• Overwatch Aerial Imaging

Drones In Construction

UAVs provide vital perspectives of busy work sites.

The use of drones on construction sites has grown exponentially over the past few years, and is quickly becoming an aerial revolution within the workforce. The utilization of drones, otherwise known as UAS, are expected to increase with construction companies due to their beneficial impact and improvement on project execution and the overall work environment. While typically used by project managers, technology managers, and superintendents, drone-generated data can greatly enhance the planning, timeliness, and quality control within the construction industry.

By providing accurate details and a complete solution to manage operations, UAS have strongly improved the workflow in all stages of construction. In terms of pre-construction, land surveying has radically changed with the addition of this technology. By providing unique high definition aerial perspectives of project sites, drones have been able to revamp initial estimation methods and help contractors come up with unique ideas and solutions to increase the accuracy of their bidding process. Orthomosaic data also allows companies to track their resources and progress in real time.

Likewise, while construction companies are always looking to improve the safety of their work environment, the common goal is typically to reduce the number of man hours in the field as much as possible. With drones, contractors can sufficiently complete land surveying without disrupting site workflow and increase life safety margins. Drone operators are able to control from off-site, which drastically reduces the risk of accidents when compared to conventional land surveying done by on-site workers. In regards to diligence, drones also provide a convenient solution for inspections of oversized or complex sites that may otherwise be a physical hazard to workers.

Not only are aerial surveys significantly safer than ground-based methods they are also far more cost efficient. When removing the requirement for men on operation areas, drone-generated data ultimately reduces the amount of money that construction companies pay in relation to labor costs. Likewise, drones can be used for on-site surveillance purposes and help to lower the cost of security personnel and vehicles typically required to monitor construction zones after hours.

Research shows that drone utilization can gather and process job site data up to 200 times faster than data collected via conventional land surveying methods. With the ability to gather information and process this data on-site drones are likely to boost client confidence and trust, and result with winning more bids than the companies who are still using outdated methods. Drones are able to accurately report and monitor progress by producing step-by-step tangible documentation to share with clients, management teams, and if needed, in the event of insurance claims. This aspect improves project timeliness, enhances communication and logistics based on captured images, and provides the tools needed to assess performance throughout the course of the construction process.

Until recently the only way to conduct LiDAR operations was on foot, or mounted to an airplane or helicopter which is extremely costly and time consuming. Now LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors on drones are able to capture this data which used to require an aircraft carrying large heavy LiDAR sensors and an entire crew to complete the task. LiDAR ensures a more accurate approach when surveying and mapping both during pre construction during earthworks and throughout the life of the construction project. This method offers the opportunity for companies to improve the way they collect data and cut costs by reducing the time and number of people required for the job.

Most construction companies would agree that drones are well worth the investment. For those who are unsure, expand your knowledge and explore the ways drone-generated technology can improve your business, your efficiency, and your work environment.