Aerial revolution is occurring across the globe. Drones have emerged as a highly viable commercial tool with applications in many sectors, particularly in the construction sector. This is not shocking, as their advantages range from on-site protection to a degree of project management that wasn’t available before.
Drones have grown into one of the most convincing building trends in the last few years. The industry has seen year-over-year growth of 239 per cent in drone use, higher than any other market field. Their aerial vantage point and ability to gather data make them a valuable tool, providing benefits ranging from on-site surveillance to remote monitoring. The advantages of the drone technology, in particular, have revolutionised the entire lifecycle of the project. Drone images, videos and imagery are manipulated to scale projects, monitor progress in construction and provide updates in real-time.
How are Drones used in Construction?
Drones can improve science, cut costs and streamline the workflow with their real-time data recording and unique aerial advantage. Here are some of the ways drones are used in construction.
Topographic Mapping and Land Surveys
Because of their ability to map vast quantities of land, drones can exponentially reduce the time taken to visualize the topography of a site. This would not only ensure that the project remains on schedule and according to budget, but would also ensure accuracy before initiating a project. Sending this information can help to determine feasibility and design assist.
In addition, drone-generated high-resolution images can be manipulated into 3D models, allowing one to identify challenges during pre-construction and spot scope errors, saving time and money in the long run.
Equipment Tracking and Automating
Every project manager has faced a slip in memory of where the equipment is located at every job site. There’s usually a lot of long spreadsheets involved that can easily turn into an Excel nightmare (unless you have the resources for rental management). The same manager can do a flyover with a drone and easily determine if the equipment is where it needs to be. You can also easily determine whether there is still a piece of equipment on-site that should be terminated, thereby preventing unnecessary unintended extension charges.
Drones will be able to direct and guide autonomous vehicles in the future which will certainly revolutionise the industry on a new scale.
Remote Monitoring and Progress Reports
Another important advantage of drones in construction is the visibility that they can provide to customers. Drones can provide spectacular aerial views and offer customers an understanding of the progress of the project, particularly when the customers cannot be physically present at a site. It makes them feel confident about the effective use of their money.
A drone operator will do a flyover and quickly see if a piece of equipment is in a sufficiently safe spot. The security camera may also be used to see if the site includes unauthorised men. This can deter theft or harm long before it occurs.
Workers also have to climb to precarious heights while taking manual measurements and travel through dangerous conditions. In such situations, drones can replace workers and mitigate the risk faced by construction workers on the field. Construction managers may also use drone video cameras to monitor the work site for safety concerns, ensuring that workers are properly balanced and that there are no loose or unstable structures and equipment that could harm workers.
Structure inspection and Photography
Drones can provide crucial inspection in place of heavy machinery and bulky scaffolding. To test stability and fine information, they can be flown around buildings, and take high-resolution imagery for study. Drones can also be used to maintain large-scale structures such as bridges, towers, roofs and scaffolding planned for use.
A task which would take a whole team of surveyors to do, with a drone operator would only take a few hours. Drones inspect and capture the buildings as-built condition, save costs, catch problems and create marketing materials for future use.
While construction drones aren’t new, they are adopted by construction companies at a faster rate than ever before. Whether used for conducting land surveys or keeping track of equipment, drones have proven invaluable to the sector. Drones also offer direct benefits to the lifecycle of construction. Their capabilities allow them to cut costs, time, risk and labour while at the same time improving workflow, accuracy, communication, and effectiveness. All of these lead to greater confidence and certainty when working on a building project.