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How Drones are Opening New Horizons in the Construction Industry



Innovations and technological advancements have made our lives a lot better. The use of drones in the construction industry is a perfect example, which promises some major prospects. New drone technology is changing the way construction companies will conduct surveys and collect data for years to come! In fact, drones are helping the construction industry and associated businesses to improve productivity, safety, proficiency, reliability, and efficiency already. These and many other aspects of drones are opening new opportunities for the construction industry.


Listed below are some of the ways in which drone technology is benefiting this industry already!



Fast and Reliable Way to Acquire Data


The deadlines on construction projects are always tight. To streamline the operations, it is imperative to update the record and drive key decisions within the anticipated time frame. This is the area where drones come into play.



The site managers can get a complete picture of the site anywhere and within a few hours notice. The images produced by drone cameras are full of complex data that can be used to produce real-time images, measurements, agricultural analysis, 3D models, and topographical maps. This also allows the site manager to analyze the data in the comfort of their office.


This means data collection is faster than ever and everyone can stay up-to-date with the progress of an ongoing project when you have a drone on your team!



Logistics Management and Site Planning


Site planning and logistics support has always been important for a construction site. Since construction sites are reopening after the COVID-19 restrictions, logistics and site planning are the areas that are currently under stress. This requires more attention and vigilance with a depleted workforce.


Furthermore, the onsite workers also rely on well-managed logistics and site planning. This ensures the safe, efficient, and on-time completion of a task. The proper use of drone technology can expedite construction site operations. Below are some of the most prominent ways in which drones can be helpful with site planning and logistics management.





1. Initial Planning and Site Construction


Prior to starting the actual construction, the contractors need to build a site. For this purpose, they need correct data such as area, surrounding structures, soil condition, etc.


The site manager needs to seek the answers to a wide range of questions before going any further. By utilizing drone technology, it is easier to find the answers to such questions in a quick yet cost-effective manner.


The tools and software used by drones can help create 3D maps, orthomosaic maps, topographical maps, elevation maps, and real-time images. Moreover, taking measurements and conducting a survey is much easier with this technology since you can take measurements directly from the 3D models and make your own annotations that you can then share with your team.


This doesn't have to be a pricey transition either. Contractors don’t have to set up an entire drone department to get the benefits of drones, localized companies like us at Teslas Drones are offering such services at affordable prices. So getting drones for your company doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of training!


2. On-Time Delivery of Required Equipment and Its Placement


With help of a drone, one can easily locate vacant and suitable places for equipment placements, ensuring that each piece of equipment is easily accessible and has appropriate room for safe movements. For instance, designing the drop-off locations and turn-around points is a breeze from a drone perspective.


In order to keep a project on its schedule, the timely availability of equipment is critical. With this technology, you can easily find new locations and take necessary measurements such as distance, area, and elevation in order to better place or move heavy equipment.


3. Proper Inventory Management


The footage and information gathered through drones can provide essential insights into the situation of material inventory. Construction sites have a lot going on in them and sometimes it can be difficult to assess how much material you have and if it's being properly stored.


Drones can also measure the area of dirt piles and the area of holes, giving you a better idea of how much product you have in comparison to how much is needed to complete the job. Once again, drones can be helpful while providing updated information. The aerial images can give a clear idea of available resources. Therefore, the site managers can properly maintain material inventory.


4. Planning Trucking Routes


Finding trucks and other heavy machinery at a construction site is a normal scene. However, the movement of these trucks without any planned route can be a serious hazard that few think about. Paths leading to construction sites need to be wider and more spacious for big machinery to maneuver safely. Thankfully this is a perfect task for drones!


Drones can take all the footage needed to create efficient trucking pathways in under an hour. They are also incredibly maneuverable and with the right pilot at the sticks, no terrain is impassable. This is especially helpful for treacherous terrain or dense forests where ground crews could face time delays or serious injuries.


Planning truck pathways is crucial for the hassle-free management of a construction site and it's clear to us that drones will be the future tech for this department.


Accurate and Comprehensive Data


Apart from the other advantages of aerial photography and inspection, the data collected through a single drone flight is sufficient to map a site.


It offers comprehensive information, which in turn makes it possible to create a digital map of the site. This includes fully up-to-date interactive 2D and/or 3D digital models that allow you to take measurements such as height, depth, length, area, and volume with 99.4% accuracy. With these maps, it is possible to measure distances and volumes accurately. So, the chances of human error are quite diminished.

You can use this data to measure stockpiles, perform detailed calculations, create mock-ups, detect plan deviations, conduct equipment, and infrastructure inspections, monitor site progression, update aerial photos, or for generating site plans with a fully interactive product.



Increased Profitability


No doubt, using a drone for construction-related operations tends to be cost-effective. The traditional way of data collection is time-consuming and involves hefty labor costs.

At present, the top-most surveying companies are taking advantage of drones while collecting accurate data. The reason for such preference is faster and better documentation.


In addition, conducting repeated and timely surveys is a viable way to ensure the smooth progress of the work. Besides, the chances of errors are also minimized.


Fixing the fault at the initial stage doesn’t cost much. This not only improves the performance but the quality of work. Another advantage of the collected data is the ability to perform analysis.


