• Overwatch Aerial Imaging

Drone Roles In BIM Workflow

Drones have proven to be an invaluable enterprise solution to many problems in the construction industry. Taking the place of many roles and fulfilling numerous tasks in regards to construction workflow, drones have become an invaluable tool in making construction sites more productive, efficient, and safer. The data gathered by drones can benefit every aspect of the construction process, from the earthworks and pre-construction to daily operations and the marketing team.

BIM, or Building Information Modeling refers to the process of creating and managing digital content on a construction project across all phases of development. BIM allows visual data to be processed and shared to stakeholders and management. Thanks to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) we are able to quickly and efficiently gather this vital data. The BIM information is used by architects, engineers, and construction during

1. Planning

2. Design

3. Construction

When BIM is implemented properly it improves communication between all parties involved. BIM increases efficiency and decreases potential errors throughout a project. Construction companies have embraced the use of drone-generated technology to strengthen their BIM workflow. The use of drones allows for frequent and accurate updates on the state of the project.

Drones can accomplish the following tasks to help support and enhance the BIM workflow:

Pre-construction land surveying

During the planning phase engineers and architects have to wait weeks or months for data to be collected, processed and delivered by surveyors conducting measurements on the ground. Drone technology has made this process far more efficient and cost-effective by collecting and processing vital topography and elevation data in a fraction of the time compared to conventional methods. High resolution maps can also be produced quickly to help design and pre-construction teams plan accordingly to any perceived challenges. These maps also give design and planning teams the ability to calculate volume such as cut and fill as well as measuring surface area and lengths with the click of their mouse.


Traditional methods of LiDAR scanning require the LiDAR sensors to be flown over an area mounted to conventional fixed wing manned aircraft. Needles to say this method is costly. LiDAR fixed to drones allows for huge cost savings, as well as increased site safety. LiDAR sensors carried by small unmanned systems allow for safe operation in populated areas, as well as areas which may be hazardous due to the terrain.

Aerial Photography

Clients and investors expect updates at various stages of development. Having aerial image and video documentation throughout the life of a construction project is a significant tool to strengthen trust and confidence between builders and investors. Our cloud based 3D Models and photos allow stakeholders to see the status of their investment at anytime from any location.

Progress Reporting and Documentation

Our Drone Operators conduct their inspections outside of the construction site. This limits the risk of an accident and prevents disruption of workflow on the site. Conduction of Bi-Weekly drone operations will ensure up-to-date information is always available to management. This stream of data allows for earlier detection of mistakes which aids in avoiding the costs associated with remediation and deadline set backs

Infrastructure InspectionInfrastructure inspection can be extremely hazardous to the workers who are conducting the work. OSHA reported over 5,000 construction workers died in 2016 which equates to 14 deaths a day. Drones operated from a safe location can quickly gather high resolution photos which are processed to generate interactive 3D models that allow detailed inspection and documentation of areas needing repair or attention. Whether it be a high-rise in populated area, or bridges that span interstates or bodies of water, drones have become an invaluable asset to conducting inspections safely, quickly, and more detailed than ever.

If your company is in need of our services shoot us an email at info@overwatchaerials.com.

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