Use Images for Proactive Project Controls on Construction Sites

Mani Golparvar
Reconstruct Inc
Published in
6 min readJun 26, 2017


With Reconstruct, project teams can use existing visual data as real-time feedback to improve planning, coordination, and communication on their construction sites.

What’s Reconstruct?

Reconstruct’s web-based platform enables accurate, detailed, and visual tracking of construction progress for proactive project controls on jobsites. By integrating Reality modeling, 4D BIM (BIM+Schedule), and predictive data analytics, Reconstruct supports project teams in eliminating potential problems before they happen.

The three components of our 4D visual production management system are as follows:

Reality Modeling — Using daily and weekly progress photos taken with smartphones, consumer-grade cameras as well as camera drones, our platform continuously reconstructs Reality in 3D and over the timeline of a project.

Using progress photos taken with smartphones, consumer-grade cameras as well as drones, our web-based platform reconstructs Reality in 3D, and provides project teams on and offsite with easy and quick access to their photos by enabling them to click everywhere in the scene, and automatically get access to the most relevant image of that location. 3D measurements, annotations, or saving viewpoints within 3D Reality models or directly from the overlaid 2D images enable project teams to effectively communicate and collaborate using most up-to-date information from the jobsites.
3D Reality models are continuously reconstructed and visualized over the project timeline, enabling teams to easy and quick access to their photos based on location and time.

Location-driven 4D BIM- Our platform takes in 3D BIM from 60 different file formats, including Autodesk Revit and Navisworks, or Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data models. It also takes in project schedule (both master schedule and the weekly work plans) from Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project. By easily and quickly integrating BIM and project schedule via work locations, project teams can create and manage 4D BIM throughout their projects. By visualizing Reality models directly within 4D BIM, planned work, trade locations (who does what work in what location), safety and quality issues can be documented and communicated with the project team in real-time.

“Who Does What Work in What Location” color-coded via 4D Visual Production Model. Our web-based system enables project team conduct performance reviews and task coordination before every work shift. The system also enables location-driven manpower documentation and field reporting, providing project personnel on and offsite with access to real-time feedback from the jobsite.

Analytics — By visualizing Reality directly within 4D BIM, construction progress and productivity rates are measured and communicated within the project team. Using predictive data analytics, risk for potential delays — as it relates to the project look-ahead schedule — is also analyzed.

By mapping Reality to Plan and putting schedule tasks and project performance data in a visual context for the entire team, our platform provides transparency in project execution and helps project teams better plan, coordinate, and communicate to keep their projects on schedule and on budget.

Reconstruct’s platform visualizes Reality directly within 4D BIM, measures progress and productivity, and analyzes risk for potential delay as it related to the project look ahead schedules. By putting schedule tasks and project performance data in a visual context for the entire team and mapping Reality to Plan, the web-based platform provides transparency in project execution and helps project teams better plan, coordinate, and communicate.

Why Reconstruct?

Creating and managing reliable weekly work plans and look-ahead schedules, and preserving effective and timely flow of information both to and from the site are two key enablers of successful management on construction projects. Their execution, however requires a project controls workflow that:

  • Proactively captures, analyzes, and communicates construction progress and productivity rates on a timely basis,
  • Predicts the reliability of the look-ahead schedules and identifies potential delays,
  • Enables root-cause assessment of plan failures and documentation of task constraints, and
  • Facilitates information flows, and decentralizes decision-making on and off the jobsite.

A large body of empirical observations suggest that successful implementation of such control mechanisms requires dedicated facilitators onsite and engages project teams in a deep learning process. Sustaining this level of commitment for the duration of a project is difficult, and in its absence, project teams revert back to traditional project control practices.

To address these issues, Reconstruct has developed a visual production management platform that collects and provides visual feedback from the site in real-time to the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle of project management.

By taking advantage from 4D BIM, Reality Modeling, and Predictive Data Analytics, Reconstruct’s Platform enables location-driven project planning and constraint analysis on a weekly basis; communicates who does what work in what location every day; tracks Percent Plan Complete (PPC_ and manpower per task everyday; predicts risk in the look-ahead schedules; and enables actionable root-cause assessment and proactive project controls to tap off delays before they surface on jobsites. The web-based platform also provides real-time access to all project information in a visual format so that every project personnel on and off the job-site can easily and quickly understand and communicate tasks and task constraints (resource limitation, information, decision, safety, financial, or other managerial decision which restrains or holds up a task or series of tasks), and also take actions on project information as soon as they become available on the jobsite.

