Drone Solutions for the Construction Sector

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Drone Solutions for the Construction Sector

In today's fast-paced ecosystem where technology is evolving like never before, you can't really afford to rely on traditional methods to monitor the progress of your sites - gone are the days when we had to depend on written reports and photos taken from eye level for construction progress monitoring. Let drones do the job for you! The PwC report states that the implementation of drones in your construction efforts make a crucial difference in managing costs, controlling risks, increasing safety and influencing outcomes. 
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What's happening in the Construction Sector?

"The construction industry is ripe for disruption" - the opening statement from McKinsey's research paper reads. Wondering why? Large-scale projects reportedly take 20% longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80% over the budget. You might probably be thinking of the 'Whys' in this context. Well, if I may tell you, in today's fast-paced ecosystem where technology is evolving like never before, you can't really afford to rely on traditional methods anymore. Gone are the days when we had to depend on written reports and photos taken from eye level to monitor our sites' progress.

Drones for Construction Progress Monitoring

Clearly, there is a need for greater visibility and proper communication between the stakeholders. A report published by AutoDesk & FMI reported that insufficient project data and miscommunication causes 52% of re-works on construction sites. Apparently, a comprehensive real-time monitoring is the need of the hour, and right now, drone-powered solutions are the only way to achieve this.

That being said, let's talk about the PwC report that discusses about the impact of drones in the construction sector. It states that the implementation of drones in your construction efforts make a crucial difference in managing costs, controlling risks, increasing safety and influencing outcomes. Drone-powered solutions are particularly advantageous to the Construction sector. Drone-based solutions make operations Safer, Faster, Cost-Effective and Efficient.

No matter what the obstacles are – rain, dust, extreme temperatures - no worries, drones capture data unhindered. Drones can just effortlessly fly around and capture high-resolution data in a matter of minutes. A single drone flight produces over 44 million data points per sqkm, which can be represented in different formats such as the orthomosaic, point cloud, DTM, DSM, 3D Models, and so on.

Applications of Drones in Construction Projects

  • Planning and Design: Well begun is half done. Even before executing a construction project, a topographic survey of the site can give you a complete understanding of the environment where the project will progress. For instance, it can give you insights about possible drainage points, elevation changes, space for storing materials, etc. This can be used as a foundation for designers, architects, local authorities and engineers to work on. You can superimpose the 2D and 3D maps generated by drones onto their environment. This will give us a complete understanding of how our new building might look, with respect to the existing surrounding area. Moreover, this practice will also help us to evaluate our building from both a practical and an aesthetic point of view.

  • Execution: Of course! While drones already offer unparalleled advantages right from the planning phase, the greatest or the most popular value in the construction sector is obviously during the actual execution phase. Drones can create 3D virtual reconstructions, popularly known as Digital Twins. A digital twin is leveraged from the drone data, and it delivers real-time end-to-end visibility across the construction site, that too, in the comfort of your office. Without a site visit or never-ending physical meetings, the Investors and key stakeholders can keep tabs on the progress of the construction site. Moreover, all the data obtained by the drone can be utilised to create geo-referenced models of the project area, which in turn help us extract information like precise distances, volumetric measurements, and much more. Likewise, this data will also help you keep tabs on the availability of materials and ensure stockpiles are properly replenished to avoid any further delays. Furthermore, you can overlay your original building blueprint on the orthomap generated by drone data, to make a highly precise comparison of your project As-Built vs As-Designed.

  • Maintenance and Asset Inspection: Maintenance and Asset Inspection should be done with equal importance. A drone-powered inspection can even open avenues for Predictive Maintenance. What’s holding us back? Drones can literally fly around anywhere! By leveraging this tool, we can visually inspect huge assets located in hard-to-reach areas more quickly and effectively. Rapid evaluation and response are two of the many benefits of drone-powered maintenance/asset inspections; this is achieved using the drone software that is highly compatible with desktop or mobile devices. Moreover, not just HD sensors, drones can also be equipped with advanced technologies, such as LiDAR, thermal, or gas sensors. After all, these drone imageries can be utilised by owners for marketing purposes.


Construction Progress Monitoring with FEDS

Team FEDS (feds.ae) - the first and only drone-service provider in the Middle East to achieve an ISO 21384-3:2019 certification reported that, on an average, clients using their drone services for construction progress monitoring have seen a 25% increase in reporting turnaround; a 32% decrease in snag list completion rate and 25% reduction in re-work costs; saving 5 hours of unnecessary meetings per week.

We have an article that talks about how the team FEDS effectively got rid of construction re-works using the Phantom 4RTK. With this incredible tool, it only took about thirty minutes to set up and two to three flights to collect the data for progress monitoring.

Also, would you like to know about How Drones Help Speed Up the Construction of The World's Largest Solar Plant? Read it here. Team FEDS conducted monthly flights to capture the progress of the construction. They achieved a GSD (Ground Sampling Distance) of 5 cm, Vertical accuracy of 7 cm and Horizontal accuracy of 7 cm. 105,000 high-resolution images were captured to make 17 Orthomosaic maps, with an accuracy up to 5 cm.

Are you into construction? If I may repeat, drone-powered solutions are all you need. Convinced yet? Let's talk!
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About the author

Maria Thomas

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