Earlier this month OpenSpace, a reality capture and analytics company, introduced their third product offering, OpenSpace BIM+. The offering is a suite of “easy-to-use” 3D tools which the company says will help field teams and Virtual Construction and Design (VDC) teams work more efficiently by unlocking BIM coordination on a jobsite. OpenSpace BIM+ was announced this month at the company’s Waypoint customer conference, and joins OpenSpace Capture and OpenSpace Track, introduced in 2018 and 2021, respectively, among OpenSpace’s key offerings.
This is not the first product the company has released centered around BIM applications, but rather a way to connect those workflows between the office and field in a more streamlined manner. In OpenSpace Capture, users can compare site conditions to the project’s BIM model, and the company indicates that last quarter they say more than half of their customers using this feature, representing their most active customers.
In their release of the news, OpenSpace points to three key capabilities of the new BIM+ suite of tools, which they say is an add-on product to OpenSpace Capture. Those capabilities are:
BIM analysis tools, which speed up communication between VDC teams and those in the field, allowing field teams to work in the BIM model and compare the model to the physical building. Team members can click and navigate to saved views in the model, review elements overlaid within 360-degree photos, and access the model from any mobile device while offline. Users can also store, view, analyze, and share point cloud data from mobile and terrestrial laser scanners.
BIM coordination tools, which are designed to “help teams quickly solve problems by aligning design intent with on-site conditions to speed up responses, approvals, and project schedules,” per the release of the news. Users can also utilize the field note feature included in OpenSpace Capture with BIM workflows, allowing them to add notes from the field or at a desk.
Seamless model management, which allows for simple processes to manage updates to a model with Autodesk model import, support for multiple models, and model usage reporting.
OpenSpace, which is based in San Francisco, California and was founded in 2017, specializes in providing crucial capture data of a jobsite using 360-degree cameras and laser scanning, which can be brought into their products to be combined with their AI-powered computer vision and analytics tools to compare as-built progress with BIMs and keep projects on time and true to the model. Recently, they’ve also added support for “invisible drone” cameras for additional capturing capabilities.
OpenSpace Capture was their first core offering, allowing users to simply collect capture data with a camera by just hitting record and walking through a site. On their website, they indicate that 150,000 square feet can be captured per hour, with just 15 minutes required to start viewing data, on average. Meanwhile, OpenSpace Track allows workers to track and validate percent complete, quantity installed, and rate of work for a project to ensure jobs are staying on schedule.
While BIM models have of course been part of construction workflows for decades at this point, one of the key issues that has continued to plague the industry is the siloing of these workflows and inefficient communications between the field and office. This is one of the key reasons the industry is often plagued with project delays and budget overtures, and that this is now part of a product line that includes the aforementioned offerings from OpenSpace should help the issue of needing many different applications to solve crucial problems. No one tool will solve all problems for an industry as large as construction, of course, but it’s these kinds of developments that are crucial for efficiency in the space to improve.
OpenSpace BIM+ is currently available for early release, with interested users able to sign up for a waitlist. Breawn Felix, Regional Support Services Manager at Swinerton, said in a press statement regarding her organization’s usage of the tool, “With the implementation of OpenSpace BIM+, our project teams will gain the ability to swiftly address inquiries directly from the field, significantly minimizing the time-consuming exchanges they encounter while resolving challenges.”
Neel Sheth, Vice President of Product at OpenSpace, added, “Our customers' BIM usage in OpenSpace was outpacing the industry's overall rate of BIM adoption. That told us that OpenSpace might be able to help drive BIM utilization for those teams that are adopting and investing in BIM. With OpenSpace BIM+, we have partnered with VDC leaders and their project teams to help them work with BIM as easily as navigating a Google Street View.”