News, Trends, and awards

Transparency in Construction Progress Via 360° Photos

By Ewa Parker, Harper General Contractors Project Engineer

In the midst of a society driven by social demand, the construction industry is far from exempt from these pressures. Along with shorter timelines, owners want the ability to be engaged in their jobsites and have a full understanding of the construction project. Advances in technology have addressed this issue with the development of a 360-degree camera, now widely used in the field of construction.

The photos captured with a 360-degree camera provide a more complete view of the field, which permits the viewer to see things that he or she would not otherwise be able to with a standard camera. These photos are also interactive, allowing the user to maneuver the viewpoint and zoom in and out.

This technology enables the owner to see and access the project at his or her convenience, and it supports the relationship between the contractor and owner by facilitating open communication about the project. This level of transparency builds trust and clearer communication during the construction progress. Standard images limit the ability for the owner to see all aspects in the field, which leaves doubt, questions and uncertainty of the hidden areas.

The integration of 360-degree images in construction projects ultimately helps remove the gaps and misinterpretations that are prevalent in written reports. Visual reports can help eliminate or reduce the need for costly and inconvenient site visits, as well as provide a more accurate sense of physical spacing. The increased ability to communicate with owners, architects, engineers and contractors that this imagery provides can reduce costly change orders and assist in keeping projects on schedule.

Timothy Lewis, Senior Project Manager at Harper General Contractors, reiterates the time-saving benefit that contractors gain by using 360-degree photos as he says, “Documentation is important; However, it is time consuming. Using 360-degree photo technology each week helps reduce the time needed on the project. The entire 9,000 square foot Asheville City Centre project was captured in only 16 images with the use of this camera. With a standard camera, 96 images would be needed to get a comprehensive view of the space, yet it still wouldn’t communicate the same information. 360-degree photos can save an hour a week if not more, which would give us the time to focus on building instead of documenting a structure.”

Below is an example of how 360-degree images are being used at the Asheville City Centre Project. With the interactive PDF, the owner has the ability to simply click on the camera stamp to activate the 360-degree image. Once the image is activated, the user can change their viewing position, as well as zoom in on a certain point with the use of the mouse. The interactive abilities of the photographs have helped builders and owners alike with a better visual interpretation of ongoing projects.

Click for a 360-degree example by following this link, and then clicking the small icon in the top right of the image.


About the Author:

Ewa Parker’s love for construction began at an early age. Raised in the north, this Upstate New Yorker’s childhood was filled with treehouse building and working on verse projects with her father and stepfather. Ewa is currently attending Western Carolina to pursue her degree in Construction Management during which she has interned with Harper. Since then, she has been working part-time while she finishes school and has accepted a full-time position as a Project Engineer once she graduates come spring 2018.

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Harper Projects Honored with Two CREW Upstate 2018 Awards

Harper is proud to have two successful projects awarded with the CREW Upstate 2018 Development Impact Awards: Greenville Public Works and the Aug W. Smith Building. CREW Upstate works to advance the achievements of women in the commercial real estate industry across the Upstate, and boasts over 75 members. The Developmental Impact Award is presented to recent projects within one of four categories – office, retail, industrial, or multifamily – when they significantly and measurably impact the community in a positive way. These real estate projects help transform and revitalize the built environment as well as the community, reaching far beyond the project boundaries (Melody Wright, CREW).

Harper Senior Project Manager, Steve Foushee, represented Harper to accept the award for the construction of the new Greenville Public Works, which was a collaboration between five CREW Members including DP3 Architects, the City of Greenville, Harper, PMC Interiors, and Seamon Whiteside & Associates. The Harper project team of Steve Foushee, Dean Stageberg, Will Prescott, Tony Ellison, and Ben Rotherham worked to construct this new campus for the City of Greenville which provides a state-of-the-art headquarters from which all of the City’s infrastructure is managed. Located on a 22-acre campus, the project spans 70,000 SF across four different building.


“We are all inspired by the feeling that what we do on a daily basis means something and is important in the quality of the lives of the citizens we are dedicated and honored to serve. We want to do our jobs with the least amount of intrusion possible and be as efficient as tasks, time, and weather permit. Our new Public Works Campus helps us do just that.”

– Mike Murphy, Director of Greenville Public Works


Harper Project Manager, Neil Wilson also accepted a Development Impact Award for Harper’s historic renovation of the Aug W. Smith building in downtown Spartanburg, SC. Harper collaborated with fellow CREW member, McMillan Pazdan Smith, to develop this historic four-story building into 45 luxury apartments and two ground-level retail spaces. The project included the construction of two additional floors on top of the existing building, which will bring it up to seven stories, including a basement. The new building kept the historical features, but is updated in a way that corresponds to the current Spartanburg downtown. Harper’s team of President David Wise, Neil Wilson, and Will Prescott is excited to have achieved this award on behalf of an outstanding project for Spartanburg’s growth and revitalization.

To learn more about the 2018 CREW Awards and the other award winners, read the full article here.

Harper Wins 2017 CAGC Construction Excellence Award

Harper’s Matt Johnson (second from right) accepting the Award during the Pinnacle Dinner at the CAGC Convention.

We are very pleased to have been awarded the 2017 Construction Excellence Award by Carolinas AGC. This award recognizes projects of special distinction, based on their unique aspects, special value, construction challenges, safety performance, project management, and budget/schedule success. Harper was chosen as a recipient for this award for our work at the Greenville Country Club this past year. Greenville Country Club (GCC) is one of the premier clubs of the South with a storied history dating back to 1905 in the heart of Greenville, South Carolina.

Harper was selected to serve as the Construction Manger At-Risk to build GCC a state-of-the art new clubhouse. Harper, along with Collins Project Management and Chambers as the architect, partnered together with GCC to provide the highest level of professionalism and forethought to successfully complete this highly public project that is integral to the community of Greenville. The 45,000 square foot clubhouse is the fourth clubhouse in GCC’s history since 1905. It replaces the previous 19,000 square foot clubhouse built in 1954. With modern amenities, the two-story clubhouse features a pro shop, fitness facility with full-sized women and men’s locker rooms, dining and meeting rooms, a gourmet kitchen and pub, elegant event spaces, and a terrace featuring a beautiful view of the Riverside golf course.

“We are very excited to have received this award from Carolinas ACG for Greenville Country Club. We were so pleased to work on a project that is such a integral part of our Greenville community. The award could not have been possible without the efforts from the entire project team, including the leadership of Greenville Country Club, and we greatly appreciate everyone’s help to make this prestigious award and project possible.”

                   -Matt Johnson, Vice President of Operations & Senior Project Manager for Greenville Country Club


Greenville Country Club’s new clubhouse photographed by Firewater Photography.


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