Learn the benefits of using drones for construction inspection – While construction itself has been around for many years, recent years have seen many technological advances in the field. Some of these include wearable technology such as smart helmets, 3D printing, advanced building information modeling and more.
Perhaps the most significant advance to the construction industry has been that of drone use.
As our globe continues to grow and develop, construction projects will not go away. However, the process should continue to improve as the technology does.
How construction projects build has evolved through many of the design principles have remained constant throughout the ages. Processes have continued to improve as new technology develops.
One of the main innovations for the construction industry has been the adoption of drones, otherwise known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
In a short time, they have taken over the construction industry by reducing costs and improving safety, while helping processes such as planning, surveillance of a construction site and the capturing of data.
Many industries across the globe have adopted drone use in recent years. Perhaps no industry has been more impacted by drone use than construction.
Drones are not yet being used actually to build, though it wouldn’t be shocking to see that development in the future. They do, however, play a significant role in creating a construction plan and the analysis stage.
One reason drones have become so widely used in the construction industry is that they can give managers an aerial view of a site at a massively reduced cost.
It makes it far easier to create a plan, to monitor the progress of a project and identify any issues that may arise during the building process.
Drones are more simple to use, come at a lower cost and make it easier to gain airborne access to a site. That’s what has made their use so widespread. Previously, such tasks were only achieved by hiring a manned aircraft to get the job done.
Here are three ways in which drones have changed the game for the construction industry:
Map a Construction Site
Before drones, it was a tedious process for mapping a construction site. That’s no more thanks to drone use.
Costs have also been hugely reduced thanks to the use of drones. Previously, you had to hire a plane or helicopter to fly over a site to get the needed images. Now, it’s as simple as operating a drone over a project site to take the same pictures in a few mere moments – all at a relatively inexpensive cost.
For a lower budget project, builders used to be limited with what they could accomplish. Now, there’s a lower barrier of entry for mapping a site thanks to drones.
Additionally, you can get new images each day if needed to monitor progress. All the data can be routed directly to any construction software in use for a project.
Inspecting a Construction Site
In all the years before drone use in construction, it could be dangerous to inspect a busy construction site. It’s far more safe to conduct these inspections with a drone.
Construction managers can now easily review footage from their office, whether it be in real-time or via a recording, all while their employees are facing reduced risks to their health and safety.
Accessing a roof during the surveying of a building is difficult. Using a drone to conduct a building survey makes things more safe, straightforward, and fast. A surveyor can assess any faults without ever having to step foot on a roof.
It also reduces costs with no need to set up scaffolding or ladders.
Aside from the advantages mentioned above, there are also some challenges for drone use in construction. Here are a few:
It can take two people to operate a drone at all times. Both operators need to be well trained in drone control and must have a complete understanding of the route the drone must fly. Experience in the specific drone being used is also a must, especially for the sensor.
Problems can also arise from some weather conditions, such as heavy wind and cloud cover. A large gust can blow your drone into danger, and too much cloud cover will prevent you from taking the images you need.
Drones also come with a big price tag in the beginning. There are long-term savings to be had, but the high cost up-front may be enough to keep some construction projects from adopting drone use. We also expect the price of drones to reduce as technology improves.
The benefits will continue to outweigh the challenges, and drone use will grow. A recent study projected drone uses to be at just over 25% of all construction projects by 2020. It will only increase as drone technology continues to improve.
Author: Pae Natwilai is the CEO and Founder of TRIK, a 3D reporting, and drone mapping software to structural inspection.