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Image collage of four pre-construction projects in our time-lapse archives.

News Time-lapse for pre-construction works

22 March 2019 Kate

As well as time-lapse construction narratives, our camera systems are readily used by clients to capture pre-construction works.

Time-lapse and construction go hand-in-hand as a popular form of media, reaping both practical and creative benefits for your project and for your business.

What is sometimes overlooked, however, is the work which takes place before construction can begin.

Vital preparations are often needed on site in order to ensure that building can go ahead safely and efficiently.

What does pre-construction work involve?

Pre-construction work refers to any processes that are completed on site before the actual construction begins.

Overall, construction project management involves anything from site-levelling & clearance to the final practical completion stages of a build, including internal fittings & installations.

Pre-construction works are the first step to getting your project off the ground and so are an important part of the overall construction story. As such these are phases of work which we are often commissioned to time-lapse for our clients.


For some construction projects to get under way, existing structures may need to be demolished.

Time-lapse is an excellent means of preserving the memory of an old structure before it is taken down. Our archive includes many demolition narratives, all of which document very rigorous work methods carried out by specialised equipment and personnel.

Depending on the scale of the structure to be demolished, cranes, bull dozers, wrecking balls, as well as smaller handheld equipment may be used. Time-lapse helps to communicate the scale of a project quickly and in high quality – in all its detail.


We captured the demolition phase (above) of the 125 Deansgate development in Spinningfields, Manchester. In this kind of scenario – where both demolition and construction are being captured for our client – pre-construction works are fundamental towards creating a complete narrative of the project.

Each phase is documented as part of a comprehensive visual archive of progress but showcasing specific milestones in the course of a project is also good for spearheading ongoing publicity & marketing outputs; 125 Deansgate readily share video edits and images in this way.

As a professional time-lapse provider, we have applied our services to a wide range of other demolition contexts, including the steady removal of malting towers at Molson Coors Brewery, the demolition of the Main Stand at Watford City Football Club, warehouses for the iconic St James development, Riverlight, and many more.

Groundworks & excavation

But demolition is only one part of a larger story.

Our time-lapse camera systems have also been purposed to capture groundworks for clients in various sectors, including construction, rail, utilities and entertainment.

This area encapsulates any kind of earthing work, in trenches, wells, shafts, tunnels, and any other underground feature. Following demolition, this is the subsequent stage of work which ensures that site is suitable for whatever structure or installation may come next.

As part of our longstanding relationship with the Royal Albert Hall – the iconic London venue – we time-lapsed months of excavation work, which allowed for ongoing expansion to the building’s south-west quadrant.

Our time-lapse video shows ‘The Great Excavation’ of 5,000m3 of ground to make way for 104 15m-long sheet piles to support the walls of the hole. We created a bespoke solution allowing us to capture from the roof of the Royal Albert Hall, so as to provide a continuous and uninterrupted view of the development over its full duration.

Excavation works taking place at Trafford Park in Manchester by United Utilities.

Above: Another of our past time-lapse projects documenting excavation works was for United Utilities at Trafford Park, Manchester. In efforts to improve water quality in the city’s Ship Canal, ground was dug out to make way for an enabling chamber, kiosk and shaft to be built 700 meters underground. This extensive operation took over 12 months to complete and required a 140-tonne tunnel-boring machine to complete some of the earthworks effectively.

One of our current projects for the High Speed Rail network also involves time-lapse capture of major excavation works at St James’s Gardens near Euston Station.

Ongoing progress at the new major transport hub terminal is eagerly anticipated; even more so when the remains of a famous explorer were found during the archaeological dig taking place on site.

Time-lapse construction narratives enhanced

From our varied time-lapse UK projects tracking pre-construction works, the benefits of visually showcasing this type of work are clear.

As well as individual time-lapse videos, capturing activities that take place before construction works to further enhance the story.

Time-lapse construction is, of course, a popular genre on its own but when coupled with key developments which ensures the next phase of a project, there is a fuller narrative to be uncovered – and subsequently told.

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Time-Lapse Systems are a part of Hideaway Media Ltd (est. 2007). World leader in the provision of bespoke time-lapse capture and site monitoring solutions. UK and Worldwide.