Enhancing Jobsite Connectivity for Effective Reality Capture in Construction
October 10, 2023

Does your jobsite connectivity support Reality Capture?

Technology is reshaping the way construction projects are planned, executed, and monitored. One such transformative technology is reality capture, which has gained prominence for its ability to revolutionize the construction industry. However, for construction jobsites to fully harness the potential of reality capture, enhanced connectivity is essential. In this article, we will delve into the concept of reality capture, explore its bandwidth-intensive nature, and emphasize the importance of local infrastructure on the jobsite network. By the end, it will become evident that jobsite connectivity must be elevated to support reality capture, enabling construction projects to benefit from improved accuracy, reduced delays, and more efficient operations.

What is Reality Capture?

Reality capture is a cutting-edge technology that allows construction professionals to create digital replicas of real-world structures and environments. It involves the use of various tools such as 3D laser scanners, drones, and cameras to collect vast amounts of data, which are then processed to create accurate digital representations. This process is akin to creating a “digital twin” of the physical construction site.

  • Concept of Digital Twins: The concept of digital twins involves creating a virtual replica of a physical asset or environment. In construction, this means having a real-time, digital counterpart of the project that can be continuously updated as construction progresses.
  • Comparing As-Built Against As-Designed: Reality capture enables construction teams to compare the as-built condition of a project against its initial design. This allows for early detection of discrepancies, ensuring that the construction aligns with the original plans.
  • Monitoring Construction Progress: By constantly capturing data, reality capture provides a dynamic view of construction progress. Project managers can track the status of various components, facilitating informed decision-making.
  • Measuring Construction Accuracy: Reality capture’s precision allows for accurate measurements of components, aiding in quality control and ensuring that construction is carried out to exact specifications. This helps identify potential clash issues between structural, mechanical, plumbing, and building automation systems.

Benefits Include:

1. Minimizing Schedule Delays: Reality capture helps in identifying potential issues early, reducing the likelihood of schedule delays.

2. Clash Detection: It aids in clash detection by identifying clashes between different building systems or components, reducing the need for costly on-site revisions.

3. Reducing the Need for Onsite Inspection: With a digital twin in place, inspections can be conducted remotely, minimizing the need for physical presence on the construction site.

Reality Capture and Its Bandwidth Intensity

Reality capture is a bandwidth-intensive process due to several factors. To begin with, running process-intensive software in the cloud isn’t practical unless dedicated internet bandwidth is available. The following should be considered when planning to use reality capture technologies:

  • Cloud-Based Analysis with Digital Twins: The data collected during reality capture, including high-resolution images, point clouds, and Building Information Models (BIM), need to be stored and analyzed in the cloud. This process requires a robust and high-speed internet connection to ensure data can be uploaded and processed efficiently.
  • Latency Causes Issues: Low-latency connections are crucial for real-time monitoring and updates to the digital twin. High latency can result in delays and make it challenging to keep the digital twin synchronized with on-site activities.
  • Large File Sizes: Reality capture generates large data files, often in the form of high-definition images and 3D models. Transmitting these files over a slow or unreliable network can lead to data loss and delays in project analysis.

The Importance of Local Infrastructure on the Jobsite Network

To support reality capture on construction jobsites, the local infrastructure of the network must be robust and reliable. This often entails wired connections rather than relying solely on Wi-Fi due to a couple of reasons:

  • Likely Needs to Be Wired: Given the bandwidth-intensive nature of reality capture, a wired connection is often the most reliable way to transfer large amounts of data quickly. Wi-Fi, while convenient, may not provide the necessary speed and stability for efficient data transfer.
  • Smart Trailer Solutions: ConstructEdge offers its Smart Trailer Solution as a practical and efficient means of addressing jobsite connectivity needs. These trailers are equipped with the necessary infrastructure to support reality capture and other data-intensive operations.

What Does a Smart Trailer Need to Look Like:

1. The Server Should Be Onsite: Smart trailers typically have an onsite server that can store and process captured data in real-time. This reduces the need to transmit all data to remote servers, reducing latency and ensuring data security.

2. Reduced Latency: Smart trailer solutions often include low-latency connections to support real-time data updates. This is crucial for maintaining an accurate digital twin that reflects the current state of the construction site.

The Right Jobsite Network Helps Make the Most from Reality Capture

In conclusion, reality capture technology holds immense potential to transform the construction industry by improving accuracy, reducing delays, and enhancing overall project management. However, to fully leverage the benefits of reality capture, construction jobsites need enhanced connectivity. This includes robust local infrastructure, often in the form of smart trailer solutions, to support the bandwidth-intensive requirements of reality capture.

The advantages of reality capture are undeniable, from the early detection of issues to the reduction of onsite inspections. However, without the right network infrastructure in place, construction projects may miss out on the efficiency gains and cost savings that reality capture can provide. Therefore, investing in jobsite connectivity that supports reality capture is not just a matter of convenience but a strategic move toward a more productive and competitive construction industry.

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