Over the last few years, drones have gone from being a novel, experimental technology for construction work to a commonly used resource.
The reason drone technology has been adopted so quickly in construction work is that it presents an array of compelling benefits. These include improved safety, savings, faster data collection, and real-time project and material tracking, among others.
All of the benefits construction companies realize from using drones amount to significant improvements in safety on the job site as well as significant savings and improvements in ROI on construction projects.
Let’s take a closer look—here are the five biggest benefits construction operations are realizing from using drones in their work.
Using drones in your construction work can help you save money by:
Identifying potential problems early, before they lead to costly delays.
Saving time in data collection, leading to fewer hours of labor needed for the work.
Conducting grade evaluations, to help you avoid building in the wrong place, which could lead to rework and delays.
Conducting stockpile volume measurements to catch delivery errors early and ensure that you received what you paid for.
Improving overall ROI on an operation by improving efficiency and helping you stay on schedule.
There are places on construction sites that may be too dangerous for a site inspector to enter, such as the boundary of a sinkhole, or the detritus around an abandoned building that needs to be torn down.
A drone can quickly fly over these areas and collect data to make work determinations, providing fast, on-demand information to inform your work, and removing the need for employees to put themselves in hazardous situations. Drone data can also show clearly how a site is being maintained, which can have important implications for safety.
When considering the hierarchy of controls, a drone is at the very top—instead of mitigating hazards, as the other levels of controls do, a drone can completely eliminate them by replacing the need for employees to put themselves in danger in order to collect visual data.
Another safety consideration for construction sites is trying to keep civilians out of the site. Aerial data from a drone can quickly help you see potential access points so you can close them off, preventing people from entering the site.
3. Improved Data = Improved Decision Making
When working on a large construction site, data is king.
But the problem with data is that it’s always getting old—heavy rainfall may cause a site to change significantly overnight, altering the reality of the work that needs to be done.
If problems are missed for even a few days while a new site report is created, the delay could result in setbacks to the project, which could result in costly delays. Drones allow project managers to make more informed decisions by providing data collected in real time.
4. Better Planning
All of the data a drone collects can be used to improve project planning, helping provide an accurate picture of the site before breaking ground.
Photos, videos, orthomosaics, and 3D models of a site made with drone data can help planners visualize the completed project.
3D models can also be used to identify elevation changes and drainage areas, which can be crucial for determining where to dig, build, or store stockpiles needed for the construction project.
5. Make Your Operations More Scalable and Repeatable
After a construction company begins incorporating drones into its workflows it can quickly scale their use, making operations predictable and repeatable.
For large corporations, this could mean a multi-site rollout of drone operations, providing nationwide coverage that allows for immediate visual insights into the status of all the projects underway.
Imagine pulling up a dashboard and getting a real-time view showing the status of every single project your company is working on. This data can be powerful not just for project planning, but also for client relations, letting you give clients updates that show them exactly how much the work has progressed in images that were captured within the last 24 hours.
Want to start realizing the benefits drones provide in your construction work? DroneUp can help.
We have a team of expert drone pilots with thousands of hours in the field who are ready to help you get the data they need.