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Smart Site Visits

May 04, 2020

The coronavirus restricts us from physically attending project sites as we used to. So how can we keep our projects on track without our usual site visits?

When Stantec’s business leaders took the early decision to ask its people to work from home for health and safety, it caused a bit of bustle. However, it turns out that from a productivity point of view that working from home is not so different to working from the office. A robust IT infrastructure and agile work processes have made it a pretty seamless transition.

However, the life of an engineer in the buildings field is not always office-based, so how do we achieve our on-site tasks in a COVID-19 world? 

No problem

Engineers are by nature problem-solvers, so of course, we have a solution or two to ensure our projects stay on track and client needs are met.   

Site visits pose the biggest obstacle for our teams. Traditionally many engineers would attend a single site visit, but recent COVID-19 restrictions changed that.    

Our solution involves using Reality Capture camera technology to capture existing site conditions in a high-resolution 3D model. Any design team member can then use the files to produce condition or progress reports as usual. Utilising this technology has allowed our teams to reduce numbers on site and abide by social distancing rules while still delivering updates to projects.  

Another area of site work that is impacted by COVID-19 is project commissioning. We’re managing that by witnessing work completed on site via a shared screen and recorded skype session with the contractor is closing the loop with formal documentation. While we have always had this technology, we’ve never utilised it in this manner. 

A truly immersive experience

Our teams are at the forefront of project visualisation, which has become even more crucial during COVID-19. Our solution runs our design models through a gaming engine, enabling our project collaborators to immerse themselves in our designs.  In short, it is like going on a site walk during construction. Users can walk the floor space and corridors to obtain a full understanding of the design and all its implications. What’s more, the design team can use it to peek behind the walls, floors and ceilings to intelligently integrate the services. 

Anytime during the life of a project, our team can showcase exactly how the project will look and feel. Pre, during and post COVID-19, this technology creates a deeper bonding engagement and interactivity with all clients and stakeholders. This improved form of communication builds stakeholder trust and fast tracks design decisions. 

So that’s part of Stantec’s solution to working on site during social isolation. We are achieving our project goals, limiting the number of people on site, adhering to social distancing rules and eliminating unnecessary travel.

We are achieving more with less.

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