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Using Cameras and Remote Monitoring in Construction Projects


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Webinar presented to the Project Management Institute Construction Community of Practice.

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Using Cameras and Remote Monitoring in Construction Projects

  1. 1. Using Cameras and Remote Monitoring inConstruction ProjectsApril 3rd, 2012 http://www.remontech.comCesar Abeid, B.E.Sc., PMP
  2. 2. Cesar Abeid, B.E.Sc., PMPProject Manager at Remontech, Inc. • Dedicated exclusively to providing remote monitoring for the construction industry • • cabeid@remontech.comHost of the Construction Industry Podcast • Weekly internet audio show on topics relevant to construction professionals • http://constructionindustrypodcast.comSome of our clients:
  3. 3. In today’s webinar • The problems with the way cameras are currently used in many construction projects • Why using construction cameras smartly can help your management experience and project oversight • I will show you what can be done when cameras are put to good construction management use Indispensable
  4. 4. Live cameras, time-lapse videos, scheduleintegration• Out of the difficulties encountered in many projects while being a construction manager Dr. Jorge Abeid, Ph.D. developed PHOTO-NET as his thesis during his time at the Illinois Institute of Technology.• His work awarded him his Ph.D. in Construction Project Management• PHOTO-NET won 1st place as best graduate research award that year• PHOTO-NET leverages the use of cameras and their feed as a powerful tool for construction project management.
  5. 5. Most construction camera systems today• Novelty• Security/surveillance
  6. 6. Novelty camera systems• Usually a single “high definition” camera• Camera feed is set up for visual impact, not for project management purposes• Camera is there to showcase the overall project for an outside audience, not to help the manager• They are “cool” but not very useful• Recordings are done on an automatic way, regardless of what’s happening on site.• Generated video is often used for marketing and promotions.
  7. 7. Example of a good novelty camera system
  8. 8. Surveillance camera systems• Security cameras are there to protect the project from break-ins, not to help you manage it.• Cameras should act as your eyes while you are not present on site. Surveillance cameras usually point at gates, fences, and doors, not the project itself.• Surveillance systems are like security guards. Remote construction monitoring systems are like referees. They both are on the field, but with different purposes.
  9. 9. Example of a surveillance camera system
  10. 10. Camera systems as a remote monitoringsystem• Remote monitoring can be a fantastic tool for Project Management• Two aspects: – Live viewing – Recordings
  11. 11. Remote monitoring systems will help yourPM experience in a variety of ways:• “Monitoring and Controlling” process group. They can act as a complement to the other tools you already use for other process groups.• They can help you stay updated on project progress even when you are not there.• They will help communications management as you can have the image as a facilitator.
  12. 12. Remote monitoring systems will help yourPM experience in a variety of ways:• They will help with Project Time Management as a tool for the “Control Schedule” process. More on that later.• They will help you control costs, as you will have a way to track usage of equipment and personnel.• They will help you with risk management, as you will be able to monitor and control risks such as dangerous activities and accident prevention from a distance.
  13. 13. Live feeds in project management• Cameras will look at areas of the site where key activities in your project schedule will take place, preferably those in the critical path.• It’s important that management and maintenance of the monitoring system does not become another item on your WBS: – Because it is not essential to project execution, cameras and auxiliary equipment will not be a priority for the project team, and rightly so. – The way to ensure that the monitoring system will stay up and running throughout the project is to hand that management off to a subcontractor.
  14. 14. Live feed example• Live feed demonstration.• Contact me at for demo
  15. 15. Video recordings in project management• Cameras will be on site for months, sometimes years• The amount of data that is potentially generated is astounding• In order to make sense of it, it is needed to capture what the cameras are seeing in a methodical and purposeful way• They have front-row seats to all activity• You can’t afford not to capture it. But how?
  16. 16. Time-lapse recording• A frame is recorded on a fixed rate. For example, a recording is done on a frame rate of 30 frames per minute.• The recording is played back at a higher frame rate such as 30 frames per second.• Issues: – Projects are very long in duration, so even time-lapse recordings can be extremely long – Typically the recording/playback is done at a randomly selected frame rate, regardless of the particularities of the project – Construction project activity levels over time are not linear: at times there will be many activities taking place, but there will be periods of time when nothing of value happens on site for days. Regular, automated recordings do not accommodate for that.
  17. 17. Solution: “Smart Time-Lapse” recording 12 10Frames per hour 8 6 Regular Time Lapse Recording 4 Smart Time Lapse Recording 2 0 Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  18. 18. Smart time-lapse example• Smart time-lapse demonstration• Contact me at for demo.
  19. 19. Smart Time-Lapse + Project Schedule• This is where it all comes together.• On one hand you have your project schedule• On the other hand you have your smart time lapse video• Let me show you what can be done when they are linked.
  20. 20. PHOTO-NET example• PHOTO-NET demonstration• Contact me at for demo.
  21. 21. Thank you!• Because of our efforts with Remontech and the Construction Industry Podcast, my network of construction professionals is growing. Join me and hundreds of others!• Let’s connect: – Connect with me on LinkedIn: look for Cesar Abeid – Twitter: @cesarabeid – Email: – Remontech: – Construction Industry Podcast:• Let me know you attended this webinar. I would like to hear your feedback on a more personal level.