When you start thinking about setting up cameras to monitor and record the activities and progress of your construction project, you will probably look up a company like ours and call them. One of the first questions I ask potential clients are about the existing infrastructure to support our monitoring equipment and cameras.
Here are some of the things I would ask you about.
Physical location to mount?
Think about your project and how it’s going to look when it is done. Think about where you would stand if you were to take a good look at both the construction project and at the finished structure. That location is most likely the best spot to mount the cameras and other equipment. Is there any sort of structure on which we could mount cameras? These can be:
- Nearby buildings and roofs
- Construction trailers (a very popular choice as they are always there)
- Outdoor signs
- Trees: we mounted cameras on a tree once and it was a great solution to an otherwise difficult project to monitor.
If there are no good locations for mounting, there are a few things that can be done:
- Remontech can source and install poles specifically for the assembly of cameras and other equipment. Sometimes that is the easiest and fastest way to provide a locations for the cameras that are high enough and exactly in the spot where it can provide the best view.It is necessary to ensure that the pole will be installed on a location that will remain untouched during the construction project. Sometimes that it is easier said than done. The ideal location for a pole would be outside the construction project itself, which again, sometimes it’s easier said than done.Another thing to keep in mind is that to get up on top of a pole to install equipment, it is necessary the use of a elevated work platform (or a boom lift, bucket lift, or genie boom). These will increase the cost of installation. Also, if it becomes necessary to adjust the position of the cameras or perform any maintenance work on them, the elevated work platform needs to be used again.
- Scaffoldings may be put in place as a platform for the installation of the camera and other equipment. These are fairly cheap, easy, and fast to set up, and they eliminate the need for elevated work platforms. The drawback is that it is just as easy for uninvited guests to get up on them and vandalize or steal the equipment.
- Remontech can provide a Mobile Monitoring Station which features a pole for the mounting of the cameras and houses all necessary equipment as well.
Cameras and other equipment will need power to run. Is power available on site? More importantly, is power available at the location where the cameras will be mounted? This question is really important, as you can imagine.
When ordering temporary power for the site, remember to think about the cameras and where they would be installed.
If power is not available on the location where you want to mount the cameras, there are a few things you can do:
- Choose another location for the cameras. This sounds obvious, but sometimes moving the cameras to a location that is closer to a readily-available power source can make a huge difference in the viability of your monitoring system. Think of places where power is available and still give you a good vantage point.
- Use solar power. Solar energy is a good solution and we have used it in a variety of projects when power wasn’t available. It does cost more and requires more equipment, but a solar power system, when well designed, is extremely reliable and maintenance-free.
- Run a generator. Running a generator is a labour-intense alternative, but it can be a good solution for short periods of time. For example, we have run generators for a few days or weeks when temporary power is about to be installed. Depending on the generator you use, it might have to be refuelled every 6 hours, which requires constant attention. It’s a good last resort or temporary alternative.
The availability of internet onsite is literally essential for a web-based construction monitoring system. Luckily, it is not so much a matter of whether internet is available anymore, as one kind or another of internet connectivity is always available. Now the decision is based upon what kind of connection is best for the system at the desired location.
For video, you must keep in mind that there will be lots of data traffic riding on your internet connection. Therefore you need something that is fast and allows for large quantity of data to be transferred. For an extensive list of types of internet connections available to construction sites, visit this link to one of our first blog posts. Note that since that was written, there are even more options in the market.
Because of all of these potential issues, we have developed the Mobile Monitoring Station. The MMS, as we call them, provide a physical location for mounting the cameras, power for the monitoring system using solar energy, and an internet connection both for the cameras and for site personnel as well. You can find more information about Remontech’s Mobile Monitoring stations here.
That’s it! Let me know if I can help you in any way to set up your cameras to document your construction project.