Building Safely: Resources on building in the era of COVID-19

    As of this week, California, New Orleans and Canada are still allowing construction, yet Boston and Pennsylvania have issued stand downs (see ENR’s reporting here on other closures).  As this dynamic map shows, the total number of construction sites closed down is still pretty limited. As an industry, how do we navigate the balance between staying safe and still building? Here’s what we’ve been up to at Smartvid.io and some resources to help keep teams safe while still working during this time. 

    Remote site information, observations, and data are all critical in these times of travel restrictions. We want to support you in gathering information on your site activities. We’re here for you from the service and support side - just reach out to support@smartvid.io or your customer success rep directly. 

    Vinnie finds people close to each other - People groups
    Vinnie can now detect "workers in groups"

    (Photo courtesy of 2018 ENR Photo Challenge)


    Want to know if your teams are keeping “social distancing”? Vinnie can see if workers are close to each other through the introduction of our new “People in Group” Vinnie tag. Use it free for 60 days.

    What’s more, we’re continuing to build. We just released a major new set of capabilities for Vinnie, our construction-trained AI. He can now detect phases of construction, workers at height, multiple new types of equipment and more. For more, check out this blog by our Senior Product Manager for Machine Learning, Michael Barros (he's Vinnie's boss). 

    And we're adding a new Vinnie tag for COVID-19.  Want to know if your teams are keeping “social distancing”? Vinnie can see if workers are close to each other through the introduction of our new “People in Group” analytics. Set it up and you can get a daily summary of any instances where workers are close to each other. Or set up a saved view and watch the analysis in "real time".  If you are using a partner application like Autodesk, Procore, Oracle, StructionSite, Holobuilder, OpenSpace, Egnyte, Box or site cameras you can integrate and analyzing data in as little as 90 seconds.

    Get 60 days of free access to the "People in Group" tag and other Safety Monitoring module features. 

    Speaking of partners, there have been quite a few resources authored with pointers to guides for Coronavirus mitigation plans for jobsites. Check out the continuously updated pages from Autodesk, Procore, Trimble’s ViewPoint, and Construction Junkie, all of whom have resources for handling the operational, healthcare and mental aspects of this unprecedented time.  Additionally AGC has a series of webinars (free for AGC members) on specific actions to take to help with “Navigating the outbreak.”

    Keeping everyone safe has never been more important. We’re here to help with new Vinnie tags and our commitment to keep building (safely) through this tough time.  Just like 2008, we’ll all get through this and be stronger than ever. 

    Be safe out there.



    Written by Josh Kanner

    Josh Kanner has been involved in enterprise-focused software startups since 2000 with a focus in the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) industry since 2005.

    Most recently he was co-founder of Vela Systems, a pioneer in the use of web and tablet workflows for construction and capital projects. There he led the company’s product, marketing, and business development functions. Vela Systems grew from bootstrapped beginnings to include over 50% of the ENR Top Contractors as customers and deployments all over the globe. The company was successfully acquired by Autodesk in 2012 and has been rebranded as BIM 360 Field.

    Prior to founding Vela Systems, Josh was responsible for product management and strategy at Emptoris (now part of IBM), a web-based strategic sourcing software company with customers including Motorola, GlaxoSmithKline, Bank of America, and American Express.

    Kanner graduated from Brown University and earned an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He still gets excited to put on a hard hat and walk a job.

    View more posts by Josh Kanner.

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