by Vicki Robertson
March 26, 2012

Construction camera systems provide better project management and communication in the field.

Every construction company wants to keep their projects running smoothly and clients satisfied. Camera systems—including live jobsite construction videos, photo archiving and time-lapse movies—specialized for the construction industry help many companies excel in these key areas.

Storage Solutions, Inc., a contractor that designs and installs specialty rack systems, has seen many benefits of using construction cameras.

The company began using construction cameras to view their projects’ progress and have visual information when talking with their on-site crew leaders. They quickly discovered that the cameras also facilitated communication with their customers and left their customers with a nice memory at the end of the project.

The Benefits of Construction Camera

Construction companies that use construction cameras on their projects report a variety of benefits that help them do business more efficiently:

Project Management—Construction cameras can give your project team instant access to the jobsite, which allows them to know exactly what is happening at any time without traveling to the site. 

• Documentation—Archived photos provide an accurate record of project activity and can be helpful in resolving disputes, substantiating claims for weather delays and processing payment requests.

• Communication—Photos, live video and time-lapse movies can be used to communicate your projects’ progress. Many project managers use a combination of photos and time-lapse movies to update clients during project meetings. 

• Marketing—Construction cameras create compelling marketing materials that highlight your company’s projects and processes. Project photos, live video and time-lapse movies can give potential customers an interactive preview of your company’s work. A start-to-finish time-lapse movie gives clients a keepsake after their project has been completed.  

Types of Cameras for the Construction Industry

You can choose from the following cameras depending on your project’s needs:

• Live cameras—Live construction cameras let you watch activity on the site as it happens. Many live cameras feature remote control, allowing you to pan and tilt the camera left to right or up and down and zoom in on specific areas of interest—such as equipment and workers moving across the site.

• Still cameras—Still cameras let you frequently see updated jobsite photos  online. For the highest photo quality, look for a still camera system with premium optics and adequate sensor size. Having a choice of lenses will be helpful. Megapixels do not provide a reliable quality measurement. A robust camera will include an all-weather enclosure to ensure reliable performance under harsh jobsite conditions.

Construction-Specific Services

These cameras have construction-specific services, making them great business tools.

Web hosting and integration—A full-service construction camera vendor will host a web page where you can view and control your live camera or see the current photo from your still camera. Look for a company that will customize the web page and allow you to control the level of access you wish to give your customers and employees. 

• Photo archiving—Automatic photo archiving builds a start-to-finish record of your project. With an online photo archive, you can access project photos any time. Photos will be tagged by date and time. 

• Time-lapse movies—Time-lapse movies show the progress of construction in an easy-to-understand format. Depending on the type of camera used, movies may be sized for web delivery or formatted for full 1080 pixel high-definition. Look for a vendor that provides post-production processing for professional video results.

Selecting the Right Construction Camera System

Before selecting a construction camera, define your project’s needs. Consider these questions:

  • How will you use the construction camera? Will the primary purpose be to monitor construction activity, or will your main goal be to create an ongoing photographic record?  
  • Who needs access to the system? Do you want to make your photos or video available to members of your project team, the project owner or the general public?
  • What are the site conditions? Do you have power or an Internet connection available at your site?  Where will the camera have the best view of the project?  Do you need multiple cameras? Do you deal with extreme heat or cold at the project location?

Consult an experienced construction camera vendor for their advice on camera type, installation location and budget before your project breaks ground to ensure you have a camera system that meets your needs.  With the variety of camera systems available today, you will find one that fits your project’s needs and budget.