29.11.19

The Benefit of Drones on Construction Sites

7 min read

 

The Benefit of Drones on Construction Sites

 

The use of drones to monitor progress on a construction site can save a project time, money and frustrating legal disputes

 

Project managers are under constant pressure to deliver their construction projects on time and under budget where possible. Ideally, at the same time ensuring

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Drone construction progress shot of the Crown Casino Project in Barangaroo, Sydney

that their contractors and employees are adequately compensated and that they work in a safe and conducive environment. The ideal scenario for construction project managers is to supervise their project with ease and accuracy so they can deal with issues as soon as they arise to avoid any hold ups or costly mistakes.

This is where commercial drones come into play. From site planning to site completion, monitoring worksites with the use of drone technology keep projects on track. As we all know, drones can easily monitor an area or infrastructure from an aerial view point delivering valuable high resolution imagery to project managers and stakeholders. Using traditional means can often provide lower quality data and information which can affect progress. Drones are therefore the modern means of inspecting construction sites and saving project managers vast amounts of financial resources.

In this article, we shall discuss some of the benefits that come with the use of RPA’s (remotely piloted aircraft) on construction sites.

 

 

Drones offer survey grade mapping quickly and cost efficiently

Traditional methods of effectively monitoring work sites can take enormous amounts of time and usually at high expense. A drone can do this work quickly, providing high resolution maps, video or images of the project. Not only is it faster and cheaper, but the level of data provided easily allows project managers to determine any issues which can also assist in planning on how to best move forward with construction. Orthomosaics and 3D models are a particularly valuable visualisation tool which can be easily shared amongst those involved with the project.  

Some construction sites can be very difficult to access using traditional methods. This usually results in higher costs as infrastructure or machinery needs to intervene in order to carry out the job. RPA’s can complete the works quickly and economically providing a win win for project managers.

 

Drones help mitigate safety risks in construction sites

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Capture of a work site by drone is an invaluable resource to monitor all phases of a project

There are many safety grey areas in the construction industry. Inspecting projects such as buildings under construction, bridges, wind turbines and high rise story buildings can be a safety hazard to the safety managers tasked with this role. The old fashioned way of inspecting construction sites involves the safety managers walking around the construction site to take a look at the project. The faster that a construction company can adapt to the disruptive technology of aerial imagery, the easier they will find the process of ensuring the site is a safe place to work.

A drone with a high resolution camera can make the role of inspections easy and safe for all the people involved. Here are ways such a drone benefits the industry:

 

 

Drones provide cost-effective and superior marketing means for projects

This is a very important aspect of marketing in whatever industry you’re involved in. Aerial imagery of projects taken from helicopters or planes can make an instant impact to your marketing needs. However, taking such photos comes along with costs, sometimes poor quality, safety concerns and flexibility issues. This cannot be said of the use of drones for this purpose.

RPA’s enable a construction company to record high-quality cinematic videos which perfectly display the site in its entirety. For example, a developer can demonstrate their overhead view of the project or a particular hard to reach feature by capturing images and videos by the use of a drone. This aerial imagery when presented with high quality editing and appropriate music can easily become a very impressive and effective form of exposure on the development of the project. Such photos can be added to your marketing materials such as websites, social media pages, banners and brochures.

 

 

You can easily monitor your construction progress

With drone imagery, it is possible to take photos on a frequent basis due to the ease and cost efficiency. This way, you are able to get progress maps, photos or video to monitor change and consistently capture the vital information you need about your project.

With the above monitoring tool, you can identify any phases of your projects that are possibly lagging behind and adequately address this concern. This can be termed as project intelligence, and it helps to reduce unnecessary project reworks as the project manager already has information that helps them take proactive steps to address any project needs.

 

 

Improved Communication

Drone photography allows a clear picture of the whole construction site. The aerial imagery enables communication to site managers and the rest of the teams that are working on the project. In case of any changes in weather, site conditions or structural changes, drones can capture this information and it can, therefore, be used by the various teams. When such photographs are used to assess the safety of the buildings or projects, any shortcomings can always be addressed by the teams through the communication channels created through the drone photos.

 

 

Dispute Resolution

Unforeseen events can lead to a depletion in the project budget such as being over-billed for the work of a contractor, underpaid by another, missed deadlines, contractors who don’t turn up as well as legal challenges. There is no other industry with as many opportunities to so easily leak financial resources. This can be greatly minimised with frequent progress updates on construction using high resolution aerial imagery.

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As Lexology states;

Where the necessary records are unavailable or incomplete, disputes can become more involved, expensive and time consuming to resolve, with each party employing their own experts to interpret the data available, which often leads to conflicting conclusions.

The use of periodic drone flights throughout a project to record work status and exact measurements could be invaluable in such a situation”

 

 

 

There has been a consistent increase in the use of drones in the construction industry to assist in a wide variety of areas as mentioned above. It is important to ensure your drone service provider has the necessary licensing, insurance and experience to be able to provide a quality output that can solve the clients problem. While it’s important what drones are used for a particular job, the focus should always be on the output.

Contact High Exposure if you are looking to introduce the use of drones to document the progress of your work site.

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