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Integrating computer vision technology into construction and renovation projects

Construction and renovation projects can be quite complex. Project managers and contractors must combine technical tasks with safety requirements and practical considerations, among other things. The good news is that the continued rise of the digital landscape has brought with it a number of advanced tools that can help such projects achieve their goals, including computer vision technology.

Computer vision technology is one of several offshoots of artificial intelligence (AI). In the simplest terms, it describes the way AI systems use visual tools – both video and still – to assess and improve processes. There are several applications for this in construction, so it’s worth exploring how this can be used and what contractors and developers should consider when aiming for successful integration.

Project accuracy and optimization

One of the benefits of using computer vision technology in construction is that it can improve job accuracy and help optimize your processes. For example, many software in this area can continuously monitor the details of real-time images and perform pixel-by-pixel analysis. When combined with solid data about the project plans, computer vision AI can perform comparisons that provide fine details about how closely projects align with intended outcomes.

From a project accuracy perspective, computer vision tools can minimize the chance of extensive and costly errors. Typically, construction and renovation projects rely solely on the perspectives of contractors and inspectors. Comprehensive physical assessments may only occur at certain times throughout the process, which can miss mistakes, exacerbate minor problems, and require more expensive repairs. Because computer vision software provides real-time feedback to project managers, there is a greater opportunity to respond and make changes.

There is also a role for software in optimizing the ongoing activities of a construction project. Computer vision tools can use machine learning algorithms to assess whether the activities taking place in video footage are happening most efficiently. It can also highlight when excessive material is used. This not only reduces costly waste, but also ensures more sustainable construction projects.

Maintain safety

Perhaps the most important role computer vision plays in construction is maintaining safety. Construction and renovation sites present a variety of hazards and risks, not to mention that completed buildings must meet high safety standards to prevent harm to residents. In addition to human expertise, access to AI support systems can ensure construction projects can maximize safety.

First, one of the functions of computer vision is to automatically scan video footage for risk indicators. For example, AI can identify dangerous goods symbols in images of materials and provide project managers with up-to-date information about on-site risks. This allows contractors to use the most appropriate precautions and personal protective equipment (PPE). The fine image analysis capabilities of computer vision also help maintain good asset management processes by identifying signs of equipment wear and tear. As a result, contractors and managers can ensure that tools are replaced and updated to keep them safely usable.

In addition, some buildings and renovations require compliance with specific building codes. There are different processes and requirements depending on the type of project and region of the country. For example, home extensions such as garages usually require approval rounds, with construction carried out exactly as described in the approved plans. Even something as simple as sanding requires a permit for inspection in some locations, which requires the project to be less demanding than large-scale construction but still must meet criteria for elements such as land use.

Computer vision technology can monitor the construction process to ensure that the project remains within the parameters of the agreed upon plans and meets the safety requirements required by building codes and permit conditions.

The importance of training

As with any form of technology, computer vision is ineffective by its mere availability. Rather, the key to success is the way it is used in projects. This requires staff to be able to collaborate effectively with computer vision systems. That is why it is essential to provide training.

Some key areas to focus on here may include:

Project managers and supervisors understand how to interact with computer vision software interfaces on a daily basis.

The ability of project managers to set up cameras and sensors in positions that allow the computer vision software to capture the highest quality images for review.

The skills of information technology (IT) and project managers in troubleshooting computer vision technology problems, assessing the accuracy of ongoing analytics, and providing data that improves software functions.

Some of these skills can be offered through industry trade shows or through e-learning programs on how to use AI software. Many software platform providers offer access to video tutorials in addition to practical on-the-job training. This includes arranging professionals with experience in using the technology in construction, who will provide project staff with personal guidance, walk through the practical applications and tackle challenges. This training should also be regularly refreshed and updated for different scales and types of projects.

Conclusion

Computer vision technology helps drive innovations that support construction and renovation projects. This includes AI’s ability to optimize processes for efficiency and maintaining safety. In addition to training contractors and project managers in how to use these tools, it may also be useful for companies to explore proprietary forms of computer vision technology. By being involved in programming and teaching the AI, it can be a more tailored and relevant tool for the types of projects the company undertakes.

Sam Bowman writes about people, technology, employees and how they merge. He enjoys using the community internet without actually having to leave his home. In his spare time he enjoys running, reading and combining the two with a trip to his local bookstore.