8 Reasons to Use Time Lapse for your next Construction Project

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What is Construction Time Lapse Video?

A construction time lapse video is a visual recording technique used to document the progress of a construction project over a specific period; ideally documenting the construction project from start to finish. As projects are generally completed over months or years, the time lapse video provides a record of the progress of the project.

Cameras are set up in a fixed location to capture images or footage at regular intervals, such as every few minutes. These individual frames are then edited together to create a seamless video that shows the entire construction process in an accelerated manner.

How many cameras are used for a Time Lapse video for the Construction Industry?

The number of time lapse cameras depends on the project. Here at Inside Out Group, we often use a wide angled lens which enables the full building to be shown from one camera. In this instance the client will have one camera, and this will show the entirety of the construction. There are larger projects where the client requires a number of different camera angles, and in these situations, we would install multiple cameras on site.

What would the intervals be between image capture?

The interval between each image capture varies from project to project and is often based on the work being undertaken. For projects with high activity, the frequency is increased to every few minutes. During quieter periods, this can be reduced to every couple of hours. Generally, we set the camera to shoot in minutes frequency.

Why Use Time Lapse Video in the Construction Industry?

The benefits of time lapse videography for the construction industry include:

1) Immortalise your work

Time lapse videos give you a record of the construction project from start to finish, with every stage of the development captured on video. This project documentation can be valuable for record keeping, analysis and reporting. We see five key benefits here as follows:

  1. Powerful visual legacy: For a lasting visual legacy of your construction project, there’s nothing better than a time lapse video as it shows the evolution of the project from start to finish. It’s a great asset for clients and the local community too.
  2. Historical record: Time lapse film provides an historical record of how a building or structure came into existence. They can showcase architecture and construction methods of the time.
  3. Showcasing your expertise: Your capabilities as a construction team can be showcased and can demonstrate your expertise and track record to clients, prospects, partners, and potential investors.
  4. Promoting best practice: Time lapse videos can showcase how your team follows best practice as well as highlighting sustainable construction and energy efficient design and build. It can help to promote your commitment to environmental responsibility.
  5. Nostalgia: As time goes by, the time lapse video is a wonderful reminder of successful projects for the construction team, clients, and community. Its great as a way of telling the story of the project from conception to completion.

2) Sales and marketing

The time lapse video can be used to showcase your capabilities and demonstrate your expertise to potential clients. These videos become a powerful asset for pitching for new projects, and can be uploaded to your website, social media, YouTube and can, of course, be used in presentations when pitching for new work. Our five key reasons for using time lapse for your next project are:

  1. Visual impact: For a dynamic visual representation of a project, use time lapse video. These videos capture the attention of the viewer, it is engaging and memorable when compared with more traditional marketing materials such as brochures.
  2. Portfolio enhancement: Time lapse films are an impressive addition to a construction company’s portfolio enabling you to showcase your ability to manage projects to potential clients. They can highlight your expertise, attention to detail and commitment to excellence.
  3. Perfect for online promotion: Time lapse videos are very shareable on social media channels, news sites and websites. Videos and time lapse videos, in particular, generate engagement and can drive more visitors to your website leading to more enquiries and more business.
  4. Trade Shows and presentations: Time lapse videos work well as part of a presentation and a fantastic when used on a big screen at trade shows and exhibitions.
  5. Content repurposing: Shorter clips, GIFs and highlight reels can be used from the original footage so the content can be used in fresh and engaging ways.

At Inside Out Group, we combine our time lapse videos with on site filming so that we can enhance the video further with client testimonials to showcase satisfied customers and success stories. We can also add additional photography to enhance the final time lapse footage.

3) Improved project management

With a 24/7 visibility, project managers can use time lapse to monitor the progress on site, identify delays and issues, as well as ensure the right personnel and equipment are on site at the right time.

The project manager can make informed decisions regarding the timing of resources such as staff as well as the hiring and delivery of construction equipment and machines. Specifically, time lapse videos can help with:

  1. Progress tracking and reporting: The time lapse film provides an accurate record of the progress of the project over time. Project managers can track and check that milestones are being met and the video footage can be used as part of the reporting of progress.
  2. Early issue detection: Reviewing the video footage can help project managers identify any issues early and enables them to take proactive measure to address any issues before delays happen.
  3. Resource allocation and planning: Project managers can assess the utilisation of resources including labour, equipment, and materials so the resource allocation can be managed, optimised, and planned.
  4. Schedule adjustments: If delays occur, project managers can review the video footage and adjust schedules as needed.
  5. Performance evaluation and process improvements: Analysing the activities of different teams and subcontractors can help evaluate efficiency and productivity to enable improvements. Bottlenecks maybe identified as well as areas for process improvements.

4) Enhanced client communication

Keeping your client up to date with the progress of their construction project becomes so much easier when you deploy time lapse cameras for your construction site. With the video feed, your client can see firsthand the progress that is happening, wherever and whenever they want. Your client will love seeing their project progressing and coming to fruition. The top five benefits from our point of view are:

  1. Transparency and trust: The time lapse video provides an honest and transparent view of progress with clients being able to see the development from start to finish.
  2. Real-time updates: Being able to see project progress in real-time will provide your clients with much more confidence in you.
  3. Communication efficiencies: Streamlined communications including less emails and written reports as the client can see visually what is happening.
  4. Celebrating milestones: Significant milestones can be highlighted and celebrated with the client using the time lapse video to provide the visual record.
  5. Conflict resolution: If disputes or misunderstandings arise, the time lapse film provides an objective record which can help with clarify and resolve disputes.

