OpenSpace has come a long way since it’s founding in 2017 – logically the ensuing pandemic of 2019/2020 bolstered their offering’s value by allowing ease of reality capturing and review by remote participants and stakeholders. OpenSpace Capture is their core product, and something that offers unparalleled transparency to contractors and owners alike. This new ability allows project participants the opportunity to produce a walk site capture and within 30mins receive an uploaded virtual site walk, which accessible anywhere in our world of internet connectivity.
Now the next step is typically to identify issues, hazards, errors and produce issues – termed “Field Notes” in Open Space, all project participants with access to the capture can mark up the captured walk and distribute these issues to the relevant participants.
Their vision has evolved further than simply capturing and issue sharing, and includes their add-on products ‘Track‘ and the all new ‘BIM+’ . These two offerings are quite logical considering the untapped potential to allow actual tracking data across captures and detailed comparison with project BIM – They are bringing contractors closer to the BIM process by viewing the process holistically.
This holistic approach has it’s merits – it is, after all, the contractors on the ground that are most intimately involved with the work, and typically the ones to make site captures. Why stop at site captures? Augmenting the site capturing capabilities to now offer on-site tracking and monitoring removes the ambiguity out of what work has been done and since when – if we start considering projects critical path analysis, and the consequences of poor project tracking, the value in having such a tool at hand is incalculable. Other foreseeable value-add features include the use of capturing and tracking as an accurate and verifiable source of progress to process payment certificates and improve project cash flows.
Additionally, topics along the lines of project planning and control clearly benefit from this new ‘eye in the sky’ tracking function – producing a program in isolation from actual site progress is a recipe for disaster, and the new tracking tool equips project managers with a means of predicting project outcomes based on actual tracked progress and amending the projects programme where applicable.
OpenSpace track is a dream tool in the hands of management – those who have experience in quantifying progress will recognize that it is slow, costly, non-transparent and ambiguous. Having a clear single source of fact will vastly improve the quality of project based decisions.
Their BIM+ product takes on a quality control function when partnered with their OpenSpace Capture product – You have performed reality capture and produced an as-built virtual world , we have the ability to track this captured progress with various functionalities under OpenSpace track, and finally, we would like to know just how accurate this tracked work is relative to our BIM model.
BIM+ is all about getting the models coordinating effectively with work on site, and the project participants have the ability to compare side-by-side work-to-model views and mark up any issues identified. Whilst OpenSpace capture is offered out the box with 2D plan navigation, and field notes allowing marking up of captures, it doesn’t quite provide enough information to allow us to accurately check BIM elements against as-built captures.
BIM+ is set to become the quality control tool of choice, with wide-ranging impacts on BIM to as-built co-ordination, issue detection and issue tracking.
The bottom line for contractors – Return On Investment
Having said all that, let’s get down to what really matters to contractors – their bottom line. With all this functionality, what kind of impact will we see in our spreadsheets other than a bill item for reality capturing? Well I’m glad you asked.
- Pricing and functionality that is built for scalability : The subscription is based on your “Annual Construction Value” (ACV) bracket and the benefits stack up as more projects are included to your fixed cost subscription. (Although single projects can be subscribed for). Add additional projects to your ACV, or include prorated auxiliary functionality such as BIM+ or Track when the need arises.
- Team collaboration and connectivity : OpenSpace products offer unlimited project participants with easy on-boarding and online support – construction teams have never been more connected with site conditions and stakeholder issues.
- Unparalleled site accessibility : OpenSpace is accessible from anywhere with internet connectivity, meaning selected participants have the chance to be consistently involved, reducing the time between snag identification and feedback.
- Information vault : Having a complete virtual site has many benefits – the foremost is that you will have access to insights into project progress across various time lines and peace of mind that project data will be available for years to come.