Montage of a laptop running HoloBuilder Web Editor, engineer capturing site photos with a 360° camera and metropolis skyline

How 360° Photos Boost Sustainability Compliance and Profit

Jan 19, 2023 | Article, Construction, HoloBuilder, Progress Tracking

With sustainability and environmental regulations evolving worldwide, construction enterprises are now leveraging construction software and 360° reality capture technology to improve compliance to meet these new standards.

With the built environment generating 30% of total greenhouse gas and 40% of energy use, the United States government has already begun moving toward incentivizing companies which are prepared to take on sustainable measures.

For example, the construction industry and contractors are likely to be impacted by recently introduced Inflation Reduction Act 2022 (IRA) changes to promote clean energy, including energy incentives. For construction firms, paying attention to how the law is evolving will be critical to benefit from these incentives in the future.

How Safety Standards are Set to Impact the Construction Industry

Sustainability efforts are gradually having an impact on the global construction industry. Regulations, reporting requirements, and customer demands on the effect of construction companies’ operations have become a growing challenge for the industry.

Sustainability and safety standards in the US construction industry have been incorporated less in laws and regulations, as is the case in Europe. Instead, investors use them primarily to identify resilient businesses that will yield predictable, long-term success and comply with environment-friendly measures.

The AECO industry certainly has a role in the global initiative to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change. Building materials’ usage, the potential for adaptation and reuse, embodied carbon, and ecological implications are highly relevant to the overall environmental impact of construction output.

However, these challenges also present opportunities for construction firms to demonstrate innovation – as well as a potential advantage to become a first mover in the current wave of sustainability, improving investor prospects and profitability in the process.

With newer technologies emerging to aid AECO firms in creating a sustainable new modus operandi, adopting them earlier rather than later will provide a significant leg up over competitors who fail to leverage this opportunity.

One such technology transforming the construction world is 360º reality capture, bringing an array of benefits to construction firms environmentally, socially and in governance and compliance.

remote site visit

Gain remote site access from anywhere and visit the site virtually.

Remote site visits

Travel expenses when visiting a job site and the constant rework due to errors on construction projects can significantly impact progress. This prevents teams from staying within budget and requires more travel to the site, increasing carbon emissions.

By using 360º photos with reality capture technology, virtual tours of the jobsite can be utilized to shed light on a variety of critical steps without necessarily being on-site, such as in-wall photo documentation and identifying blocked installation spots for mounting wall accessories.

For site inspections, 360º photo documentation can save time and money because stakeholders and project managers can monitor the work’s progress remotely. Taking 360° photo updates is significantly quicker and more comprehensive than 2D photos, allowing seamless site monitoring.

The real-time and instant updates offered by a collaborative, cloud-based 360º photo capture tool could also help clients and stakeholders – both remote and on-site to stay aware of jobsite happenings. By reducing the travel that contractors and personnel take to the site, your organization can significantly reduce annual carbon emissions.

Incident recreation

A problem discovered during construction is much more difficult and expensive to fix and can result in massive delays, material waste and increased travel back and forth to the site – all impacting your bottom line.

Understanding why incidents occur and what may be done to stop them from happening again is essential and prevents wastage on-site. Information is vital, as is perspective, to accomplish that.

Traditionally, those unable to see the site in person would rely on written descriptions or 2D photos. However, a construction progress management tool like HoloBuilder leverages 360° photo documentation of the site to provide a thorough virtual walkthrough of the scene. Static, 2D photos are swapped out for real-world views that allow a better understanding of context on-site.

This means fewer extraneous materials are ordered, as the exact amounts and feasibility of reuse can be determined beforehand – reducing waste and minimizing rework costs, which on average amount to 5% of the total project cost.

Sharing a link to a virtual tour amongst team members also makes it possible to draw on various skills to assess a circumstance or incident. VDC managers, project managers and stakeholders can see the walkthrough and then comment on suggestions and recommendations within the same workspace. By capturing the site’s 360° photo documentation and storing it within a single source of truth platform, on-site and off-site teams can collaborate seamlessly, preventing mistakes from happening and reducing wasted time, expenses and materials.

HoloBuilder Web Editor

Get familiar with the site safely from afar.

Workforce Safety

Meeting occupational safety and health regulations such as OSHA can be challenging for construction teams, who can only do so much to oversee and monitor every project detail on-site around the clock.

With the high risk of accidents on-site, AECO firms often need the help of technology to comply thoroughly with safety standards.

Manual monitoring is often insufficient to boost construction workers’ safety and prevent any unprecedented event. A construction progress management tool like HoloBuilder is an option for any construction site to mitigate this issue.

By utilizing virtual 360° walkthroughs, the on-site crew is able to familiarize themselves with the area’s layout, security risks, and how to plan for logistics and safety before they even arrive on the scene. Through careful planning, the number of people needed on-site is reduced to those absolutely essential, and accidents can be avoided.

Through HoloBuilder’s JobWalk app, 360° photos are captured at walking speed across the entire construction site, with zero blind spots to ensure the site is safe for everyone working on it.

Conclusion

The construction industry can look at this new shift toward sustainability as an opportunity to reduce costs to prepare for developments beyond the IRA.

With technologies such as 360º reality capture, more avenues than ever have opened up, allowing companies to become first-movers and lead the way in sustainability.

Interested in learning more about the technologies AECO firms leverage to meet sustainability requirements? Watch this webcast recording highlighting the differences between a visual twin and a digital twin and how they work together for the most comprehensive jobsite visualization.

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