Evidencing and Auditing the Construction Process with Oculo
The request for photographs and / or laser scanning on construction projects is a growing requirement in response to the need for greater evidentiary and audit controls demanded by new regulatory constraints.
Taking photographic stills at varying points during the construction process is a long, laborious and costly process compounded further by the need to sort and compile them by time and location. It is also likely that photographs will not capture the whole of the construction site and you can almost guarantee that when a photograph is needed, it is almost certainly the one not taken.
Laser Scanning on the other hand, whilst providing accuracy, is a time consuming and expensive activity.
Amongst other benefits Oculo solves these problems. Utilising a 360⁰ degree camera mounted on a hard hat, Oculo provides a “Google-esque” view of your construction site. Simply send someone to walk the site with the camera for 30-45 minutes, upload it to the Oculo website and within hours you have remote access to a full 360⁰ panoramic navigable view of your construction site using tools similar to Google Maps.
This view can then either be compared against previous captures to compare progress or against a BIM model to review “As Built”.
Oculo also provides the capability for raising issues, either within the platform, within Autodesk BIM 360 or within Fieldview.
Because of its ease of use, companies are utilising Oculo to walk the site upwards of once per week and finding other benefits. These include:
- Proof of regulatory compliance.
- Capture of behind wall / ceiling services and materials (for fire safety).
- Dispute and claim resolution.
- Greater management oversight – review projects without going to site.
- Reduction in travel time & costs through remote site view increasing “green” credentials.
- Improved Quality and Health and Safety monitoring.
- Early client and stakeholder visibility – for review and commenting purposes.
- Significantly less resource and time intensive than taking still photographs (to prove as built) and more flexible and significantly more cost effective than laser scanning.
- Finished 360⁰ views of the asset.
- Accelerate decision-making through virtual site-meetings.
- Progress Monitoring.
- Issue Management.
- Spotting issues earlier – reducing cost of rectifications.
- Supply chain accountability – prove progress before releasing payment.
- Full visual record of construction and fit out.
When commencing a walk, Oculo will geo-reference you to a starting point, so there is no need to re-enact the walk exactly each time as the artificial intelligence and machine learning will interpret your location for you and automatically position you within the site.
As you walk, the system places points on the plan, these will act as “teleportation” portals and once the 360⁰ capture is uploaded, it will allow you to digitally move from one part of the building to another whilst at the same time calling up the view related to both the point and the date(s) requested and / or the BIM model.
The BIM viewing technology is built on Autodesk Forge and if you have a BIM model, you can use all the viewing features that Forge provides including the hide function so Clients and Contractors alike can compare all aspects of the BIM model including above ceilings, below floors and behind walls against the actual installation for complete accuracy.
What Hardware is Required?
The hardware requirements for this technology is simply an Insta 360 One X2 5.7k resolution camera and a suitable memory card (128Gb recommended). Symetri and Oculo provide a fully configured camera with 128 Gbyte Sandisk memory card and helmet mountings.
Note: Like most 360⁰ cameras the battery life is limited. The approximate run time in 360⁰ degree mode is approximately 60 minutes but is rechargeable via a USB Type C cable and charger.
In terms of training, the product is very simple to use, but to provide confidence, Symetri will provide a consultant for half a day to introduce the concept and accompany the nominated site walker on their first tour.
The first registered user will have full administration rights and shall add all other project collaborators as users within the Oculo platform. Added users can take the rights of an administrator (who can add and revoke access) or collaborator (who can only view the footage or leave notes, on a project-by-project basis).
To share Oculo site view with external collaborators outside your project team, the easiest way is to add them as registered users to the system - there is no limit on the number of users registered for the project. Admins can also organise users into groups with selective viewing permissions, restricting the areas they are able to access.