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Our time-lapse images shared on Twitter by 125 Deansgate.

News Capturing the whole narrative – demolition & construction

13 September 2018 Kate

A time-lapse construction narrative is a valuable form of media in its own right, as is a video showing demolition works. But bringing the two phases together through time-lapse can serve numerous purposes.

Through the technique of capturing images at regular intervals and playing them back at a faster frame rate, time appears to be moving faster.

Thus, time-lapse allows us to mould the speed of change to a rate that our eyes and mind are able to comprehend. A building being raised to the ground or taking shape can be shown in a short, easily digestible narrative.

Time-lapse photography deals with the bigger picture. Demolition & construction are mutually exclusive processes but one following the other as part of a time-lapse video helps to shape a more complete narrative of projects in such sectors.

Begin at the beginning…

Pre-construction works, like demolition – the vital processes that are completed on site before construction can begin – can easily be overlooked.

Time-lapse offers a solution to this oversight by providing a means of permanently documenting the demolition process. The memory of an old structure may be preserved indefinitely as part of a time-lapse video.

Our work at Molson Coors’ brewery in Burton – the UK’s largest brewery – helped to provide an historical archive of the building before it underwent a radical transformation.

As is evident from the above video, the work involved in demolition is also incredibly rigorous with progress taking place incrementally using various methods and equipment. Cranes, hydraulic excavators, bull dozers, wrecking balls, or even smaller handheld materials may be necessary, depending on the scale of the job.

The speed that is given to the rigorous work carried out by each piece of equipment highlights the scale of the works being done in a fraction of the time. Again, time-lapse helps to deliver the bigger picture.

This kind of time-lapse video can be used in numerous capacities, by the brewery and/or by the demolition company themselves.

Nevertheless, demolition is only the beginning of a much bigger story.

Time-lapse construction

Once the ground has been cleared, the construction phase of a project can begin.

A building taking shape can take months, even years, depending on the nature of the structure. Time-lapse photography is the ideal monitoring and marketing tool for the construction industry as it is able to lend an eye to such long-term works – both during and after the build.

Many of our clients are contractors who utilise our time-lapse & video solutions in order to capture & showcase their building expertise.

The above time-lapse video for one of the UK’s biggest contractors, Kier, tracks the construction of a new £58m laboratory at Cambridge Biomedical campus.

Project Capella marks the second largest undertaking at the university and so this visual documentation of progress goes some way to communicating the significance of Kier’s work on behalf of the contractor and their subcontractors.

Time-lapse videos are also becoming increasingly popular forms of media to view and to share on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, thereby engaging a larger audience with demolition & construction work.

Building a stronger relationship

We have already reported on the multiple benefits of the complimentary relationship between time-lapse and social media: an effective way of piquing public interest.

As well as having a positive affect on how both demolition and construction work is engaged with in the public sphere, a by-product of this is the way in which these platforms assist in fostering the collaborative work between companies across both sectors.

Time-lapsing progress at 125 Deansgate in Manchester, for example, has involved capturing demolition and construction phases. This project is still ongoing but delivering a progress edit to our client following the demolition of Lincoln House was a significant milestone in their timeline – not just for the contractors themselves, but for those handling the demolition as well.

Alongside our time-lapse edit which was greatly received, Forshaw Demolition also benefited from access to our image archive, which they could share on social media to mark their own achievement.

The contractor and demolition company acknowledging each other as stakeholders in this development on a public platform, highlights the significance of their collaborative relationship in delivering 125 Deansgate.

Indeed, this is just another way in which time-lapse has helped to visualise the bigger picture. Once completed, both the demolition and construction of 125 Deansgate may be combined to show how both phases have been integral parts of a much larger whole.

We often complete time-lapse edits which reflect the whole narrative – like our work at 190 Strand in London (below).

Due to its versatility, time-lapse photography can be useful at every stage of a project: providing up-to-date progress via ‘live’ site monitoring via high quality images, or delivering archival time-lapse edits.

But this mode of photography can also combine these elements to produce a final visual rendering of a project following its completion: including both demolition & construction to tell the whole story behind the build.

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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.