Reality-capture software is helping builders save a great deal of time that would otherwise be spent on job site walks. The technology creates as-built models of job sites using data and images often gathered from a hardhat-mounted 360-degree camera that allows software to create a virtual environment and compare and contrast with plans.



than Choun knows how much time a jobsite walk can steal from a project.The project manager for Menlo Park, California-based Novo Construction ticks off a laundry list of each minute-snatching step:

Getting to and going through the jobsite itself; opening ceiling tiles to look at mechanical spaces once you’re there; taking multitudes of pictures and uploading those shots; and finally, comparing what you saw to original plans, all while tracking a constantly changing project in progress.

But, in the five years since he’s started using reality capture tech that creates an as-built model of the jobsite, Choun has seen the time it takes cut down drastically.“It’s changing the game. It’s become a lot more simple,” Choun said.

Novo isn’t the only company that’s making use of the technology. For example, North Reading, Massachusetts-based contractor Columbia Construction recently used reality capture software to align 60,000 feet of pipe on a short timetable.

At Novo Construction, Choun uses OpenSpace, a program that compares image captures from jobsites to plans supplied by contractors.According to OpenSpace’s website, the information-gathering phase of the jobsite walk is relatively straightforward.

A contractor uses a camera — typically a 360-degree device mounted on a hardhat — to record onsite progress during the walk. Once footage and pictures are uploaded to OpenSpace’s app, the software constructs a virtual environment from the images and compares it to the contractor’s original plans.