The early stages of construction sets the base for an efficiently run project. Providing easy to capture, repeatable and high frequency surveys using drones allows contractors to utilise the most accurate data to complete work. CAD based design files can be overlaid onto drone surveys which gives a highly contextual visual for contractors to understand what needs to be done and also if work was completed as intended.
Typically in the past before ground was broken, it was a very tedious and laborious task to obtain data in regards to the lay of the land on a site. It could take several weeks to survey using traditional methods depending on site access and then a similar time frame for processing. This was an extremely time-consuming process that also ended up being very expensive.
These days, implementing survey drones on a construction site can provide high resolution 3D data of a site with accuracy to a few centimetres within a matter of hours. The level of valuable data easily able to be acquired is extremely beneficial to staying on top of the progress of the site. Most standard sized job sites can be captured in one to two flights depending on the level of detail required. This time and cost effective method enables a high frequency or surveys throughout the project which provides huge benefits.
Understanding the topography of a site before machinery and workers get out there assists planning greatly. You can see where water run off may flow and also areas that may be harzardous or difficult to access. Having this information beforehand allows contractors to plan how they can deal with this issues before time and money is wasted discovering this on the job and potentially after work has started. Elevation and contour maps can be easily generated at the click of a button and cross sections taken to assess particular areas in a three dimensional landscape. You don’t need to be a surveyor to use the software and simply be understood and shared with stakeholders.
Depending on the project, the frequency between drone surveys may differ. For large complex projects it may make sense to have daily progress updates while for others, once a month is enough.
The 2D and 3D models provide accurate visual representations of the site in which measurements and volumes can be taken and calculated. This is especially useful for the monitoring and measurement of earthworks. Photogrammetry processed in the correct way be can be within few percent of a laser based volume calculation. Regular updates have the advantage of quickly noticing if there are errors in the construction process which may easily become expensive if they aren’t corrected immediately. It’s also easier to notice hazards onsite from the aerial view which is great for safety and OHS personnel to utilise. It pays to have accurate measurements in the surveys. Using a highly accurate methodology and processing technique such as PPK will allow more precise estimates of volumes and build trust with the client.
The ability to provide a digital elevation model of a site after each major earthworks is invaluable in providing much needed data to monitor and evaluate site progress. The process is usually completed with a multi rotor or fixed wing drone. Multi rotor drones are popular for small sites and sites where it may be more difficult to fly a fixed wing unit. Creating measurements for stockpile volumes, road grades, point to point distances and elevation differences across a cross section is data that has never been so easy to access and this affordable.
There are a number of great software platforms available these days to process and display survey data such as Drone Deploy, Pix4D and Propeller Aero. Data will be processed and displayed within a dashboard in which other surveys of the same site can be viewed and compared against previous captures. Having this level of data in such an easy to view and digestible format has changed the way construction managers and contractors approach site planning and completion. The efficiencies gained in time and cost have been incredible and has been a revelation in the industry.
The ability to overlay BIM design files onto a survey has been an incredibly useful tool for site managers in assessing if work is on track and up to standard.
The most forward thinking and innovative construction companies are using drone survey technology to to improve the construction progress from start to finish. With the right drone service provider to complete surveys on your site available, there is no reason why you can’t be saving time and improving ROI on your site with drone technology
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