Using Time-Lapse Photography to Save Money on Construction Projects

Time lapse photography and time lapse footage can help save money and increase profit on both large scale and small scale construction projects. It’s a bold claim, given that timelapse photography seems remote and far removed from the construction world, but let’s think about this together, and see if we can reach any conclusions.

Time-lapse photography is a lengthy and difficult process, but essentially it’s where a series of photographs are taken from a fixed point at prescribed intervals, and then the individual shots or frames are edited together. When this edit is played back at 25 frames per second, it has the effect of condensing the passage of time into manageable chunks, where the viewer can easily see and appreciate large scale changes in only a couple of minutes.

How can this be of benefit to you if you are the construction manager or project manager on a building site? Well, any sufficiently complex construction project will have a well-defined, and rigidly adhered to, schedule of work. This schedule of work will tell the management team everything they need to know in terms of getting materials, plant and labour to the right place at the right time.

But how closely is this plan monitored against actual events? And how reliable is the information you have received? Having time-lapse footage of the entire project can give you an invaluable resource to compare against your schedule of work. You will be able to tell, visually, whether the materials, plant and labour arrived at the correct location, in the right order and at the right time. It will obviously be too late to do anything about it by this point. However, next time you have to write your schedule of work for the next project, you will have better knowledge and will be able to make a more informed choice about when to order what you need. That timelapse footage will enable you to get the equipment, materials and labour on site just-in-time, meaning that you won’t be tying up valuable resources wastefully. That means more profit on the job, or the ability to offer services more cost effectively than your competitors.

One other way in which such services can not only save you money, but are very useful, is in the area of ultra high definition site monitoring. The best time-lapse companies offering time-lapse services also allow you to view your project through on-line viewers from desktops, smartphones and tablets. This means that you, your surveyors, architects, etc can view very clear images (much better than any webcam) to discuss and share etc. You can also offer this service to your clients and stake-holders etc. These images, taken with the correct HD equipment (Again NOT just webcams) can allow you to zoom into particular areas of your site/project to scrutinise particular detail. This makes any monitoring and discussions about the site very convenient, even for those who cannot get to the actual location of the project.

Plus….If all this wasn’t enough – any marketing people can use either the individual ‘still’ frames, or even the live feed to websites in order to communicate to broader publics.