The insights obtained through data analysis can help as benchmarks for future projects. This saves a lot, as the company doesn’t need to hire data analytics services for obtaining the key insights.


All these benefits tend to lower the overall cost of a project, which helps to improve profitability.



Eradicate the Faults at the Earliest Possible Stage


Usually, design errors are the major cause of disputes associated with construction projects. Incomplete and faulty designs can cause unexpected delays, so it's best to discover them before they even become a problem. As the project stays behind schedule, it also disturbs the budget.


However, drone technology allows contractors to gather accurate and up-to-date data by simply flying the drone over a construction site. This allows construction workers to monitor the project more thoroughly and more often, spotting problems that could have otherwise been missed by traditional methods.


Having a daily 3D model of your construction site is a great example of quality drone footage that can give site managers incredible foresight. There's nothing quite like zooming into a loose bolt 100 feet in the air and determining how problematic that would be in 3 months had you not seen it.


Using drones also means there is no need to halt operations, drones can easily navigate a construction site. In addition to this, uploading the data to a cloud-based platform allows instant access anywhere and at any time. This means you can have multiple people examining the drone data, increasing the likelihood of spotting mistakes before they grow.


Companies everywhere are turning to drones to gather information quickly before deformations and abnormalities turn into a much bigger problem. We can use the information collected to pinpoint issues, monitor progress, prevent worksite accidents, and expedite projects.



Monitoring Work Remotely Via Images, Mapping, and 3D Models


The conventional way of monitoring the construction site requires visiting the area physically. Management has no other option but to depend on the information that reaches them through site workers. This makes it incredibly easy to lose information or get information wrong.


However, things have changed a lot, as management can now remotely monitor the progress of ongoing work. A drone at a site can capture real-time images of a project in a matter of minutes.


The data is then instantly shared via the internet and an authorized person can access it anywhere and at any time. As a result, owners can evaluate progress and share their thoughts with the site managers instantly!


Not only this, but the managers can also monitor the work carried out at multiple sites. So, this cuts the cost that the managers have to incur while traveling physically to such areas and it means managers have time to take on more jobs.



Mitigating the Risk Factor


The use of drones in the construction industry has significantly maximized job site safety. The ability to monitor and identify safety hazards is much easier and safer with drones.


Drones are able to navigate hazardous wastelands, analyze an icy roof, chart uncharted lands, and otherwise move unimpeded in most environments while also maintaining their ability to collect crucial data. This is huge! Isn't this why we made drones?


This nearly eradicates the chances of causing injury to workers by not exposing them to dangerous areas. No longer do workers have to climb ladders to measure a roof or navigate contaminated work sites. Drones can take a lot of danger out of managing a construction site.


Apart from the safety of the workers, drone technology also ensures the safety of the civilians who are moving within the vicinity of the construction site. Don't let your workers fall on your clients because they were measuring a roof, use a drone instead!



Taking Advantage of Thermal Drone


Thermal drones have already proven highly beneficial for the construction industry. Thermal images can present you with sophisticated data that can be used for diagnosing problems outright, or the images can be processed through specialized software for further evaluation, accuracy, and report output.


Thermal imaging cameras can also save the measurements of temperatures in every pixel using radiometry, making the data exceptionally accurate and easily analyzed from the comfort of your desk.


Thermal imaging has always been a necessity when it comes to inspection, but now drones are able to provide a whole new demographic of companies with affordable thermal data.


Thermal imaging drones can detect roofing insulation leaks, find dead solar panel cells, inspect power stations, take precise agricultural inspections, help aid in search and rescues, and even help archeologists discover something new!

Thermal imaging can be used for many different sectors from construction, solar installation, roof inspections, mining, electrical inspections, agricultural inspections, surveillance, wildlife surveying, gas leak detections, and many more yet undiscovered uses for thermal drones!


Final Words


With the increasing trend of using drones in the construction industry, the future trajectory looks promising for this technology. There are numerous areas within the construction industry that are going to seek benefits from drones in the future.


The use of technology in this sector is transforming the traditional methods of doing work. One can say that the introduction of drones into the construction industry is a viable way to refurbish this industry. Drones have come a long way from just taking pictures of houses or being used by the military, now they are collecting data at an unprecedented rate and accuracy for all kinds of applications! In our opinion, drones in the construction industry are here to stay and will only become more of a necessity as they continue to improve.




References

Drones in Construction: How Construction Companies Are Using Drones. (2021, July 14). Retrieved from https://uavcoach.com/drones-in-construction/

Perroud, D. (2020, August 20). Drones in construction and infrastructure – Why and how to use them. Retrieved from https://wingtra.com/drone-mapping-applications/drones-in-construction-and-infrastructure/

How to Perform Site Planning and Logistics Checks with DroneDeploy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dronedeploy.com/blog/how-to-perform-site-planning-and-logistics-checks-with-dronedeploy/

Victor. (2019, November 12). What are the benefits of thermal imaging drone services? Retrieved from https://balmoreuav.co.uk/benefits-of-thermal-imaging/

Drone Inspection Workflow. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dronedeploy.com/solutions/inspection/




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