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Il Giornale dell’Argegnere – Remote monitoring of long-term construction sites

Monitoring devices useful for monitoring the progress of work on multiple sites from a single web location

A new tool is now available for remote monitoring of construction sites. It is known that, especially in this period of epidemiological emergency, moving becomes more and more of a problem. Thanks to a specific technology it is possible to remotely monitor the progress of the work without going to the site and without resorting to video surveillance. We can speak not only of construction sites for new buildings, but also of those for renovations, shipyards and industrial plants. In all these places, having a safe and autonomous device with which you are able to remotely monitor how the work is progressing can be a solution to many problems, not only related to the difficulties of moving, but also to the safety ones that may occur. once you have to physically enter the construction site to check its status. Here is the solution: remote monitoring devices that allow you to take shots at regular predetermined and remotely modifiable intervals, useful precisely for continuous monitoring, but also for not having the privacy problems associated with video surveillance, since no videos are recorded, but only images. From these, taken at regular time intervals of several minutes, which each interested party can freely modify according to their needs, it is still possible to recognize the progress of the work on the construction site even without having to install a video camera or video surveillance system. In this way, those who have the right or the need will be able to remotely monitor that specific site, so not only the Site Manager (and other professionals) or the Client who wants to be aware of how the work is progressing, but also for example the Contracting Authority which has launched a tender for a construction and wants to monitor its correct execution and timing.


In relation to privacy concerns (GDPR and Article 4 of the Workers’ Statute), stringent regulatory obligations must be fulfilled in the context of video surveillance, and camera installation is not always permitted. Remote monitoring systems that capture photographs at regular intervals (e.g., every 10 minutes) equipped with software capable of automatically recognizing and obscuring faces, individuals, vehicles, license plates, and entire areas can circumvent such issues. This is because all sensitive data in the images are concealed. In various tender processes (including those of Ministries), there’s a demand for remote monitoring imagery devoid of sensitive data. Hence, a system that identifies images without any such data is essential. By eliminating shots that include people, vehicles, or areas unrelated to the construction site, the Project Manager (or their equivalent) can review the progress of the site without breaching privacy regulations. This approach allows each stakeholder to monitor the progress of different construction sites through a single web link, eliminating the need to leave the office.


Devices must be designed with this purpose in mind: remote monitoring without the need for any maintenance post-installation. Indeed, in the best models, there is no need to clean the lens since it is self-cleaning, nor is there a need to adjust the framing after it’s been calibrated at the time of installation. Furthermore, these devices don’t require additional support equipment, nor do they need to be sheltered in adverse weather conditions, as they are built to withstand even extreme situations. There’s no need for downloading from Secure Digital (SD) cards, as these devices are equipped to remotely send images via internal routers with data SIMs, always connected to the internet. The photographs are constantly available for the end user, ensuring reliable operation.


Images can be accessed via a private web area, secured with a username and password, allowing not only viewing of the latest photo taken but also access to the entire history whenever needed. The software linked to the devices is continuously updated, and all images are stored on it, ensuring backup on a single platform, which allows filtering by month, hours, etc. If there’s a power outage, previously collected images are not lost. In such cases, the device can restart autonomously without needing someone on-site, and it also alerts the Site Manager via email about the power interruption. For short periods, a battery system or solar panels in the summer months can be used, but for long-term sites, continuous power supply is always preferable to avoid issues like interrupted image recording.

Normally, as explained, one can view the latest image taken, the image history, or even a timelapse video, i.e., a short video composed of shots taken by the device, illustrating the site’s development over time. The person with access to the reserved area can thus monitor the work even more quickly by viewing the timelapse video created automatically by the platform. They only need to set the time interval they want to examine and can choose the shots to include in the video; this will be ready to provide a complete view of the site’s progress in the selected period. Therefore, the person responsible for monitoring the site can perform their task more immediately, without risks or travel. This functionality is often required in various tenders, especially abroad (e.g., in the Middle East), in relation to large-scale sites where, through monthly automatic videos for each device, the end customer can quickly grasp the work done in different areas without visiting the site.

These images can be used as a marketing tool, both for sharing on respective websites or social networks and for inclusion in promotional videos. In this case, this system often makes the services of specific professionals on-site for periodic photographic services documenting the work progress unnecessary. The quality of the images should always be very high, to also obtain 4K resolution films.


Reliability is essential, given that sites often last more than a year and the environment is not without its challenges. The devices should therefore be specifically designed for such activities, and it is not advisable to use simple cameras or similar devices since, in case of faults, the recording of the work would be irreparably incomplete.

There are monitoring devices manufactured for each type of site, and some companies produce them according to the end customer’s needs, for example, also suitable for ATEX environments. They should be installed (and possibly repositioned) by site personnel autonomously, to reduce costs and time. In this way, there is no need to wait for specialized technicians, but one can be operational with a plug & play device manageable even by those who are not experts.

Usually, they are placed on poles, with different heights (usually 8 m, but it depends on the area to be covered and the distances), or on buildings, with wall mounting systems, but they must be versatile to be positioned in the most difficult conditions. It is always essential to evaluate the positions and optics (such as angle width) to use before installations, through plans, renderings, and work schedules; this activity can be carried out perfectly remotely.

For construction companies, real estate investment funds, logistics companies, or even professionals working simultaneously on many projects, such remote monitoring devices are an indispensable tool to always keep track of work progress in real-time, without waiting for monthly photographic reports.

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