Blog Post

The Standard Scaffold Virtual Reality Estimating System

Standard Scaffold has never been intimidated by new technology. We embrace innovation in everything we do. It’s our goal to bring new methods, techniques, and software to the construction industry in Western Canada wherever we can.

We’ve seen the cost and time-savings our technology provides firsthand. Our equipment and software provides a better experience for our clients, leaves less room for error, and offers better safety features. We use unique building materials, including the PERI UP scaffolding system and the Instant Upright System.

That’s not where it starts, though; building is only the second step in our process. Before a single scaffold goes up, we have to plan everything from top to bottom. This planning stage is critical. When we have a plan that works, we’re more successful, and we can help our partner trades be more successful.

What is the SSVR?

The Standard Scaffold Virtual Reality Estimating System (SSVR) is a complex system that does something very simple. It builds scaffolding in 3D and makes it viewable in real time using virtual reality tech.

Instead of leaving the planning to paper drawings and calculators, we’re able to construct an absolutely airtight plan that leaves no room for errors or omissions – all before the first scaffold is erected. Better yet, we can allow our clients and partners in any project to view the plans in virtual reality for themselves. This means everyone can view the plan, request changes, and set up for success.

Commercial projects in Edmonton and across Alberta have already benefitted from this technology, including the Stanley A. Milner Library revitalization project in downtown Edmonton. That’s how we know it’s working and why we’re pushing forward with it. Since we’re developing it in-house, we have full control over the features. This means we’re constantly working to improve it to help our scaffolders and foremen, but also to benefit the trades and general contractors we work with.

Google Cardboard

With any new technology, simplicity is key. We’ve worked hard to make this an easy-to-use system that can benefit our clients and project partners as much as it benefits us. We use Google Cardboard to bring the plans to life right before your eyes.

You’d think that with something this high tech, you would need a Standard Scaffold expert on site to view the VR scaffolding plans. We wanted something simpler and more intuitive than that. Instead, we can send our clients Google Cardboard glasses, which transform your smartphone into a 3D viewing experience. Pre-marking the viewing points on site allows you to view the scaffolding erected around the building as if it were real.

What Else Does the SSVR Do?

The SSVR is an estimating system because it starts before a single scaffold is built and it helps us plan accurate project costs. But it’s also much more than that.

We refer to the SSVR system as an “integrated construction lifecycle management software.” That’s because it helps with complete project planningbefore, during, and after a scaffolding project. In other words, it helps throughout the “lifecycle” of a project.

The SSVR:

  • Includes an inventory system that tells us what materials we need and tracks what we’ve used,
  • Allows us to make changes or alterations without down time for planning,
  • Identifies deficiencies or challenges before the project begins,
  • Allows clients and contractors to view the project in detail and request changes before work begins, and;
  • Improves communications between the general contractor, sub-contractors, trades, and the client on any project.

Airtight Planning & Communications

Not only does the system benefit the Standard Scaffold team by creating a complete plan for our work that keeps us on time and on budget – it also helps our partners on the site. We make a point of meeting regularly with the general contractor and the other trades on site to ensure our plan works for them.

Typically, a plan for scaffolding is “described” rather than shown. This means details are often missed. For example, an electrician who needs a ladder to access a specific point on the exterior of a building may assume that’s been included in the plan.

Using traditional estimating methods, there would be a domino effect of results if something like this was missed. There may be down time while we plan how to safely erect the ladder where it needs to be. There will be extra cost for the materials and labour. The electrician may be delayed in his work, and in turn, delay other trades. Depending on what kind of solution can be arrived at, it could even affect the quality of the work everyone is doing on the project.

With the Standard Scaffold VR System, all of this can easily be avoided. The electrician will have the chance to review the scaffolding in 3D, directly on site. He can pinpoint the ladder that hasn’t been included, and we can easily update our plan to include it.

Problem avoided. It’s as simple as that.

Recent Developments

We’ve had great success with the system in one of our latest and most exciting commercial projects: The Stanley A. Milner Library Revitalization Project. Stay tuned to the blog for more information about this project and how the SSVR has helped solve specific challenges on site.

We’ll be continuing to develop this technology so it’s even more intuitive and responsive. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions, or to request further information or a demo.

Standard Scaffold is raising the standard for industry technology. The future of the industry is in our hands.