Customer Story: Shea Homes Uses TraceAir for Seamless Project Management

Collaboration on multiple projects with multiple stakeholders is time consuming. TraceAir makes project management and communication faster and more productive.
TraceAir helps Shea Homes with transparent communication and accurate site data.
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Site Development Intelligence for Shea Homes

Shea Homes is using TraceAir to manage site development activities for their land development projects in San Diego County, California. These projects present unique challenges with environmental concerns, as well as communication with multiple agencies and stakeholders. Shea Homes turned to TraceAir to provide a turnkey site intelligence solution delivering weekly 3D topographical surveys (captured by drones), overnight data processing, and software and tools to improve management and communication. We sat down with Kevin Bunn, Director of Offsites Construction at Shea Homes, to learn how TraceAir has improved workflows for his projects.

Project Progress Tracking

Right off the bat, Kevin noted that Shea Homes began using TraceAir to communicate project progress to their partners. Before, his team would spend a few hours a week marking up documents and drawings trying to communicate what has happened on the jobsite and what activities were upcoming. With TraceAir, they can, through video and electronic sharing, show progress in just a few seconds using 3D topographical scans, which saves them a site visit.

By flying the project every week, we are able to see the project progress, first from a visual standpoint, but also, the team members can look at our quantities, activities, create predictions of our schedule, focus on areas that need particular attention, and share exhibits with the executives.”

Kevin Bunn, Director of Offsites Construction, Shea Homes

Better Communication in Virtual Meetings

In addition to viewing project progress, Shea Homes and their partners use TraceAir to quickly address issues in meetings virtually. For example, when there are challenges about sequencing and schedule, Kevin uses TraceAir to visually communicate ongoing activities on the site so the team can develop solutions together. The accessibility and availability of project data allows their team to view projects independently, ask questions, and keep track of problem areas.

I can isolate an area, show how much cut is left in that area, and do a real quick calculation to say that it's going to take us X amount of weeks or months to move that material.”

Kevin Bunn, Director of Offsites Construction, Shea Homes

SWPPP Savings

Overspending on SWPPP materials is common on site development projects, but Shea Homes has greatly reduced the amount of waste on their SWPPP material spending. Before using TraceAir, Kevin estimates that about 25% of their SWPPP budget was wasted due to imprecise measurements and overspending on materials. Now, Kevin and his team use TraceAir's precise measurement tools to correctly calculate coverage areas and order the exact amount needed, greatly reducing the amount of waste.

This year we're saving a lot because we're only purchasing what's needed. We're reducing waste by quite a bit.”

Kevin Bunn, Director of Offsites Construction, Shea Homes

Improved Agency Relations

At the onset of the project, Shea Homes and the California State Water Resources Board, the local State governing agency office, had to resolve an issue. In the spirit of transparency and collaboration, Shea Homes invited the agency to access TraceAir, providing them with maximum visibility into their projects. This collaboration is beneficial to Shea Homes because it shows their good faith to be in compliance, and it also benefits the governing agency by allowing them to access project information quickly and easily.

We shared Trace Air with the State Water Resources Board, as well as our SWPPP compliance company, creating a teamwork type of relationship. Most of the time the perception of SWPPP compliance in the industry is somewhat adversarial, but we are finding it actually helpful as they look, point out areas where they are concerned, give us an opportunity to make corrections, as well as comment on their concerns and keep up to date with the SWPPP program.”

Kevin Bunn, Director of Offsites Construction, Shea Homes

Better, Faster Surveying

With TraceAir, Shea Homes has eliminated the need to use an expensive survey crew for day-to-day activities. Whereas traditional survey teams will only provide grade, line and elevation information, TraceAir's 3D topographical surveys are fast, accurate, more thorough, and provide Kevin's team with the information they need in seconds. For example, at the onset of one of their projects, a large stockpile needed to be measured. Instead of using a surveyor to measure the stockpile, Kevin used TraceAir to measure it in a few minutes.

The stockpile was so big, getting a survey on it would have been at least $1,200. But I ‘TraceAir-ed’ it and had my quantity in less than five minutes!”

Kevin Bunn, Director of Offsites Construction, Shea Homes

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