Global design-build firm Unispace was looking for innovative ways to share progress on construction sites, which became especially crucial with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Company employees were already well-versed in remote collaboration, with North American project team members often distributed throughout the U.S., but Unispace’s leadership wanted a way to ensure that every stakeholder—from project managers and superintendents to designers and client representatives—always had an up-to-date understanding of project statuses.
When Unispace piloted OpenSpace, project teams found that the resulting 360° photo documentation was 100 times more complete than manual capture and 10 times faster to collect and organize. Since imagery captured by OpenSpace is automatically mapped to project plans, it’s also possible to track progress more quickly and zoom in on how specific areas are progressing week by week, or even day by day.
“OpenSpace helps streamline our quality control and quality assurance processes, which is important given the large territories we cover and clients who consistently bring us to different parts of the country,” said Tom Prasky, a Regional Principal of Delivery at Unispace.
By letting every internal team member see real-time conditions more quickly, OpenSpace improves collaboration between field teams and designers. For example, design teams can quickly address questions or issues without having to come to the site or rely on manual photos.
“It’s very helpful to give designers an idea of the status of an entire room,” said Michael Cosimano, a Superintendent at Unispace. “It helps us communicate and collaborate more effectively.”
There’s also significantly more transparency for clients, who benefit from “virtual walkthroughs” and an OpenSpace feature that renders a side-by-side view of current site conditions alongside the BIM model.
“It has given clients peace of mind and additional confidence in Unispace,” said Daniel Juchima, a Senior Project Manager. “No matter where they’re based, they can see for themselves that a project is on schedule instead of just taking our word for it.”
Unispace has started detailing its relationship with OpenSpace in RFP responses to assure globally dispersed clients that they’ll be able to track progress in granular detail no matter where they’re located.
By curtailing the need for certain team members to be on-site, OpenSpace has also helped Unispace reduce travel costs by 30%. For example, designers based out of Ohio were recently able to conduct some of their inspections through OpenSpace instead of traveling to a job site in Iowa. On the same project, the Senior Safety Manager for North America only needed to be on-site twice, since he was able to conduct the rest of his monthly inspections through virtual walkthroughs—all with the same attention to detail.
Unispace North America has already incorporated OpenSpace into several projects, including a New York-based project for a Mediterranean Shipping Company, a Canada-based project for HCL Technologies (which the U.S.-based project team had to manage 100% remotely due to COVID-19 travel restrictions), and a Des Moines-based project for the law firm, Fredrikson & Byron.
Based on the success of the pilot projects, Unispace has entered into an enterprise agreement with OpenSpace to scale usage of the platform globally.
To learn more about how Unispace is using OpenSpace to increase transparency for clients, improve collaboration internally and with subcontractors, and reduce travel costs, download the case study.