Drones are one of the many technological advancements which has seen rapid growth in recent years with an uptake in both personal and professional use. The ability to fly around specific locations capturing unique aerial content provides many possibilities and applications for a variety of different industries, even in the world of construction.
Drones have been a fascinating trend in the construction industry with the use of drones increasing by 239% in over a year, more than any other commercial industry. The ease at which construction companies can capture footage has provided them with a viable tool which offers numerous advantages on the building site. Some of the many uses for drones include security surveillance, equipment tracking, site surveying, mapping topography and personnel safety.
Building sites are home to a lot of expensive equipment and potentially dangerous areas which require frequent surveillance. With equipment security and the health and safety of individuals on the minds of all project managers, drones are a useful asset as they can be used to conduct surveillance across the site using the camera to identify trespassers and avoid any damage or theft to equipment or structures.
Losing track of equipment is a nightmare for any project manager and it often takes a while to cover the site on foot to identify whether the equipment is where it needs to be. As the average commercial drone can fly between 30-60kph, it can considerably increase the amount of ground that can be covered in a short period of time. This saves so much time in comparison to a security guard walking around the site on foot. Furthermore, drones can recognise equipment that should be terminated or if equipment is malfunctioning.
Whether it’s monitoring the progress of a project or inspecting the condition of current structures on-site, drones have become increasingly effective in both areas. Drones can give clients a visible sense of the site progression which is particularly useful if they can’t be on site due to logistical or safety reasons. It assures clients that their money is being used effectively. Drones can also improve internal collaboration between teams while improving safety efforts by inspecting the conditions of existing structures.
This is an essential aspect during the planning stage of any construction project, particularly those which are complex and large in scale. Drones can be used to survey the landscape and provide the decision makers with detailed high resolution images which can uncover vulnerable areas and reveal costly blunders in designs ill-suited for certain terrain.
The safety of personnel is another important consideration, one which drones can also be of benefit. Drones can provide measurements which are often dangerous under hazardous weather conditions and unstable structures. In fact drones have increased personnel safety by 55% on construction sites.
Drones’ current capabilities provide project managers with an opportunity to reduce costs, save time and limit risks while improving workflow, accuracy, communication, and efficiency. Given the potential of these technologies, larger scale implementation will only increase levels of efficiency for future projects. Additionally, drones have the potential to do much more in the future such as delivering heavy equipment completing remote visual expectations and much more.
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