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May 10, 2024 Heather Mc Daniel

Using 360° Photography for Construction Risk Management

Workers looking at tablet at construction site

The construction industry thrives on meticulous planning and robust risk management. Traditionally, this has involved a mountain of paperwork, frequent site visits, and the potential for miscommunication.
Fortunately, technology has evolved to the point where construction professionals can manage the mountain of paperwork and improve collaboration and communication. One other technology emerged to assist with construction risk management – 360° cameras.

This tool goes beyond enhancing project documentation; it significantly bolsters risk mitigation, warranty validation, and legal safeguards, ushering in a new era of transparency and accountability.
Read on to discover what 360° cameras can do to reduce the risk on your construction projects.

The Power of a Spherical View

Unlike traditional photos that offer a limited snapshot, 360° images capture every angle of a scene, offering a complete, immersive view of the construction site.

This detailed record is invaluable throughout the entire project, from groundbreaking to final inspection. These are a few of the benefits that stakeholders get along with risk management.

  • Monitor progress remotely: Imagine executives or remote team members getting a clear picture of how the project is progressing without the need for constant site visits. 360° photos allow for virtual tours, fostering better communication and collaboration across teams.
  • Verify safety compliance: Safety is paramount on any construction site. With 360° photos, project managers can conduct virtual walkthroughs to ensure work adheres to established safety protocols. Potential hazards can be identified and addressed before they escalate into accidents.
  • Guarantee adherence to specifications: Construction plans are the blueprints for success. 360° photography allows for easy comparison of the captured site to predefined plans and specifications. Discrepancies can be identified early on, preventing costly rework and delays down the line.

Proactive Risk Mitigation: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Fixes

Foreseeing and addressing potential issues before they snowball into major problems is key to effective risk management. That’s why 360° photos have become an invaluable tool in this regard.  Project managers, engineers, and other stakeholders can virtually walk through the site at any stage, allowing them to:

  • Identify and rectify risks promptly: Inconsistencies between plans and the actual site, such as missing materials or improper installations, can be spotted and addressed quickly. This proactive approach saves time, money, and avoids the domino effect of problems.
  • Make informed decisions: Having a complete visual record throughout the project lifecycle allows for better decision-making. Imagine a potential plumbing issue arises – 360° photos can provide crucial context about surrounding structures and piping, enabling informed decisions about repairs and minimizing disruption.

Strengthening Warranties: Building Trust with Visual Proof

Warranties are crucial for protecting both builders and clients after construction.  360° photography simplifies warranty claim management by providing undeniable evidence of the project’s condition upon handover.

This visual record can resolve disputes efficiently.  Defects or unmet specifications can be quickly addressed with clear visual documentation. Imagine a disagreement over the quality of paintwork – a 360° image can provide irrefutable evidence, expediting resolution and minimizing conflict.

These images also ensure adherence to warranty terms. All parties can be confident that the project meets the agreed-upon standards.  360° photos serve as a visual record that verifies the quality of materials and workmanship, ensuring a smooth warranty claim process.

Enhancing Legal Protections: Building a Strong Defense with Visual Evidence

Detailed project records become invaluable assets in case of legal disputes.  360° photos create an irrefutable record of the construction site’s condition at various stages, providing precise, dated evidence.

Time-stamped images serve as concrete proof during litigation or arbitration. There may be a disagreement over a change order and 360° photos can clearly show the site conditions before and after the change, providing crucial evidence to support claims.

In addition to those protections, comprehensive visual documentation strengthens a construction firm’s legal position.  In the unfortunate event of a legal dispute, 360° photos can provide a clear timeline of the project’s progress, fostering trust with legal representatives and potentially expediting case resolution.

Building a Roadmap to Success: Implementing 360° Photography

Now that you understand why it’s so important to have 360° cameras on site, let’s talk about ways you can implement this technology.

To leverage 360° cameras effectively, construction companies should acquire cameras that capture high-resolution images under various lighting conditions. Consider ruggedized cameras for harsh construction environments. In our experience, the Ricoh Theta and Insta360 cameras have been a cost-effective choice for FiOR camera technicians. We have also had great success with Garmin 360 cameras thanks to their extended battery life.

A good camera is only as good as the person using it. You’ll need to train staff in taking images to ensure you have high-quality images every time. Workers will also need to know how to incorporate 360° images into their workflow.  This can involve creating clear protocols for capturing images at specific milestones and integrating them into project management software.

Ensure 360° photos are captured regularly throughout the project lifecycle, from foundation work to final finishes. This creates a comprehensive visual record that tracks progress and captures potential issues early on.

Facilitate easy organization, storage, and access to the photographic record by employing secure cloud storage solutions. This allows for remote access by authorized personnel and fosters collaboration across teams and stakeholders. FiOR RESolute is one example of a cloud storage solution that handles collaboration, storage, and organization for all of your project photos.

For projects that require drone maps, FiOR CARTOgraph is up to the challenge. It offers drone map hosting and markup features that will give you accurate information to underground assets.

A New Standard for Construction Risk Management

As the construction industry embraces a tech-driven future, 360-degree photography is not just an additional tool; it’s a strategic upgrade to traditional risk management practices.

For construction companies aiming to stay ahead of the curve and prioritize safety, integrating 360° photography into their project management toolkit is not a recommendation, it’s a necessity.

By embracing this immersive view of jobsite captures, construction professionals can ensure greater accountability, enhanced communication, and improved overall project outcomes, setting a new standard for construction risk management in the industry.

For more information about using high-resolution 360° cameras and cloud storage for your images, check out FiOR RESolute.

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