Hospital Security System Design 360 Photo Capture

Hospital Security System Design In 1 Site Visit: How Butchko•ESI Used Digital Twins On A Million Sq Ft Campus

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Physical security system design and risk assessment consulting firm.


camera Madventure 360
capture size ~1 Million sq ft
capture time ~20 hours over the course of a single 3-day site visit to simultaneously capture the hospital, identify key assets and perform on-site risk assessment.
capture date June 2020


Digital Twins used to design a 700+ camera security system upgrade for a multi-building medical campus & 540+ bed hospital.

location Southwest US
total project value $9 million
initial design completed March 2021
installation initiated Spring 2021
project status Ongoing

Authorized Visual Plan surveyor and partner Butchko•ESI, a leader in physical security systems design and risk assessment consulting, recently completed a 700+ security camera system upgrade design for a multi-building medical campus and level 1 trauma center. Designing a security system of this magnitude for a medical center had its inherent challenges: incomplete or outdated blueprints from numerous renovations, limited facility access to maintain health standards, careful coordination with hospital staff to comply with HIPAA regulations, and restrictions for travel and access due to heightened COVID-19 protocols. By utilizing a MadV360 camera for capture and Visual Plan’s SiteView platform to organize, analyze and process 360° photos of the hospital job site, Butchko•ESI was able to expedite the security system’s design through streamlined internal planning, reduction in travel requirements and effective communication with internal and external stakeholders.

Both Butchko•ESI and their hospital campus clients realized tangible cost savings as a direct result of incorporating Digital Twins into the security systems design and project management process.

Key ROI & Outcomes

Visual Plan’s SiteView platform resulted in tangible time savings as leveraging the captured digital twins and 360° photo documentation reduced site visits, and minimized reconfigurations and revised customer requests.

3-4 additional site visits avoided • reduced travel budget by 80% • $25k+ saved in possible rework costs

Challenge: Combatting safety and privacy concerns for 360° Photo capture in a hospital environment under covid-19 protocols

To properly design the 700+ camera security system, Butchko•ESI needed to see every area and asset designated for protection within the hospital campus, requiring close coordination and effective communication with the local staff. After working with the hospital to determine their most important assets and where they are located within the medical campus, the critical security needs and risks were organized by priority and importance. Emergency facilities, trauma center, PICU and NICU were high priority as well as highly complicated to accurately capture with minimal interruption of critical medical procedures; dates and times for the 360 degree photo capture were pre-planned during windows of the least occurrence of predictable patient care.

The number one challenge to designing a security system or performing a 360 capture in any hospital environment is access. As an added environmental complication, Butchko•ESI performed this particular capture during the summer of 2020 at the height of COVID-19 spread, social distancing and restrictions. Advanced coordination with as many stakeholders as possible was needed to factor additional time into the photo capture process to accommodate hospital staff escorts, access to sensitive areas, extra PPE and disinfectant. Additionally, any potential impact on their ability to capture the 360 images had to be preplanned to comply with patient privacy, hospital safety precautions and regulations.

Solution: A Single Site Visit using Digital Twins For Security System Design

Working within the hospital’s access restrictions and under COVID travel regulations, Butchko•ESI performed the 360 capture and on-site risk analysis within their limited budget for travel. Using a hardhat mount, the team captured the hospital campus using the MadV 360 camera as they walked through the job site; the panos were processed and aligned using Visual Plan SiteView to create a detailed virtual walkthrough of the facility. By incorporating this digital twin as part of their assessment process from start to finish, the team reduced what would likely have been 3-5 trips to a job site down to just a single site visit from security system conception to design delivery.

As an older hospital built in the 1980s and frequently remodeled to offer cutting-edge medical care and facilities to patients, inaccurate or incomplete blueprints, drawings and floor plans were anticipated. Comparing the in-person walkthrough experience with the drawings provided from the client showed significant undocumented changes.

Viewing the captured 360 photos through SiteView allowed for comprehensive remote compare and contrast, resulting in expedited security design decisions.

“For any risk assessment, we typically incorporate 2 or more team members. This allows us to tag-team the site survey for collecting and capturing the 360 photos. We leveraged Visual Plan as an internal review tool and remotely accessible reference point without needing additional site visits.”

