractor fees, request budget increases, or show stakeholders why a project took longer than originally planned. “You can see exactly where the project stood day by day, and identify when subcontractors were and weren’t on-site, whether or not they met their commitments in the timeframe they promised, and how that impacted the schedule,” he said. “Did we have only two painters when we were promised six? Were your crews an hour late or did they leave early on a regular basis? It’s all there on the cameras.
Streamlined Workflows through Procore Make Hazelwood’s Life Easier
This year, Hazelwood plans to try out the Procore Embedded Experience, which provides seamless one-click access to the True look interface from within Procore. “Being able to quickly access the solution through Procore will simplify our workflows,” he said. “That way, we can take advantage of all the great features TrueLook offers even faster.”
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