Hard hat cameras ensure Claridge’s project runs smoothly

Northern Ireland contractor Mastercraft has been using Oculo’s hard hat camera site-scanning equipment to monitor progress on its work at Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, London.

Oculo’s 360 degree video camera is mounted on a hard hat to record progress each week during a usual site inspection. The system creates a virtual copy of the site that is navigable via an online platform, allowing users to zoom in on areas of interest and pin notes in the virtual space, meaning they can log RFIs, snags and notify clients or contractors about specific issues.

Mastercraft adopted the technology when the Covid-19 travel ban came into force, meaning its project manager was unable to leave Belfast to visit the site.

Social distancing regulations also meant that other professionals on the project, such as the QS and design team, could carry out inspections and valuations remotely.  

A Mastercraft spokesperson said: "We saw Oculo as a way to reduce visits and as a way to be able to look at the whole building in our own time. We used to fly over once a week, and whatever the crisis was that week is what you would go to deal with, but what you’re not seeing then are all the other small issues and the progress that is or isn’t happening elsewhere. With this this software, you can see what needs to be the next priority."

Oculo says its system has the potential to help improve cash flow management, first by allowing valuations to be carried out on the due date so they can more accurately reflect work completed up until that exact point and, second, by creating a permanent, visual record of onsite progress.  

Mastercraft carries out an Oculo scan once a week, so in the unfortunate event of a dispute, the contractor has a body of evidence that would allow it to clarify what was done when in a matter of minutes. Because Oculo’s camera records 360 degree footage, the person carrying out the site inspection does not need to focus on particular problem areas with the possibility of missing other developments.

The company is offering free trials to companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Oculo will be speaking at the Digital Construction Summit 2020, taking place as a virtual event from 29 September to 1 October: 

Click here to register for Oculo’s session, ‘Creating a ‘golden thread’ of digital documentation to improve project efficiency, safety and client relationship’:

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