Written by Kyle Hudson, Project Manager, VIATechnik
• Increase construction documentation efficiency and improve team collaboration
• Use Matterport’s construction documentation solution to quickly and easily creates shareable, interactive 3D visual walkthroughs of job sites
• The Bully & Andrews team were able to make faster, smarter decisions by using Matterport's documentation solution to guide meetings and share milestones with remote stakeholders
As much as we hate to acknowledge it, we simply can’t be everywhere at once. Unfortunately, in the AEC world, this limitation can be a logistical nightmare, since owners and other major stakeholders often need direct visibility into a given project’s progress regardless of the distance between their headquarters, the worksite, their other job sites, and the client site.
This was one of the challenges that Bulley & Andrews wanted to resolve as the general contractor for the construction of a major retailer’s new flagship store in Chicago. The retailer is headquartered in Florida, and the architects and engineers involved in the store’s design weren’t based in the Chicago area. While the final budget covered funds to fly critical stakeholders out once or twice, Bulley & Andrews wanted to keep the clients regularly updated throughout the construction process.
Instead of spending untold hours compiling detailed project reports with extensive photographic documentation that don’t give a full picture of the space, the contractors at Bulley & Andrews decided to challenge the status quo and search for an innovative solution. After consulting with VIATechnik and learning about our experience with Matterport’s Pro2 3D Camera, Bulley & Andrews took the leap and embraced an innovative solution to their problem.
The Value of a Matterport Camera
Historically, AEC stakeholders have relied on a combination of photographic documentation and laser scanning to monitor worksite progress remotely. Photographs give stakeholders a general idea of how things are coming along, but their two dimensionality can only convey so much. Laser scanning, on the other hand, is invaluable when you need to extract exact dimensions and other precise measurements, but can be overkill when you’re simply just trying to visualize a space.
Until recently, Matterport’s hardware has been primarily used by real estate agents to create 3D virtual walkthroughs of individual homes. These virtual environments provide remote, time-poor buyers with lifelike walkthroughs of the building so that they can get a feel for it without needing to physically visit it. The images produced by the Matterport camera are stitched together seamlessly in the cloud so that a potential buyer can virtually navigate a house as they please.
Our deployment of Matterport’s camera in a construction context may be somewhat novel, but the equipment has proven to be ideally suited to the task. In addition to being practical and easy to use on the job site, the output is highly digestible, making it an effective communication tool for keeping all project stakeholders up to date, regardless of their technical expertise or location.
Keeping Everyone in the Loop
We’ve relied on Matterport’s hardware for some time, but the remarkable part about this particular project was that a variety of stakeholders across an extended timeline found ways to leverage our Matterport outputs to address their specific priorities.
We helped Bulley & Andrews use the Matterport camera to take snapshots of the store on six different dates, which enabled the client to keep close track of the project throughout the construction process. Stakeholders in the project — including the developer, the architects, and representatives from both Bulley & Andrews and the client — used these visualizations to guide their weekly meetings. Instead of having to explain things in painstaking detail and risk talking past one another, the Matterport environment enabled them to show one another exactly what they were referencing.
Not only did the client’s construction management division utilize our Matterport visualizations, the marketing division and even the CEO himself used the materials to prepare for the opening of their newest flagship location.
What’s more, Bulley & Andrews’ superintendent ended up taking advantage of the Matterport scans, as well, using them to monitor all of his crew’s activities. Even the real estate developer on the project — who is based in Chicago — used our visualizations instead of sending a monitor to the worksite, further indicating that a Matterport camera can boost project efficiency even if all of the stakeholders are based in the same city.