New Company Offers New Approach to Construction Photography
- May 10, 2010
Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Woodland Hills, Calif.–Scott Yahraus and Andrew Weissman, two southern California real estate veterans, have started a company to offer developers and construction companies a more methodical way to document the construction process. The company, ConstructionPhotoDocs.com, not only creates photographs of buildings during construction–a lot of photographers will do that–but also indexes them systematically online.
ConstructionPhotoDocs.com already has a number of clients, including a multifamily project near downtown Los Angeles called MacArthur Park Apartments. In this instance, developer McCormack Baron Salazar hired the company to document the development, the first phase of which will include 90 residential units and more than 200 underground parking spaces that will be shared with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
During such a project, ConstructionPhotoDocs.com takes hundreds of high-resolution photo images of the project from many different vantages once a week or three times a month (or more, if necessary) as work progresses. Instead of being stored away willy-nilly on a hard drive somewhere, however, the images are then indexed by the company online so that they can be easily accessed according to where or when they were taken.
There are several advantages to that approach, according to the company. The photo indexing can help solve disputes about exactly what happened inside a particular wall or ceiling, or help determine if a particular building part was done correctly. The indexed photos could also help the owner or developer diagnose a problem that arises after construction.
“We help developers and general contractors by creating a visual record of every stage of development throughout the project’s lifecycle, making it an effective risk mitigation tool,” Yahraus, who previously operated an energy-use consulting firm specializing in multifamily properties, tells MHN. The company’s other principal, Andrew Weissman, was previously with SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners Inc.; the two partners say they both saw a need for what ConstructionPhotoDocs.com does, based on their previous experiences.
“Our photo documentation and project management tools help protect the developer’s investment,” Yahraus continues. “They do so by controlling change orders, resolving construction disputes, holding each trade accountable for the work they’re responsible for, and improving the communication between everyone involved in the project.”