Drones and Construction in 2024

30% of the cost of construction is wasted in the field due to coordination errors, wasted material and labour efficiencies. This waste could be significantly reduced by deploying drones.

4 videos      Uses of drones      Future      Case studies      Quick checklist      Get some quotes    

4 videos

Uses of Drones in Construction

  • 3D reconstruction of images and models (Accurate up to 4cm)
    • Projection of future plans on current image: Architects can view their designs and models in 3D, leaving less to the imagination.
      • Boost your portfolio with stunning centerpiece 3D model.
    • Superimposition of current progress to future plans: An exciting and visual method of showcasing progress to the clients who may not be able to go to site
    • Volumetric Measurements: Measurement of stockpiles, such as sand and gravel, for more precise and exact volumes
    • Cut and fill analysis: Determine progress with site balancing with a visual 3D model of the earth above and below the final grade
  • Surveying Land
    • Reduce the labour and time required for land surveying and monitoring
    • Allows surveillance of greater detail, including detailed variations in dirt patterns
    • Vector Overlay: Overlay of site design and line works with drone imagery to detect potential clashes, site accuracy, and catch mistakes.
  • Access to areas that are dangerous for people or difficult to access for traditional vehicles
    • Collection of instantaneous information in difficult to maneuver areas
    • Delivery of small scale materials in a time and financial efficient manner to areas which are difficult for traditional delivery vehicular methods
  • Surveillance and Safety
    • Live Stream: surveillance of multiple sites without the need to relocate - Track the construction site with greater frequency and degree of accuracy and precision unknown in the industry
    • Structural inspection in a safer and more time-efficient method
    • Safety: Accessing areas too dangerous for workers, better surveillance as the eyes are in the sky – on level with works in high areas
    • Building inspection, in combination with 3D imagery technology, allows for real time monitoring, as well as projection of future plans on current images to gauge progress
    • The intelligence allows construction companies to more efficiently deploy resources around a job site, minimize potential issues, trim costs, and limit delays
    • Save time in data collection with drones so that you can focus on making the important decisions
    • Thermal Inspection: Help to detect leaks and cracks in buildings
  • Integration with other vehicles on large construction sites as a means of traffic direction and sending models of the landscape to the vehicles
  • Prevent common construction mistakes
    • Site balancing, concrete layout, quantity tracking and fulfilment verification and schedule tracking

Benefits of using Drones

  • Convenience
  • Safety
  • Accuracy
  • Reliability
  • Time efficient
  • Cost efficient – 30% of the cost of construction is wasted in the field due to coordination errors, wasted material, labour efficiencies and other problems that arise during traditional construction methods which could be eliminated by usage of drones.
  • Creative

Future of Drones in Construction

PwC estimates that over a third of predicted value of drone powered solutions will be from the infrastructure and construction industry. (source)

Predicted value of drone-powered solutions in key industries – global view US$bn
Infrastructure 45.2
Agriculture 32.4
Transport 13
Security 10
Media & Entertainement 8.8
Insurance 6.8
Telecommunications 6.3
Mining 4.4
Total 127.3

Accenture are expecting construction companies to reinvent themselves to take advantage of the benefits that drones will bring (source)

Case studies

In 2017, construction company Balfour Beatty trialed usage of drones for site and asset inspection. In May, they inspected Swan Bridge, and the savings was around 8,000 pounds in comparison to traditional methods. (source)

Shell is using drones in energy plants, and oil and gas facilities for maintaining and inspecting difficult to reach places (such as underside of rigs and towers) where it would be dangerous and less efficient to send people. (source)

Sagrada Familia are experimenting with utilizing drones in their construction of a 133-year-old church in Barcelona. (source)

Before hiring a drone operator: quick checklist

1. Licenced and insured. Commercial drone operators must have one of these these 3 options covered before they can legally be hired by you. Also make sure your chosen drone operator holds a current public liability insurance policy that specifically covers the operation of a drone.

2. Relevant experience. As always - check the operator’s examples for relevant experience – find someone who can actually demonstrate that they have done something similar to your request.

3. Area approval. Sometimes drone operators will need to request an area approval depending on the job location. You should ask your chosen operator about this before they commence the work.

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