Incorporating time lapse into your client communications will save you time and strengthen your relationship with the client.

5) Community engagement

There’s no doubt that most construction projects have an impact on the local community. The Considerate Constructors Scheme can go some way to alleviating concerns. However, community concerns often arise for a variety of reasons. Individuals are often concerned about the level of noise and dust, potential traffic disruptions, and changes to the local environment. Keeping them informed of the progress of the project is one way to hopefully alleviate any concerns they may have. You can do this by:

  1. Transparent and clear communication: Your time lapse video provides a visual record of the construction process. Sharing it with the community enables you to show the construction is progressing and to address any misconceptions. Communicating timelines and milestones helps here too.
  2. Visual impact: The time lapse video can showcase the transformation and can highlight the positive changes and improvements to the local environment, helping the community to see the positive benefits more clearly.
  3. Positive engagement: Sharing the time lapse videos on social media sites, local websites, and news sites, and at community meetings can help promote positive local engagement. Again, any rumours can be quashed.
  4. Before and after: The before and after that a time lapse video can show clearly demonstrates the positive impact the development has for the local area and community.
  5. Compliance documentation: If there are any specific commitments to the local community in relation to enabling the construction to achieve planning approval, the video can provide evidence that this was completed.

Time lapse videos can serve as a transparent and effective communication tool to address concerns and foster positive community relations. Community benefits can also be highlighted including job creation, improved infrastructure and enhanced public spaces.

6) Education

Time lapse videos can be used as an educational tool for students and professionals in the construction sector. It shows a condensed and visually engaging view of the different phases of the construction project.

  1. Visualisation of the construction process: from start to finish, you get a concise overview of the construction process. This helps students to understand the activity sequence in building a structure.
  2. Concept reinforcement: For architecture, quantity surveyors, construction management and engineering students, time lapse video can reinforce the concepts that are learned in the classroom. By showing how theory is applied in practice, students obtain a fuller understanding of the concepts.
  3. Demonstration of technique: With time lapse video, you can demonstrate construction methods and best practices which can be a more effective way of learning than from diagrams, photos, or text.
  4. Safety and Management on Site: Colleges and universities can use time lapse videos to highlight site safety protocols as well as overall site management.
  5. Team Collaboration and Cooperation: A variety of professions are involved in every construction project from the architects and engineers to the contractors and labourers. Time lapse can show how these professionals work together to achieve an outstanding construction project and can help students understand just how crucial teamwork is to the success of a project.
  6. Case studies: Time lapse provides perfect case study material for educators as the video shows the project from start to finish. Students can analyse the various elements of the project and identify challenges, decision making processes and more.
  7. Continuous professional development: As with all industries, techniques, technology, and project management strategies move forward, and time lapse videos can help professionals stay up to date.

Time lapse video can also be used for specific projects such as historical restoration or preservation projects where the restoration process can be filmed to help learners understand the significance of heritage preservation.

7) Health and safety

Looking at health and safety in more detail, a time lapse video record of the site activity can be enlightening if there are any health and safety incidents. Here are a few reasons why we recommend time lapse video on a construction site from a health and safety point of view:

  1. Incident review and analysis: Should an accident happen, the time lapse video is a valuable tool in analysing what happened, identifying causes, and determining how future accidents can be mitigated.
  2. Identifying hazardous situations: As footage is available in real-time, safety personnel can identify safety concerns early and take corrective action to avoid any accidents before they even happen.
  3. Safety awareness and training: Watching time lapse videos can help site personnel become aware of safety practices. Real life examples that highlight good practice with workwear, equipment, and machinery.
  4. Evidence in investigations: Unfortunately, accidents do occur that require investigation. In these situations, the time lapse film offers an insight into the construction site conditions and safety practices being carried out on site.
  5. Monitoring compliance and documenting initiatives: To prevent accidents all construction sites aim to follow appropriate safety regulations. The time lapse video can be used to monitor compliance. It can also be used to showcase safety related activities.

It may also be possible for time lapse videos to help with site security and dispute resolution.

8) Site security

As the time lapse camera is documenting the progress, it can also be used to monitor all activity which can help with site security as follows:

  1. Remote monitoring of activity: The time lapse video captures the construction progress but can also monitor any unusual, unauthorised activity or suspicious behaviour. With a 24/7 feed, project managers and security personnel can keep an eye on site security from anywhere.
  2. Deterrent: The likelihood of vandalism or theft is reduced if cameras are visible on site.
  3. Collection of evidence: Time lapse footage can provide valuable evidence and even help identify individuals if needed.

For site security purposes, the position of the camera is important as well as image quality and interval settings. At Inside Out Group, we take the time to place the camera in the best place to obtain great footage of the development, and this would help with site security.

It is worth noting that time lapse cameras can’t be moved. They provide static image as it is a photograph, and not a live / real time feed where you see people walking or moving. However, we have known clients use the live login and playback film options to check plant on site, check work rates, data and more.


When you consider the overall cost of construction projects investing a relatively small amount of budget to time lapse video production and all the benefits that arise from have this video footage, here at Inside Out Group, we truly believe every construction project deserves to include a time lapse video service.

Inside Out Group for your Construction Time Lapse Filming and Photography

We provide specialized time lapse filming and photography services for construction projects across the UK. Our in-house team is fully CSCS accredited, and all staff hold Personal Track Safety for the rail industry, and as a company we hold Construction Line Gold, Risqs Audited and Verified, Builders Profile Premium and ISO9001 accreditations ensuring high-quality and professional work, every time. You can find out more about how we help the construction industry here.

Our construction industry clients include:

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