As the construction industry moves further into the age of technology, significant changes have been made in daily operations to maximize efforts on the jobsite. Most recently, companies have begun using drones to provide detailed, birds-eye views of projects throughout the construction process to allow project managers to obtain real-time data. The easy access to this information has been proven to help stop potential problems before they arise, increase time-saving and provide added safety to the jobsite.
Drones in construction have made surveying easier and more cost-effective by making data collection a simple, painless process by significantly reducing human error involved.
Here’s how it works: Drones are equipped with cameras, geo-location sensors and infrared sensors to capture precise details about the environmental and physical jobsite prior to and during construction. These high-res images and the information collected create a rich digital representation of the project and allow builders to spot construction challenges before stepping foot on site and measure progress during construction.
With traditional practices, it could take a manned survey team up to two months to accomplish the same results a data drone can complete in 20 minutes, which saves builders the money required to staff a team of surveyors for an extended period of time, while also minimizing error.
One of the most notable benefits of utilizing drones on the jobsite is added safety. Drones eliminate the need for workers to traverse potentially high-risk territories, such as dangerous heights, rail lines or uneven terrain to gather data about the property. Preventable issues like shallow excavations, unstable structures, equipment placements or worker safety also become much easier to anticipate.
Using drones aerially allows companies to execute difficult inspections and keep tabs on everything that enters and exits the jobsite from wherever comfortable, like from the safety of the parking lot. Additionally, to reduce theft, drones can be set on a timer to regularly survey the site at night and alert the project manager via smartphone. This can also be used to track extreme weather changes that could affect the jobsite.
Risk Management and Time Savings
The data that drones provide can help mitigate risk by identifying potential problems before they cause contractors to lose money on a site that may not reap a high resale value, like land that suffers from gas leaks or erosion.
“A company that owns a drone is more nimble because it doesn’t have to rely on private plane or helicopter services,” shared KWA Construction President Brian Webster with the Associated Press. In the interest of time-saving, images and video captured by drones can be almost instantly shared with clients, so they can see construction progress in real time. Gone are the days where the client must be on the site, eliminating potentially expensive travel budgets.
The use of drones on the jobsite surged 239% last year, as the industry continues to move in a “smarter” direction. KWA Construction has been incorporating drones into their regular operations for a long while, but some recent projects include The Village at Rayzor Ranch and The Cooper apartment complexes.
“Drones are indisputably the answer to several complications that often arise in the construction process,” said Corey Pruitt, Senior Project Manager at KWA Construction. “From safety to convenience, the use of drones is the future of this industry.”