360 Degree Cameras Document Construction Progress

Making a 360 degree turnaround isn’t just a cliche for self-improvement. When it comes to construction engineering and inspection, new cameras are documenting project sites and corridors, giving field personnel opportunities to increase efficiency and safety. KCI has deployed these devices on several transportation improvement projects to assist in monitoring contractor work, calculating quantities and creating a reliable visual record of progress.

This new technology uses multiple wide-angle or fisheye lenses to capture images and video, which are then stitched together into a spherical view. Users can pan around the photo or video during playback either using a device-specific application or on YouTube.

Drive along a construction project, where KCI served as resident engineer. Controls allow the user to pan up, down and side-to-side as the vehicle moves along the corridor.

 

In Delaware, Vice President and Practice Leader Peter Bourne’s team of inspectors has been using a 360 degree camera to document two project sites—a section of US 301 and intersections improvements at US 40 and 72. The initial focus was on creating a pre-construction video that could be referenced as needed as contractors completed work.

We wanted to document existing conditions. The video file gave us a baseline that we could review and compare when responding to real-time challenges or questions.

Peter Bourne, PEPractice Leader

Peter Bourne, PE

His team quickly realized the value of the footage and began identifying additional uses. Inspector Gavin Phillips uses the camera to document and quantify traffic control devices. In the past, field personnel would have to slowly traverse the corridor, stopping frequently or walking along the alignment to count traffic barrels, signs, etc. Now, after a brief drive-through, his team can review the footage from the construction trailer, greatly improving both the accuracy of their quantities and safety of inspectors.

Reviewing the 360 Video
The ability to generate quantities through video review can improve efficiency, accuracy and safety.

Vice President and Regional Practice Leader Robert Atkinson deployed 360 degree cameras along several projects in South Carolina. “For inspectors and owners, it provides a definitive record of progress throughout the construction schedule,” he said. “These cameras are also used to document items to be removed and replaced for residential and commercial properties. This before and after documentation is a decisive way to verify if the contractor is fulfilling all obligations to the property owners.”

Technologies like 360 degree cameras are creating new efficiencies in the engineering industry. As an addition to the technology toolbox, they join e-construction, drones, LiDAR and other applied innovations that are revolutionizing and modernizing the construction inspection and management process, as well as providing added value to contractors and owners.