Monday, 11 July 2016

How Drones Are Helping British Construction


Once the stuff of pure sci-fi, drones are now becoming accessible to absolutely everyone. Their use has been documented heavily since the early 2000s, and have mostly been limited to the Armed Forces, but now anyone and everyone with the required finances and enough skill can purchase and fly one. Many Civil Engineering and Groundworks firms in North Wales and the whole of the UK use drones for multiple purposes on their sites. Here are a few of the practical uses of these amazing pieces of technology.

Surveys of buildings can be made remarkably less complicated when roofing viability and identification of condition is as easy as picking up a remote controller. Without the aid of a drone, being able to see the tops of roofing can be difficult and expensive, especially when it comes to the erection of scaffolding and usage of a cherry picker and ladders.

Likewise, construction site inspections can be made simple with the use of a drone. Being able to control a drone to assess and inspect means major savings in time, but more importantly inspections on a busy site can be dangerous and complex. Drone usage can be recorded from the safety of offices with the added convenience of footage being sent to project stakeholders.

Promotional photography is becoming more and more important in the way that construction firms advertise themselves and what they can do, especially with the advent of social media. Capturing 4k video and photographs from aerial and unique angles can provide fascinating insight into building works.

Surveyors can struggle with gaining access to suitable locations for laser scanning parts of buildings, particularly ones at height. Often, point clouds can miss this vital information. Laser scanning in the hands of a drone has become a recognised method of topography capture, and can provide the missing piece to point cloud scan for input into Building information models.

Likewise, a drone is fully capable of being used to take aerial thermal images, which are then used to assess potential cold spots in buildings—or hot spots in areas which hold electrical components. This of course allows engineers and surveyors essential information when it comes to identification of defect.

Drones are no longer limited to sci-fi, or a rather tin-foil hat feeling that they are the harbingers of the end of privacy as we know it.  They’re tools which allow construction and engineering firms to create stunning aerial photography- drones serving as a remote controlled set of eyes, to identify all manner of problems and issues, as well as provide information with minimal human effort.

Image Credit: Gabriel Garcia Marengo | CC BY 2.0

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