As drones are becoming more prevalent and affordable, new applications for their use are being discovered all the time. It’s even becoming more common to see drones being used on construction sites in a variety of ways.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), might not be fully autonomous but they are able to quickly and easily go into areas that are inaccessible or perhaps even dangerous for a human.
Project managers, technology managers, and superintendents are the top roles benefiting from drone data to date. The typical project runs over budget, behind schedule. Drones help close the gap.
Builders use drones to collect real-time data about projects and understand what’s happening on site. Aerial insights improve progress tracking and help catch problems early — before they become costly or add weeks to a project’s timeline.
But progress tracking is far from the only way construction companies use drones. By spending less than an hour each week mapping a job site, contractors gain access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge about nearly every aspect of their project. With this data in hand software such as DroneDeploy and Pix4D makes it easy to plan, communicate, and keep projects on schedule.
By spending less than an hour each week mapping a job site, contractors gain access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge about nearly every aspect of their project.
Drones do more than improve communication and help keep projects on track. They also increase safety, save time and resources, fast-track surveying, and deliver accurate measurements.
Data is processed and analysed with added value from incorporating maps and 3D models into existing planning, design, and management workflows.
Here are just some of the ways that a drone might be useful on a construction project or building site.
A drone can give you a bird’s eye view of how the work on your site progresses. You’ll be able to see where bottlenecks are forming and where delays are being caused by inefficient workflow.
Construction site inspections
Site inspections can be time-consuming and sometimes dangerous, depending on the type of construction site. Drones can help you carry out these inspections quicker and with fewer health and safety implications.
Construction site surveillance via cameras is usually static. With a drone, you can survey the entire site in one go or zoom in on different areas as needed. Your security team can also monitor the construction site without getting in the way of operations or placing themselves in danger.
Surveys of newly built or pre-existing buildings usually require roof access, which is not always easily accessible. Instead of using cherry pickers or scaffolding, which would involve health and safety considerations, you can use a drone to do the survey.
If fitted with the right type of camera, a drone can take thermal imaging of your entire construction project. This will highlight cold or heat spots, which could point to building defects or electrical issues.
Maintenance inspections for tall buildings, bridges, roofs and scaffolding can easily be carried out by a drone, saving on both time and the risk usually involved in this type of high-level inspection.
Photography and virtual walkthroughs
Drones can be used to take photos and video from multiple high-level angles for both promotional material and updates for investors or shareholders. You can also use a drone to do a virtual walkthrough at any stage of construction.
... drones increase safety, save time and resources, fast-track surveying, and deliver accurate measurements.
A massive increase in the use of drones is inevitable as more businesses realise its full potential. A recent study suggests that over 25% of construction professionals plan to use drones in their operations by 2020.
As more advances are made in drone technology, it will offer more benefits and be generally more useful.
We're excited to be offering these innovative services to our clients and proving the benefits that they can bring to businesses taking advantage of them!
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UK CAA PFCO No 8790