10 Reasons to Stop Using SharePoint to Store Construction Progress Photos

July 23, 2023
Explore why SharePoint may hinder construction photo management. Discover better solutions for streamlined workflows.

SharePoint has long been acclaimed as a robust document management system, often utilised in the construction industry to streamline collaboration, communication, and file storage. While SharePoint offers various advantages, it's not without its fair share of challenges, especially when it comes to storing construction photos. In this blog, we will delve into the problems that arise when using SharePoint folders to manage construction imagery and explore alternative solutions to overcome these obstacles.

1. Limited Storage Capacity:

SharePoint's storage capacity is finite and shared among all users. With construction projects generating a vast amount of photos daily, the allocated storage can quickly reach its limit. As a result, project teams may face the burden of purchasing additional storage or constantly managing files to make space for new images.

2. Poor Image Organisation:

The traditional folder structure in SharePoint lacks the necessary flexibility for effective photo organisation. As construction projects involve numerous components, phases, and locations, creating folders for each scenario can lead to a convoluted and confusing structure. Finding specific photos becomes an arduous task, hampering productivity and decision-making processes.

3. Limited Search and Retrieval Options:

SharePoint's search capabilities may not be optimised for finding specific photos efficiently. Without robust metadata or tagging features, locating relevant images among thousands of files can be time-consuming, affecting project timelines and overall efficiency.

4. Version Control Challenges:

Version control is critical in construction projects, where changes happen frequently. Storing photos in SharePoint folders can lead to multiple versions of the same image scattered across various folders, making it challenging to track the most recent and accurate visuals.

5. Lack of Collaborative Features:

Construction projects involve diverse teams working together, often across multiple locations. SharePoint's folder-based system may not foster seamless collaboration on photos, leading to misunderstandings, delays, and miscommunication.

6. Security and Access Concerns:

Not all construction photos should be accessible to everyone in the organisation. SharePoint's folder-level permissions might not provide the necessary granularity to control access to sensitive images, raising security concerns.

7. Mobile Accessibility Limitations:

Many construction professionals require access to project photos on the go, which can be challenging with SharePoint's folder-centric approach. Mobile accessibility may not be as user-friendly or efficient, limiting the real-time availability of vital visuals.

8. Limited File Size Support:

Construction photos, especially high-resolution images or videos, can be quite large in size. SharePoint has certain limitations on the file size it can support, and uploading large media files may lead to compatibility issues or errors. This limitation can be particularly troublesome when dealing with extensive construction projects that generate substantial visual content.

9. Lack of Image Preview and Thumbnail Generation:

SharePoint's default interface may not provide adequate image preview or thumbnail generation for construction photos stored in folders. Without visual cues, users may struggle to identify specific images quickly, leading to inefficiencies and delays when locating the right photos for decision-making or documentation purposes.

10. Time-Consuming Upload and Download Processes:

Uploading and downloading construction photos in SharePoint can be time-consuming, especially when dealing with large batches of images or slow internet connections. Construction professionals who frequently need to access or share visual materials may find this slow process frustrating and impeding project workflows.

What are the Potential Solutions?

Implement a Digital Asset Management (DAM) System:

Consider adopting a specialised DAM system that caters explicitly to managing large volumes of visual content. DAM systems provide advanced features like AI-powered tagging, facial recognition, and easy-to-use metadata management, greatly improving photo organisation and retrieval.

Cloud Storage Integration:

Integrate cloud storage solutions like Google Drive or Dropbox with SharePoint to extend the storage capacity and enhance accessibility. This hybrid approach allows teams to store construction photos in more flexible and scalable environments.

Utilise Collaboration Tools:

Maximise your construction projects by utilising collaboration tools like Sensat, empowering your entire team to access and share images effortlessly. Experience real-time discussions, simplified photo sharing, and streamlined project coordination through Sensat's intuitive interface. Elevate teamwork and ensure smooth communication with this exceptional collaboration tool.

Use construction technology that does it for you:

Introducing Gather's Siteview, a revolutionary tool designed to streamline your construction photo management. Say goodbye to manual photo organization and coordination headaches. With Gather's Siteview, your site photos are automatically aligned with your site diary records and seamlessly plotted on the map. This smart integration ensures easy viewing, efficient collaboration, and enhanced project visualization for your entire team. Embrace this time-saving and innovative solution to elevate your construction workflow and focus on what truly matters—building excellence.

While SharePoint offers a versatile platform for document management, it may not be the optimal solution for storing construction photos due to its limitations on storage capacity, image organisation, search capabilities, version control, collaboration features, security, mobile accessibility, file size support, image previews, and upload/download processes. To address these issues, exploring alternative approaches, such as specialised DAM systems or cloud storage integration, can significantly enhance the management and accessibility of construction photos, thereby streamlining construction project workflows and improving team collaboration.

10 Reasons to Stop Using SharePoint to Store Construction Progress Photos

Will Doyle


I am an experienced RICS chartered Quantity Surveyor​ with first-hand experience of how the consistent capture and analysis of data can transform global project delivery.

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