Six Factors to Consider When Adding Drones to Your Construction Business

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Tech experts hash out the top considerations for construction companies wanting to add unmanned aerial vehicles to their business plan.

Drones have gone far beyond being a toy for technophiles. The construction industry has increasingly embraced drones as an invaluable ally for site surveying prior to the first dirt being shoveled. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are enabling construction operators to map out a potential site remotely, lessening the need for humans to make needless trips. Detailed, high-resolution images not easily obtained using traditional construction surveying equipment can be provided by drones, enabling planners to more accurately pinpoint potential issues and allow for more effective deployment of equipment once construction begins.


Remote Safety in Action

Drones can help construction operators perform a vital role in site safety, monitoring various site hazards and safety concerns. They can quickly inspect buildings and other structures under construction, finding defects such as leaks or cracks and alert site managers to take early corrective actions. Using drones to perform building inspections avoids the need to place workers at risk.

“Simply put, drones enable us to provide needed views that are inaccessible, or otherwise too risky and expensive to capture by any other means,” says Ryan Holmes, program manager of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for Multivista, which provides UAV/drone services with remote pilots on staff. “We are using drones to help anywhere, from assessing land clearing and earthwork, insurance coverage, inspections, through to project completion and maintenance thereafter.”


At a construction site, dispatching drones instead of workers not only gives construction operators advantages in speed and flexibility, drones provide the construction operator the ability to more thoroughly view a site.

“As a reality capture tool, drones provide the ability to capture an aerial snapshot of a project at any time,” says Bryan Baker, a pilot, UAS sales manager and certified mapping scientist at Leica. “More data can be captured in a 20-minute flight than can be captured in a week of traditional terrestrial measuring. Additionally, the data set is much denser and richer, allowing more detailed analysis and improved accuracy for some applications. This all translates into quicker and more complete decision making at the project management level.”

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