Virtual site visits have been thrust upon the construction industry overnight, causing panic and despair to thousands of builders worldwide.

The realisation that overnight, the traditional methods so few have been reluctant to give up in the industry are no longer viable or encouraged, will ultimately see many builders shut their doors on once thriving businesses.  

It does not have to be this way.

While construction is not known for its tech savvy user, applications such as canibuild are striving to  achieve simplicity and sophistication simultaneously. Canibuild is now aiming to do what the construction industry as a whole has not achieved in the last decade: to go virtual overnight and save the industry from the sudden outbreak of COVID-19.

A comparison between the use of Canibuild and the everyday, traditional methods relied on is summarised below:



  • Aerial imagery – the site is viewed from an elevated position, making every detail visible. The site is available from anywhere in the world and at any time. Canibuild’s recent partnership with Nearmap means the aerial imagery on Canibuild is extremely accurate, with its resolution being consistently ≤7.5cm GSD (ground sampling distance) per pixel
  • Hundreds of site visits can be conducted by just one person as travel and distance is not a factor
  • Uploaded plans are scaled and placement is immediate. Clients can visually see the location of the structure and all the measurements to the millimetre
  • Planning rules have been incorporated which identifies whether the structure can be approved or is declined on the spot. No training is required. No going back to the client for a new location is required.
  • Site details are listed for the property automatically. These include council, LOT and DP number, heritage and bushfire
  • Quotes are custom designed and can be calculated and sent to the client from the application in minutes. Items can be added or deleted as required.
  • Contours spaced at 250mm apart are visible which will identify cost implications due to additional site works. The placement will be moved around to factor in slope and other relevant structures.
  • Architectural plans can be sent directly to the clients email within 24 hours of the Virtual Site Visit.

Traditional Method 


  • The builder has to be physically present, in daylight, to walk around the property. Pictures and notes are the only means of recording details that will be later forgotten or misunderstood. 
  • Time driving and analysing the site physically limits the amount of site visits a builder can do in any one day. 
  • Discussions go back and forth with the client and the builder on where to position the structure. Dimensions are done by tape measure on site
  • The builder must know all the rules and regulations of the structure in order for the placement to comply with local planning rules. Mistakes can lead to having to redesign and resell structures to clients.
  • Site details need to be manually collated using multiple websites and downloads.
  • Quotes have to be manually created once the site visit is conducted. It can take days and is time consuming.
  • Site costs are not known and can only be done via estimates only using the eye. A quantity surveyor will not be engaged at this initial phase due to time and cost implications
  • Companies must rely on a draftsman in order to draw architectural plans to send to clients. This can take up to 7 days

“I work in construction everyday. I see the leads that come in. They’re dropping in numbers drastically, particularly due to the coronavirus pandemic. If construction doesn’t turn virtual site visits quickly and start working online, then our industry won’t be able to progress much longer. Thousands of people across NSW alone will be out of a job. Large established businesses would shut down. We don’t want to see this.”
Timothy Cocaro 
Canibuild Founder
RESCON Builders Director

Selling construction online involves more than just a phone call to the client. The key is to build rapport and trust. Using applications such as Zoom, Microsoft teams and skype in conjunction with canibuild can tie all these individual elements together, allowing users to conduct virtual site visits with clients from anywhere in the world.

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