Our system supports the planning, monitoring, and control cycle by offering transparent process views and predictive data analytics that highlight both actual and potential performance problems, empowering project teams to get immediate feedback on their performance, review reliability of their short-term plans, and devise control strategies that tap off delays before they surface on their jobsites.

Reconstruct’s web-based visual production management system takes in images, videos, and 360 and reconstructs reality models over project timeline. By integrating production-level 4D BIM with reconstructed Reality Models, progress and productivity rates at tracked on the jobsites. Using predictive data analytics, risk for potential delays is measured and communicated to allow project teams tap off delays before they surface on the project.

This system builds on several core technologies which were initially prototyped by Reconstruct’s founders at Univ. of Illinois and was recognized by 2015 Turner Construction Innovation Award.

Reconstruct Product Offering

Reconstruct offers its visual production management system in form of a three tiered products:

I. Reconstruct VizMAP

Visual Data Management & Analytics Platform

Reconstruct’s cloud-based 3D reconstruction engine, developed in-house, takes advantage of the unprecedented growth of visual data on jobsites to continuously reconstruct Reality in 3D and over a project’s timeline. The platform can also integrate externally produced point clouds from stationary or mobile scanning devices with the Reconstruct generated point clouds. The 4D (3D+time) Reality data provides a unique opportunity to track actual progress on jobsites and also quickly and easily communicate information with project teams on and off the job-site. We also offer Reconstruct Field, an iphone app to help manage photos, videos, and 360, particularly in indoor environments.

Over the past decade, the rate of capturing and sharing visual data during construction of building and infrastructure projects has grown at an unprecedented rate. Reconstruct’s technology is particularly focused on taking advantage of images and videos which are inexpensive and easy to capture and it can also integrate drone imagery and laser scanning point clouds into the reconstructed Reality.

II. Reconstruct Coordinate

Visual Production Models for Collaboration, Coordination, and Communication

Reconstruct offers a web-based simulation platform that extends the application of 4D BIM beyond clash prevention and constructibility reviews by mapping it to Reality data and using it as a baseline for tracking and managing progress. 4D BIM can be organized by work locations and related trades, thereby making it easier to maintain an up-to-date 4D visual plan on construction sites.

The underlying scheduling module integrates with master schedules, and when available, look-ahead schedules and weekly work plans. These long-term and short-term plans can be reviewed via Gantt Chart, Spreadsheet and Timeline views. The scheduling modules also allows project teams to select their preferred units of measurement for progress tracking, conduct quantity take-off at the schedule task level and use expected and actual quantities to systematically plan and monitor work in progress on their sites. The viewer allows project schedule information to be sorted based on Work Breakdown Structure locations or trade responsibility, making it easier to use such information during weekly contractor coordination meetings. Project teams can also use the platform on a daily basis to coordinate tasks, review work location availabilities, conduct performance reviews, and document manpower information.

III. Reconstruct Analytics

Predictive Data Analytics Platform

Reconstruct Analytics offers progress, productivity, and risk reports, all organized around work locations. Project teams can use our platform and the produced reports in their coordination meetings to facilitate root-cause assessment on plan performance, document task constraints, revise and review plan alternatives, and get buy-in from the trades on their revised 4D visual project plan.

Project teams can use Coordinate platform together with Analytics reports in their weekly coordination meetings to collaboratively revise work plans and proactively tap off delays before they surface on their jobsites.

Transparent process views provided by Reconstruct enables project teams to test predictability of the planned execution and support trades in eliminating problems as soon as possible. The high flexibility for changes offered through the web-based platform allows teams to easily make changes to weekly work plans, inform other project teams on their work status or changes, and ultimately reduce costs due to more efficient processes and prevention of interferences. The analysis of the task readiness and productivity data also provides high stability in personnel planning and logistics. Enhanced quality control is possible by comparing Reality models to specifications and operations can be safer due to the knowledge of resource locations and safety hazards.

Get Started with Reconstruct

Want to learn how Reconstruct can help your project? Visit to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members.