As a member of the bubbling commercial drone space, I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities of drones being integrated into the construction industry. There are several reasons why drones work in the construction space, and I plan to outline them in limited detail on this blog post. There are four major reasons drones are beneficial in the construction industry and I have coined them “The Big Four”. Drones save money, reduce risk, save time and provide unparalleled utility for firms that choose to utilize them. Incorporating drones is an immediate way for constructors to separate their firm from their competitors.
Drones save money for the constructors and their stakeholders who choose to incorporate them into their processes in a number of ways. The most prevalent example of this is when drones replace helicopters for the constructor’s photographic documentation of progress on a project. A constructor can utilize drones for the gathering of this media for less than the cost of fuel for a helicopter. Capital not going to the helicopter companies equates to more capital in your pocket at the end of the quarter.
Time is one of the most valuable commodities on a job site. Drones save time in a number of unique ways. Performing commercial operations is no walk in the park, but it is still a simpler and less time consuming process than calling out the helicopters. Per our many clients in the construction industry, drones get to your site faster and drone service providers generally deliver the media significantly faster than their helicopter counterparts. Monitoring of sites over a long period of time allows for better management of the site, saving time also.
Drones are incredible tools that help to reduce risk in the construction space in a number of ways. Utilizing drones to consistently monitor a job site is a relatively inexpensive experience. With a pair of eyes in the sky at all times, a site can easily check for obstructions, hazards, OSHA violations and much more in effectively no time. Drones can provide 360 degree coverage of an average job site in under fifteen minutes. The on site safety manager can easily view the media in real time. Media gathered from the drone can then easily be saved and stored for more detailed review of the job site.
One of the most exciting things to cover in this blog is all of the additional utility that drones can provide. Drones provide a level of additional utility unmatched by any other single tool on the job site. A unique application of drones in the construction industry is the production of 3D orthomosaic maps of job sites. These maps provide unique utility in a number of ways. The maps we have produced have been used to calculate volumetric measurements for the purpose of keeping easily indexable information and records of the progress of excavators on large job sites. These maps have also been used to determine slope and angles on the fly at the end of the day. 3D orthomosaic maps also allow engineers to add changes to their models and to run new scenarios to evaluate potential new ways to positively affect profitability and increase efficiency on the job site. All of these things add up to one very, very powerful tool for constructors to add to their repertoire.
Drones are also capable of gathering exceptional and unique media for the purpose of marketing for your firm. From simple pictures for your website to professionally produced and individually tailored marketing videos, drones provide a one of a kind double edged approach. Every functional operation can also serve as a mission to gather powerful media that can be used across the board for a number of purposes within a construction firm. I am yet to find another tool that provides this much utility.
In conclusion, drones are the hottest new tool to be taken advantage of by the seemingly always booming construction industry. Drones help constructors and their stakeholders save time, save money, reduce risk and provide unparalleled utility. I am very excited to see what evolves out of the blossoming symbiotic relationship between the construction industry and the commercial drone industry. Onward and upward.