Like many in their industry, Schimenti Construction Company experimented with construction cameras in the previous decade. While the technology was promising, it often fell short of expectations.
Headquartered in Ridgefield, Connecticut, with offices in New York City, Schimenti has built a strong reputation in the retail construction industry and has developed a solid niche in urban construction. The firm builds retail-shopping environments for some of the nation’s leading retailers, including Kohl’s, REI, Barney’s New York, Target, Banana Republic, Starbucks, Zara, and Chipotle.
Schimenti installed its first static cameras in 2005, but they failed to meet the rigorous needs of construction professionals. Early generation cameras were not designed to stand up to the rugged demands of an outdoor environment. They also required landlines, making them problematic on a job site and limiting their usefulness in remote or underdeveloped areas. User interfaces were complicated and often required special software.
“In the end, you had very rudimentary views using too many workarounds. It was more effort than it was worth. The learning curve and task of getting connected would be passed on to clients,” said Keith Murley, manager of information systems, Schimenti Construction Company.
“If you haven’t used construction cameras in the last few years, revisit them and see the value that they can bring,” said Murley. “The technologies have grown by leaps and bounds.”
Today, Schimenti has furthered the deployment of construction cameras on its projects, and they have become an essential part of the standard BIM (building information modeling) process.
“We are fortunate to work with some great companies like Kohl’s and Target that really embrace technology, so they appreciate the value of our OxBlue cameras,” said Murley. “As part of our BIM process, the cameras will allow us to track our actual schedule against the projected BIM model. The real-time visual access means that we can avoid having anyone – us or the client – reacting to something unexpected on the job site.”
With OxBlue construction cameras, anyone with an Internet connection via computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone can have 24/7 remote access to any job site. Schimenti staff relies on OxBlue cameras to facilitate and expedite project meetings. Whether they’re having a general discussion about day-to-day progress or dealing with scheduling issues, every team member has full visibility into what’s happening – or what has already happened – on the job site.
“A side bonus is that we can see atmospheric conditions and make sure they correlate with what we’re hearing about daily field conditions,” said Murley. “Increasing visibility into field operations can help avoid or remediate situations that could otherwise cost time and money. It doesn’t take long for clients to see those benefits. In fact, one senior executive at one of our larger clients has our OxBlue camera live in his office 24/7.”