Drones have been used extensively by military units, governments and private enthusiasts. Now drone use is being adopted by companies, including construction businesses. Technically called “unmanned aerial vehicles,” drones offer contractors many practical uses. But before jumping on the bandwagon, identify a drone’s best uses for your construction company. You’ll be more likely to get a good return on your investment should you decide to buy one.
Instead of relying on traditional resources to develop an overview of a job site, you can use a drone to quickly survey the area and draw up maps. Typically, drones enable you to do the job faster, at a lower cost and more accurately. So, you may be able to allocate workers typically involved in conducting surveys to other tasks.
When surveying sites, drones provide a simplified method for data collection and organization. Piloting drones remotely, you can transmit data quickly and transfer it to a cloud-based storage solution instantaneously. Authorized users of this information can then access it easily via the Internet.
Drones with high-resolution technology, including 3D models, allow users to share data by sending a link to clients. The client can log in to the system, view the data and export it to other entities. It’s an easy way to enable multiple users to view sites. A digital surface model can indicate areas requiring special attention — for example, spots where water needs to be drained. 3D models also provide an orbital view of the entire site. Variations in the dirt patterns might show where drainage is working well or causing problems.
Clients can’t always visit sites regularly, but mere photos don’t necessarily do enough to display progress. With drone footage, clients can better view building, renovation and inspection efforts. What’s more, aerial visuals are more revealing — and appealing — than photos from the ground.
And it’s not just offsite clients who can benefit. Drones also help stakeholders track projects that haven’t yet begun. Designers and architects who your construction company often works with may use drone-collected data to develop concepts for future structures.
When you must travel between sites, a drone can help you monitor developments at each location. Project managers want to ensure that their crews are productive. But you can also use drones to detect problems such as missing equipment or special accommodations that may be required.
Drones are flexible monitors. You can easily raise or lower their altitude based on your needs. If, for instance, a drone is flying too low to assess safety issues, simply adjust to a higher aerial view.
Don’t put boots on the ground for inspections when drones can do the “leg work.” They enable you to check in real time the stability of structures, aesthetic issues and possible deviations during construction — all without leaving your office.
Drones can also make annual (or other regularly scheduled) inspections of completed projects easier. Instead of climbing buildings with scaffolding or harnesses, deploy a drone to safely and quickly do the job.
With eyes and ears in the sky, your business may be in a better position to improve safety conditions. Drones can hover over locations that are too difficult or dangerous for workers to access. Instantly relayed images can help you identify issues that might lead to injuries.
Take construction companies that use prefabrication or modular components. Drone imaging provides data on erection sequences, crane locations and perimeter security so you’re able to pinpoint bottlenecks and forecast hazardous situations. Also, a drone can help you make more informed decisions regarding weather and other environmental concerns.
Track and Budget
In general, the more information you have for analysis, the better you can manage a construction site cost-effectively. Delays and overruns can be extremely expensive. If you use drones to look for parts of a project that aren’t working as planned, you can then act to limit the impact on your budget.
Review Projects Now
Construction companies are just starting to realize what drones can do for them. You don’t want to be left out. Scrutinize current and upcoming projects now to determine where a drone might help your business boost speed, efficiency and cost savings.