People have been building things for a long time – that’s for sure. Construction has been around for centuries, and it should be round for many more. However, construction today isn’t the same as it was a thousand years ago. As with anything, things modernise and develop. Today, things are moving faster than ever, and new ideas, methods and technologies are entering the construction industry every year.
That’s why drones have started to make such a big impact. While they aren’t helping the actual labour process (yet) – they’ve still got a huge role to play in the construction industry, and that role is growing. Drones have helped revolutionalize the planning stages of construction, along with land surveying and data capturing. And these are just a few of the uses for drones in construction.
Construction is one industry that’s really taken drones and run with them. Drone use in construction is up year-on-year, and that looks et to continue. There are two simple reasons why drones are so popular in construction – they can save developers time and money. Builders love drones because they can provide an aerial view of either sites or potential sites with simple and affordable ease.
Previously, you had to pay for a manned aircraft to get such an aerial view. The cost of doing that can be prohibitive to many building firms, especially smaller ones. Even those that could afford to do it, wouldn’t do it regularly.
Now with drones, you can get up-to-date images as often as you like. Every day if you need them. That means you can get a real feel for how the build is progressing. Drones allow builders the chance to develop better plans, track progress and monitor any issues with the construction by providing an unrivalled wide-view of a site at a fraction of the cost.
Key benefits of using drones in construction
Mapping a site
Creating maps of construction sites used to be difficult and labour-intensive. That also made it expensive. Hiring a plane obviously isn’t cheap, and that often meant only large building firms could afford to do it for big projects. Now, a drone can access any area of the site you want with relative ease, while capturing all the information and footage and relaying it in real-time to computer mapping software.
Inspecting construction sites
Most construction sites need regular checks and inspections – but this can be dangerous work. Now drones can carry out real-time inspections of high risk areas so you don’t have to send people to them. This helps improve health and safety on a site, which should be a construction firms’ biggest priority.
Images can be relayed back to an advanced modular ground control system, allowing health and safety managers the chance to inspect a site without leaving their office.
Building surveys are another area where drones have really helped. Checking something like a roof used to be difficult, expensive and dangerous. Especially if it’s a particularly difficult roof to access. Now you can simply fly a drone up there and analyse live video in real time. That means you don’t have to spend time and money on scaffolding and ladders. Inspecting roofs like this also help improve health and safety on site dramatically.Building surveys that use drones are much faster, safer and cheaper.
Disadvantages of using drones in construction
While drones have tons of benefits in the construction industry, there are a few key points you need to be aware of. Let’s have a look at them:
Firstly, you generally need two people operating a commercial drone at the same time. It’s not a one-man job, and these people need to be highly trained in drone use while being fully aware of the planned flight path and any other relevant issues.
Those operating your drones will need to have plenty of experience doing so in the construction industry, and have specific knowledge of the exact model of drone they’re in control of.
You also need to be fully aware of any weather issues that could prevent the drone‘s safe or effective use. Cloud and wind are the two most common problems for many commercial drones. Too much wind could make the drone impossible (or unsafe) to fly, and too much cloud cover could prevent the right images being taken.
Drones are also expensive. While they should save many construction firms a lot of money in the long-run, they have a high up-front cost. This should hopefully come down in the next few years as the technology becomes more common.
Drone use in the construction industry has seen massive growth in recent years, and this looks set to continue. With technology improving for drones every year, they look set to help construction even more over the next decade.