Tracking building site progress with construction photography

Technology on building sites is rapidly increasing and evolving.

Everything from the way workers sign in and out of shifts to the best tools and equipment are becoming more and more reliant on computer systems.

And that is nothing to be frowned upon. Reduced costs, increased productivity and higher quality results can all be traced back – at least in part – to a little technological help.

More lately unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and mast photography have been utilised by major contractors and smaller firms to create a visual scope of construction works from a unique angle. And all without the difficulty of hiring a helicopter or complicated health and safety concerns.

However, there is an easier way to view your whole construction site and at a lower relative cost. And perhaps site monitoring could be of benefit where you work.

Time-lapse photography involves taking an image at set intervals over a particular period of time, capturing an event, nature in motion or a construction project. For the most part, these images are only accessible at the end of the process, when they can be offloaded from the hardware and turned into a basic time-lapse video. But here at Time-Lapse Systems we have developed an innovative way to increase and enhance the usefulness of the images – by making them remotely accessible.

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All of the images in this blog were captured by our camera systems through our custom designed networking systems. These systems allow us full, remote control of our cameras from anywhere in the world and at anytime, and also allows us to securely back-up and store all the images captured onto dedicated servers, using our 3G networks.

With no need to attend camera systems once installed, they can be fixed in variety of ways and – more importantly – at any number of unique angles. They can achieve similar or more unusual angles than any drone or mast photography and require no on-site maintenance.

Each of our clients is also provided with access to their own online viewing portal, thanks to iRis – our custom built interactive remote imaging system.

Included in this blog are a selection of images from a range of different projects that demonstrate the benefits of remote site monitoring. The way this can be used varies from client to client, but it soon becomes an indispensable tool in each case.

Our viewer updates with a new image every 15 minutes, creating an archive for the whole project in the process. And our camera systems operate 24/7, year-round – nothing is missed.

These examples were taken over varying lengths of time and at varying intervals; the still images in this blog were picked from near the beginning, middle and end of each project. The finished time-lapse edit (embedded under each set of images) gives a better idea of how a fully post-produced video looks.

Lincolnshire Energy from Waste Facility

Location: North Hykeham, Lincolnshire
Project cost: £125 million

Our client: FCC Environment and Lincolnshire County Council
Capture duration: 21 months
Images captured: 50,000

This camera system overlooked a 3.1-hectare area and we produced both interim and final videos for both clients. More on this energy project here.

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South Essex College – Thurrock Campus

Location: Grays, Essex
Project cost: £45 million

Our client: South Essex College
Capture duration: 24 months
Images captured: 63,000 (total from two camera systems)

Everything from demolition works at the site through to ground works, the construction itself and students arriving for the new term was captured by our two camera systems. More on this Higher Education project here.

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Sir Elton John Stand at Vicarage Road

Location: Watford, Hertfordshire
Project cost: £4.5 million

Our client: GL events
Capture duration: 9 months
Images captured: 21,000

Now in the Premier League, Watford FC were without a stand for six years during their spell back in England’s second tier. GL events asked us to capture this historic construction work. More on this stadium project here.

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Nicolson Institute, Stornoway

Location: Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Project cost: Part of £125 million Western Isles School Project

Our client: FMP Construction
Capture duration: 20 months
Images captured: 28,000

Snow, sleet, rain and strong winds were no match for our secure time-lapse camera system, installed on the Outer Hebrides most populous town. More on this education here.

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View more time-lapse videos on our Vimeo channel.

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