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Jim GarlockBy: Jim Garlock

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How are drones used in construction?

Drones are providing new prospective for projects that are still under development with revolutionary imagery. The intelligence generated by drones allows construction project managers to distribute their resources with greater efficiency, increase safety, and reduce overall project costs.

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At one point in time when we thought construction, we thought of nuts and bolts, two-by-fours and steel beams. Construction has never been overtly forward-thinking or technologically progressive, but the industry is evolving right before us as we roll into the digital era. 2017 was huge for innovation in construction introducing resourceful technology to the industry.

Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have found their way into the construction industry and they are drastically changing the landscape. Advanced data analytics and imagery captured by drones have allowed construction companies to reinforce infrastructure and optimize daily operations.

The formation of new structures requires a wide range of participants, and to successfully complete a project stakeholders must bring together those moving parts, funneling those resources into a unified force. The data incorporated from drones provide the involved parties unique and insightful information to see through the same lenses from different vantage points, levels, and locations to streamline individual responsibilities.

The kicker: this data transmits in real-time, allowing instant and seamless collaboration between all stakeholders. With no delay, drones send the data they are collecting from way up high and send it directly back to the operators.

Drones have the capability to capture images from untapped angles, creating a holistic picture of the operation. We receive revolutionary perspectives, dissolving the dissonance between contractors, architects, and clients, as they all receive a uniform report of the daily happenings. These images have the power to resolve industry pain points that have haunted the construction industry from the dawn of time.

Here was examine some of those pain points, discussing how our clients are applying drones in the construction industry to smooth over their current speed bumps.

A Marketing Masterpiece

High-quality aerial imagery and video footage captured by UAVs can be combined with drone-generated sensor data to create accurate 3D BIM models and renderings. These tools are often used to help community leaders and clients see the viability of a project.

Additionally, they can be used to promote a project to potential investors by helping them visualize the finished development project. From a marketing perspective, we get compelling photographic collateral that would entice even the most resistant investors. After all, perception is reality. In giving potential clients a complete picture of how their vision would be executed, they are more likely to commit.

Step by step of a house design

Infrastructural Improvements

Since the inclusion of drones, land surveying has become more efficient and cost-effective. Companies no longer have to rent expensive equipment and hire a dedicated team of contractors to map out an area or property. This makes the planning stage less time-consuming and inexpensive without sacrificing on quality or quantity of data.

We can learn how to build more sustainable structures, manage time more effectively, and reduce resources in the meantime.

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring is probably one of the most obvious applications of drones in the construction industry. Supervisors might not necessarily work on-site and clients can be halfway across the world from the construction site of the building they are financing.

The use of camera drones can give investors and clients an up-close and personal view of the ongoing project while they are off-site, which helps significantly to improve customer relationships and make managing projects remotely easier for project managers.

Construction worker operating a drone

Improving Safety

Accidents are inevitable, which is why safety is extremely important when working in construction. UAVs allow construction project managers to oversee sites in great detail from a remote location ensuring workers are never put at risk. The information gathered from these inspections can be used to enhance workflows or develop new site logistics plans that identify areas of interest.

The construction industry operates in high-risk environments, and although there will always be lapses in safety, drones give us the ability to greatly reduce these lapses by catching safety violations as they happen and delivering that information to supervisors. From there, supervisors can discourage the behavior from reoccurring and use the evidence however they deem appropriate.

OSHA reports that nearly 40% of the total injuries in the construction industries can be attributed to falls. By using drones, we can better understand why incidents occur, taking the measures to reduce the number of incidents per capita.

Machine Learning

Drone-generated data allows construction managers to create more accurate 3D BIM models and high-resolution orthomosaic maps that measure true distances and elevation. By overlaying drone-generated point cloud data over the 3D BIM model, project managers can track up-to-date progress on projects, trim costs, and identify mistakes before they can produce costly setbacks.

In most cases, drone software can be integrated with in-house programs currently in use, as well as with popular Autodesk design tools like AutoCAD, InfraWorks, Civil 3D, Navisworks, and Revit for construction companies, the return on investment (ROI) is enough of a reason to support the adoption of drones.

UAVs cost less to fly and take faster, more accurate measurements than a human survey team. They can be operated remotely to collect additional data on a site as many times as needed while removing any risks associated with sending workers to a potentially dangerous location.

So…where do I go from here?

You come talk to us! The use of drones in construction is becoming heavily adopted by contractors all over the world. Goldman Sachs reports the estimated global spending on drones in construction for the next two years is approximately $11.2 billion. Such significant growth only proves that drones and UAVs are shaping the industry and are just the beginning for what's to come.

The intelligence generated by drones allows construction project managers to distribute their resources with greater efficiency, increase safety, and reduce overall project costs. The benefits of such cutting-edge technology are endless, which is why heavy consideration on what software to implement is important.

Chetu develops custom drone software technology to streamline project time by building a solution intended for any contractor's specific needs. Drone management and automation software can be seamlessly integrated by experienced programmers familiar with popular drone adapters and inspection time is reduced with precise drone inspection software.

Request a consultation to build your own custom drone software and begin the process of transitioning from traditional methods and implement a more effective one.


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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