Brave New World - Drones and the Construction Industry

Drones and the construction industry

We are, we believe, just at the beginning, at the birth, of a whole new digital era for the construction industry – an era that will see accelerating efficiencies and improved construction practices.

 At the outset of a project, drones (UAVs) will deliver aerial photos and videos to be used to survey a given site, the information used for map building, design, marketing and PR, and for discussions with local authorities, as well as generating valuable information for planning the first stage of the build.

 As the project progresses, drone photography will help with day-to-day on-site decision making, materials co-ordination, monitoring progress and keeping the client in the loop. High-risk areas will be examined and recorded from close up, and from miles away, managers will reassure themselves that the crane they ordered has indeed arrived on the site. Footage will be used for health and safety training and for induction of workers.

 And as the structure grows, drones will inspect those hard or expensive to reach places, identifying issues for further attention or for using in marketing and staff motivational images – in the UK, drones are allowed to rise as much as 400 feet above ground level.

 Companies will use 3D modeling to enhance their information flow; waypoint route flying will become the norm ensuring the targeted area is fully covered; volumetric measurements of say, excavated materials, will be simple, cost-effective and accurate, and thermal imaging scanning will play a key role in identifying issues with concrete works and more.

 This new era, in which both fixed camera and UAV operators will be key participants, is upon us. Planning and evaluation at all stages of a project will be the beneficiaries of this fast evolving technology and with the obvious positive impact on the bottom line.

Innovators in the construction and UAV industries need to grasp this opportunity. These are exciting times and Lunar wants to be involved.