How McCownGordon is using Virtual Design and Construction Technology to Improve Building Experience, Performance and Collaboration

Julia Guerra, Senior VDC Specialist at McCownGordon at a jobsite

In an era of restricted travel, widely varying government health safety regulations and requirements for enhanced virtual experiences, McCownGordon’s Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) team is leveraging technology to deliver new and innovative solutions for clients and partners.

Designed to provide rich information for tracking schedules, making decisions, and accessing data, project teams use a combination of Procore project management software, combined with photography from the ground using StructionSite, drones from the air using Drone Deploy, and other technologies to provide both cutting-edge and collaborative project insights. While these new solutions are particularly valuable for those who want robust information that can be reviewed from afar, we’re seeing added value for the entire project team including scope coordination, equipment coordination and progress tracking.

McCownGordon’s VDC technology allows clients and project partners to be “on-site” virtually to maximize collaboration amongst all stakeholders, all while remaining safe and healthy from a distance, and saving time and travel expenses. Through active capture and making it available to the entire project team, clients and partners can make better informed decisions in a more timely manner. These virtual tools enhance communication and team synergy, maximize efficiency, and decrease travel time.

Aerial Photography and Mapping


Drone software improvements and integration capabilities with other programs provide a number of benefits to projects. Our dedicated, in-house team of drone pilots uses this technology to communicate with clients, provide progress updates, and collaborate with architects and trade partners.

Julia Guerra, Senior VDC Specialist utilizing drone technology at McCownGordon at a jobsite

Autopilot drones fly themselves over the project site regularly, capturing high-quality photos with centimeter-level of precision that allow us to zoom in for details, track earthwork, compare construction progress to the schedule and collaborate more effectively. These photos are evaluated week to week to review job site conditions, take measurements, and compare to the construction documents.

At one of our industrial projects, Project Superbowl, we are leveraging drone technology to track building progress to the schedule on a weekly basis. Our drones provide weekly images of construction that are mapped back to the construction schedule and indicate if construction is ahead or behind. Given the amount of work being put in place each day on this giant warehouse, delivering ahead of schedule offers a potential of significant savings for the client.

360° Cameras

The days of visiting the project site or viewing progress photos in folders to develop solutions to challenges are a thing of the past. We now have virtual interactive capabilities at our fingertips 24/7.

360° cameras carried throughout the interior of the building on job walks to document the as-built conditions of complex mechanical systems before they are covered by final walls, floors and ceilings. Utilizing the software StructionSite, these progress photos link back to the drawings allowing architects and owners to view any specific date or time during the project. The ability to check progress photos from the same location at different times during the construction process also provides our Quality Control team the history to complete forensic analyses and find solutions to challenges that may arise during construction. For owners considering lifetime maintenance and future renovations, this documentation of piping, HVAC and electrical locations behind walls is highly beneficial.

What are the Benefits?

Leveraging these tools to create enhanced virtual environments with rich data and information for clients and partners is innovative. Our enhanced technology processes are creating a digital twin of the project allowing all project stakeholders to see exactly what they would onsite through imagery.

Capturing the whole project regularly beyond traditional project progress methods allows our operations team, quality control managers, safety experts, VDC specialists and project partners to gain a wealth of information and then use it to uncover challenges and propose solutions for clients. These efforts strengthen quality, efficiency, and collaboration, and importantly, saves time and money for our clients.

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