It’s no secret that the construction industry has carried a reputation for being antiquated and behind the times with new technology. It’s time to dismantle that stereotype. For years, Skyline has actively invested in the tools to streamline jobsites and provide the best client experience. We focus on hiring staff with diverse perspectives, and make it a priority to invest in technologies that make our business run efficiently.
While COVID-19 has presented new challenges to our industry, having a running start on the latest technology allows our teams to seamlessly work on projects from remote locations. One of the most useful technologies we use is OpenSpace. Amid concerns regarding exposure and social distancing, OpenSpace provides a virtual platform to conduct job walks and involve multiple stakeholders while keeping everyone in-tune with the progress of the project from remote locations.
Our in-house technology training team worked side by side with OpenSpace long before Shelter-in-Place (SIP) began, developing best practices for our teams. When we needed to temporarily step away from the jobsite due to SIP orders, our partnership with OpenSpace allowed us to keep projects running smoothly and on-time while giving great visibility to our clients and project partners. OpenSpace has reported a surge in business over the past few months; having this tool already weaved into our process allowed us to skip the start up, training and implementation and transition into our “new normal” with ease.
WHAT IS OPENSPACE & HOW DOES IT WORK?
OpenSpace is a virtual jobwalk platform that captures the site and maps images to project plans automatically. A 360 degree camera is mounted to the top of a hardhat and a member of our team walks the site. It turns construction field notes and raw video data into a complete, easy-to navigate video walk-through of the jobsite. Images are automatically time-stamped, mapped to floor plans, and made searchable, so it’s easy to see side-by-side comparisons of specific areas over time. The software creates a browser based virtual jobsite (accessible via mobile or desktop) that gives our project partners total site transparency and allows them to follow the progress of their space at any point in time through an interactive, easy to use platform.
Skyline project teams report that the software saves them at least an hour per day using OpenSpace compared to the traditional method, which involved a time-consuming manual task of taking photos, uploading, naming and mapping each photo onto project plans and distributing to the right parties. The software allows the team to create detailed reports with the click of a button.
HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT OUR CLIENTS?
OpenSpace has transformed the way we document jobsites and has proven to be a great asset to us, our clients and project partners. Here are a few of the tangible benefits we have seen:
KEEPING PROJECTS ON TIME DURING SHELTER IN PLACE
When stay at home orders went into effect and jobsites were temporarily shut down, our teams continued working on projects remotely. Because many of our jobsites utilize OpenSpace, we kept projects on track using the most recent captures of their site to conduct pricing exercises, site surveys and material procurement.
VIRTUAL MEETINGS = SAFER + REDUCED TRAVEL COSTS
OpenSpace’s virtual walkthroughs reduce or eliminate the need for in-person site visits, reducing risk and exposure to COVID-19 on the jobsite. Virtual walkthroughs also provide insight into progress for anyone not geographically located near the project itself. Our team also utilizes OpenSpace jobwalks during the bidding process, allowing us to get subcontractors involved early without the need for additional people onsite.
PREVENT COSTLY REWORK
Image data keeps teams aligned and identifies issues early. OpenSpace enables field teams to thoroughly capture the project to provide a single source of ground truth, avoiding expensive change orders and disputes. The software allows stakeholders the convenience of viewing what they want, when they want.
The 360 degree documentation gives a full picture of the entire site from ceiling to floors and eliminates static progress photos. This expanded view catches areas and items that standard progress photos may miss, which can solve unanticipated problems before they arise. The software has allowed us to preemptively solve issues that typically would not have been seen until a final punch walk.
INCREASED ACCOUNTABILITY & REDUCED RISK
Construction moves fast and questions often arise. OpenSpace provides a layer of accountability by giving users and clients a time-stamped visual of jobsite conditions, keeping everyone accountable for their performance on-site. In turn, this helps prevent budget overruns due to rework and change orders, and allows us to better control risk and liability. This ensures the best quality during and after construction for the life of the space. It also allows subcontractors to validate concealed work without opening walls, slabs, or ceilings. By documenting the site completely, subcontractors are able to do in-wall inspections from anywhere, and verify work without time consuming and expensive destructive verification.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us all that being proactive pays off and you can never be too prepared. Our partnership with OpenSpace has allowed us to continue delivering our best while keeping communication with project partners productive and transparent. We are constantly evolving and looking forward to the future of our industry.
To view our work, visit https://www.skylineconstruction.build/work
To learn more about OpenSpace, visit here