The property and construction industries need to embrace technology to help improve efficiencies across all touchpoints. Here, Elliott Garrett offers his thoughts on why the use of drones can take construction innovation to new heights.
When it comes to surveying, the property industry is a dinosaur that still uses slow, archaic processes. Yet through embracing the ideas of new technologies, surveyors, developers, property funds and contractors alike can all reap the benefits of an innovation-driven industry that improves the efficiencies of a construction project.
The presence of drone technology within construction and property has already begun to signal changes in how the industry operates – and as innovation progresses, expect these changes to have a lasting impact. Paragon’s aerial surveyor, Elliott Garrett, has given his insights into how the use of drone surveying can help improve efficiencies and take construction innovation to new heights.
Plotting the project plans
To bring any construction project to life, you need a visual representation to gauge how you want the building to look and if your intended layout will work from practicality and appearance perspectives. Through using drones, 2D drawings can be created to depict the potential outline and size of a structure, checking the dimensions meet the required limits.
For a greater impression of what a project would look like on completion, 3D models and point clouds can also be devised through using drone technology, by pin-pointing co-ordinates based on the proposed size and dimensions of a space.
An aerial approach to measurements
The traditional method associated with gaining measurements within construction consists of operatives using tripods and lasers. Although these methods guarantee high levels of accuracy, time constraints may be a factor on the project and a speedier approach which gathers the same data may be required.
Comprehensively capturing every aspect of even the most complex buildings, drone surveying allows for quality data across all stages of the development process – be it during the mapping or planning stage, on the marketing process to ensure all dimensions are perfect for a sales brochure. Area measurements can be captured aerially too, allowing for accurate demise drawings to be created, and prior to any refurbishments or refits, measurements can be taken to help with planning proposals.
Drones can also assist in gaining volumetric measurements, such as providing the figures for the volume cut and fill measurements. Providing high quality data, this can be compiled in a faster, more efficient manner, when compared to alternative routes.
Making access less of an issue
When undertaking any survey, having ease of access to the property or development is key – but from both a practicality and permissions standpoint, it isn’t always straightforward. Drone surveying is one approach that can help make getting the right access easier.
For example, undertaking roof surveys in a highly urbanised area such as a city centre can be a difficult task, due to the practicalities of having to bring in the relevant machinery and obtaining the permissions to undertake the survey, as well as to potentially close off the surrounding area to operate the machinery. Through using drone technology, a roof survey can be efficiently completed, and data can be accurately captured, without the need for heavy machinery or cordoning off surrounding barriers.
Providing progress reports
With any construction project, the need to have constant reports and updates is imperative to both the delivery and financial aspects. The key to this is having an effective and efficient project monitoring tool – something which can be achieved through drone surveying.
Drones can help track the progress of a construction project from start to finish through using real-time imagery to create maps. This aerial view of a project can often provide developers with more insights into what stage of its lifecycle the project is at, as it gives a much greater visual representation. Using drones as a progression reporting tool is also a faster and cheaper option (much similar to the measurement), rather than requiring ‘boots on the ground’ to undertake monitoring reports.
Commercial advantage on completion
Not only can drone technology bring innovative ways to the planning and tracking aspects of a construction projects, it can also provide developers with a marketing tool to support from a commercial aspect.
Capturing a property in its entirety, using drones to create fly-over videos is an effective way of marketing the size and location of an office space, unit or warehouse. This footage allows potential suitors to view a property in a more in-depth way than the traditional photographs in a brochure, before physically visiting the site
When the fit-out of a commercial or industrial space has been completed, drone technology can be used to create a virtual tour of the property. This works two-fold – it acts as a sales tool for the property and allows developers to show off their skills and expertise on construction projects.
This footage can also be invaluable in the circumstance that any disputes arise between landlords and tenants. Through having visual evidence of the conditioning of a property prior to its leasing, both parties can save on the legal costs if a case is brought forward – for example, a dilapidations dispute – as the answer to the issue at hand is within the footage.
Innovation that goes sky high
The construction industry needs to embrace the idea of technology, and the use of drones will only help this movement. With advancements in photogrammetry software and hand-held scanners for drones on the horizon, this is an area that can certainly help improve efficiencies across construction projects.
Find out more about Paragon’s measured and drone services.