If a contruction worker accidentally hits a wall with a backhoe while working on the Monroe Police Department's renovation and addition project, the contractor could claim the damage was there before the mishap. Without proof, the town would have to pay for the repairs itself.
However, if the town hires Multivista Construction Documentation, the building committee would have an extensive documentation of photos taken before and throughout the project.
In the scenario described by David Cotton, a salesman for Multivista, when the contractor says the wall was already damaged, Cotton said, "You can use our software to show, 'No it was not,' and resolve the issue."
Town officials would be able to log onto the Multivista website to access their project and review every square-foot of the building, cycling over a series of overlapping photos and zooming into areas.
"This ensures plans are being done according to specifications," Cotton told the building committee at a recent meeting.
Cotton used several projects as examples of what Multivista has to offer in an overhead presentation to the Monroe Police Department's building committee recently. The committee will decide whether or not to hire the New York firm for the $4.1 million town project.
Cotton said Multivista offers progression photography at multiple intervals during a project. Town officials and building committee volunteers may also access the site using a smart phone or tablet, he added.
Whenever updates are made to the project's documentation on Multivista's website, building committee members would get an email.
Kathy Dilks-Anderson, a committee member, asked if the town would get to keep a back up copy of all of the photos and Cotton said it would.
Cotton said the most change orders a project will face come from unforeseen conditions such as mechanical, electrical and plumbing. Multivista allows its users to look inside walls and above ceilings, he added.
"It provides you with x-ray vision," Cotton said. "This provides you with virtual as-builts for your entire project. This gives you an exact representation of where all the wires and pipes were run."
"It can save you a ton of time and a ton of money," Cotton said of the software. "It's not nearly as expensive as you would think and it pays for itself time and time again."
When there have been legal disputes between contractors and their clients, Cotton said evidence provided by Multivisita has consistently held up in court.
"When a contractor shows a building committee photographs, he shows what he wants them to see, Cotton said, adding, "We photograph everything because we don't have a dog in this fight."
Multivista's fee is based upon square footage. A nine-unit apartment building it is doing is $1,600, according to Cotton.
"Maybe you use this, maybe you don't," he said. "I recommend you do for a tight budgeted project, but obviously I want the business."
Ron Villani, a building committee member, asked if Cotton had any numbers for return on investment.
Cotton did not, but he said for a $100 million project the cost of re-work was about 3 percent, and out of that Multivista saved a client one percent — or about $1 million on found problems.