– Benjamin M. Butchko, Founder / CEO, Butchko•ESI

“Typically for security assessments, we take photos of sensitive areas but don’t always get the right angle or all of the spots – Visual Plan allowed easy, comprehensive review of sensitive security areas from every angle. It also dramatically simplified the photo organization and location referencing.”
– Michael Newsome, Design Consultant, Butchko•ESI

Critical Features for Success

Over the life of the project, the captured digital twins were critical for visual comparison, addressing revised customer requests, and designing around existing hospital structure: minimizing rework and expediting decision making entirely remotely.

Critical Benefits:

  • Barrier to entry was low with regard to the capital investment
  • Easy import, scale and alignment of floor plans to GIS via Import Floorplan Wizard
  • Simple auto and manual orientation of 360 imagery to CAD to enhance understanding
  • Intuitive organization of 360 photos across levels, areas and spaces (accelerated via the Visual Plan Capture App)
  • AI spatially and accurately aligned the panos automatically with ± 1” accuracy.
Key Platform Features Utilized
  • Camera Agnostic Platform
  • Video Capture / Multishot Capture / Singleshot Capture
  • Pano Editing Tools
  • 2D CAD/Floor Plan Import
  • Automatic & Manual Redaction of Faces through a Blur
  • Share/Reporting (Deep links to specific locations / User access controls / HTML Reports)
  • Remote Viewing & Access
  • Secure Cloud Storage

Tangible Time Savings: ROI of Digital Twins for Security System Design

The largest ROI came from realized, tangible time savings as a result of utilizing digital twins for project management: all stakeholders were able to review the photogrammetry to minimize reconfigurations and design change cost overruns. Short term value was seen in rectifying corrections of the provided floor plans, laying a foundation for long term return on investment through an expedited and more accurate design process. Visual Plan’s SiteView provided the ability for Butchko•ESI to simulate and verify scenarios of the security system design by having comprehensive, 360 photo documentation information readily accessible. Viewing these visuals in real time with their stakeholders accelerated approvals, client understanding and overall comprehension of the security system design and implementation.

“We had a net savings in cost reduction to produce deliverables, correlating to reduced costs for the client as well. Our normal requirements of 3-5 trips to the project site of this complexity were reduced down to 1 trip from conception to delivery. Visualization through photogrammetry became the foundation for our internal planning and communications with the client.” – Benjamin M. Butchko, Founder / CEO, Butchko•ESI

Butchko•ESI’s client changed the scope mid-project to add new areas and remove others from the integrated security system design. With digital twins in hand, they were able to review the photos for reference, without needing to go back on site or having the client take photos for them: 360 photos and dynamic data visualization provided the ability to change scope with minimal effort.

Maintaining Safety & Building Customer Confidence With Digital Twins

Butchko•ESI was able to leverage digital twins to give the customer the confidence to move forward with the project under COVID-19 restrictions. While primarily using Visual Plan as an internal collaboration tool, remote tabletops with shareholders allowed Butchko•ESI to visually demonstrate and describe their security system design concepts, facilitating clear communication and management of client expectations. 

We propose our projects as more than just a commodity service. Using Visual Plan provides a differentiating and streamlining tool – at some additional cost but adding client confidence in our delivered value. The more complex the operation, we have clear information that the project manager can use to reduce our risk and the customer’s risk. Visual Plan gives us the tools so that reality comes closer to the customer’s expectation that everything goes smoothly. There are always unknowns that create uncertainty: there are always things that are going to change, that we cannot see well enough because of proximity, lighting or changes in the environment, things that we know will force us to adapt and address. The more we can identify issues in advance and communicate them to the customer, that’s where we and our customers shine.”

– Benjamin M. Butchko, Founder / CEO, Butchko•ESI.

About Butchko•ESI
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Started in 2004, Butchko•ESI is a converged physical and cyber security design and risk assessment company; they approach each customer and project with an engineering mindset and effective project management. Their solutions and processes identify and assess how security and operations work in tandem for their customers. Butchko•ESI provides strategic planning across entire security programs, engaging in continuous assessments of people, process and technology to develop engaged security systems design at both individual sites or hundred of sites around the globe. They use security technology including cameras, barriers, sensors, alarm management, entry control systems and global security operations centers to support the mission and goals of their clients. Butchko•ESI doesn’t just provide security systems design for a building; they provide designs for a company’s operation that happens to reside within a facility.