Preconstruction video is the documentation of a work site and the surrounding areas prior to the start of construction. This is considered one of the most important aspects of pre construction. When done correctly, pre construction video is very important regarding litigation for damages that are often blamed on the contractor.
This process is sometimes referred to as a Pre Construction Video Survey. Pre construction video, as well as Pre construction photography is often required by townships, counties and states. Contractors are sometimes surprised by this requirement for the project and the specifications that are required for this type of Construction Video Survey.
When asked to provide a Preconstruction video survey, a contractor is often in need of pre construction video, or pre construction photography using ground level and aerial video and photos. Generally the project contract will require the contractor to enlist the services of a professional, experienced videographer or photographer that specializes in Precon video or Pre Construction Photography. The project plans typically specify that the selected Pre Construction Video Company has a minimum of five years experience in this specialized field. For some government projects including the V.A. or State Departments of Transportation, samples of the company providing the Pre Construction Video Services need to be submitted and approved. Other government projects will require submittals of the work shorty after the video documentation. If the engineers do not approve of the quality, or if the specifications were not adhered to, the video may be refused. In this case the pre-con video will need to be recorded again. A different Construction Video Company may need to be used if requested by the owner.
The specifications for Pre-Construction Video are very detailed. Included are some of the following requirements.
Other specifications will state that the Preconstruction Video be shot using professional grade cameras and will get into much detail about the process of the actual video documentation techniques used by the camera operator. For example, if the video is being recorded from a moving vehicle, the specifications will mention that the speed of the vehicle must not exceed 2 mph in areas of much detail including sidewalks and curbs. Higher speeds of up to 10-15 mph are acceptable in areas with less detail.
For camera operators that are documenting while walking a site, it is required that the camera have built in stabilization or that a separate gimbal device is used to provide for a smooth video. The speed of pans, tilts and zooms are also mentioned in the specifications to make for videos that are usable for documentation. These detailed specifications are understandable as for many years pre construction videos where shot without much thought about the end use. When recorded properly, a pre-construction video is a valued asset for both the contractor and municipality as well as the homeowners or businesses when a dispute arises.
A properly recorded preconstruction video shot by an experienced professional will document the entire area of a work site. Using the project plans as a guideline, the camera operators will document the road surfaces, driveways, sidewalks, curbs, fences, retaining walls, landscaping and utilities within the limits of disturbance. At times aerial pre construction video or Aerial pre-construction photography is used to provide an overall view of the construction site. Aerial video and photography using drones is often used at high elevations, however using a drone at a lower elevation is one of the most effective uses for aerial video and photography. Video and photos shot from elevations of 10 to 15 feet will provide exceptional detail that can not be duplicated by a camera operator shooting from the ground level.
Pre construction video should always be shot in Full 1080p HD at a minimum or preferably 4K. For photography, your pre construction company should be using a Full Frame, High Resolution Digital Camera. The new standard is a mirrorless camera. These hi Rez cameras produce exception photos and are especially good for shooting in low light situations. Companies not using the latest and best technology are less likely to produce a satisfactory result. In summary, pre construction video and pre construction photography used separately or together provide valuable insurance for the contractor, municipality, homeowners and businesses.
Make certain you check out the credentials of any preconstruction video company. Be sure to look over the company website. Check that they have video samples similar in scope to the work you need. An experienced company should have an abundance of materiel for you to look over. It is also best to speak with a company representative to get a good feel of the understanding they have for your pre-construction video needs to properly provide a professional pre construction video survey. Internet searches can be an effective way to locate a professional pre-construction video company. Asking for a reference from other project managers or engineers is best. Do not hesitate to ask other departments or project managers in your company or a competitor who they have used in the past.