ATLANTA, JULY 23, 2013 – When Deep Green Residence Hall opens at Kentucky’s Berea College in August, college donors will have the satisfaction of having been able to see how their money was spent, thanks to an OxBlue construction camera on the build site.
Keeping donors informed is crucial at Berea College, a private liberal-arts college that is one of only two tuition-free colleges in the country. As an entirely self-funded, non-profit organization, Berea depends on the largesse of its donors to fund everything it does, including construction.
A nationally recognized leader in sustainability and green design practices even before Deep Green, Berea set out to make Deep Green the greenest residence hall in the country. Keeping donors informed throughout the build was crucial because of the higher cost of sustainable construction, which uses costlier green materials and carbon neutral processes.
Before breaking ground, the Berea College Office of Operations and Sustainability installed on site an OxBlue eight-megapixel construction camera that delivers a live feed to a website, allowing all stakeholders to view the site 24/7.
Besides providing a time-lapse history of the entire build, the construction camera interface also allows visitors to go back and view high-resolution photos from any date they choose.
“From a fund-raising standpoint, we love to share student stories that show donors the impact of their dollars,” said Chris Maguire, Associate Vice-President, Berea Integrated Marketing and Communications. “The same holds true for construction projects.”
As part of its fund-raising efforts, the school has set up special landing pages for donors and friends to read inspiring stories about students and then link to the Deep Green time-lapse movies.
The video link drives home the bricks-and-mortar needs of the college campus and shows what donor and community support means to the college.
In fact, the time-lapse movies have proven more widely useful than anyone originally imagined.
“Deep Green is such a unique and exciting project. I’m just really thankful that we have the cameras there to document the construction,” said Maguire. “We show the time-lapse video at alumni reunions and board of trustees meetings.”
In addition to the PR benefits, the OxBlue construction camera and its time-lapse movies offered the unexpected benefit of better project management by allowing subcontractors to monitor the job progress in real time and self-schedule their own start dates. Relieving the general contractors of this burden ended up saving both time and money.