Drones and Their Benefits in Construction Industry

We are exposed to drones or aware of it in everyday life – from taking an aerial image to rescue services – in one or the other way. Today, drones have become one of the most versatile tools on the construction site too. Whether it is the making pre-design processes more efficient, speeding up data collection or the documentation before pouring concrete, drones are playing a major role in helping the construction professionals work better and more productively. Precisely, drones have become the aerial eye of the construction site.

Here are a few key reasons as to why drones have had a bigger impact in managing construction projects

  • Cut-and-fill analysis made simple: Earlier many firms conducted a topographic survey and collected points on a grid all over their site to perform cut-and-fill analyses and comparisons. In fact, firms take several days to conduct the topographic survey, for large sites or areas with complex terrain. The introduction of drones has dramatically reduced the manual work needed to perform a cut-and-fill. With the help of drones, construction managers and industry has been able to streamline their cut-and-fill workflow while allowing the whole team to receive valuable insights with just a push of a button. Drones not only assists in managing the resources better but also save days of work on-site.
  • Faster Site Surveying: One of the best features of drones is their speed. What can take hours at the construction site – walking the construction site and measuring aggregates – can be completed within a fraction of the time.
  • Verifying the work: Monitoring the progress regularly is very important at the construction sites, especially at key handoffs or milestones, irrespective of self-performed or done by grading contractors. Monitoring helps in ensuring that the work is being done as planned. Collecting the progress of the work regularly was one of the major challenges for construction companies because it was not only time-consuming but also expensive to regularly document their site. This created loopholes in the data collected. The introduction of drones has helped bridge this gap by creating an elevation map that can be compared to the initial site’s plans as the project goes on. Documenting and monitoring the progress of work at the most important phases of the project is easier and drones also enable more focused quality control.
  • Cost estimates: Volume measurements are essential for field engineers to calculate the cost and labor time involved in managing their resources. This helps keep the project running within budget and efficiently. Flying a drone to scan the construction site provides field engineers with 3D images and creates a surface model that can be used for labor and cost estimates.
  • Inspection of inaccessible areas: Another perfect application for inspecting the inaccessible areas is drones. An experiment was conducted by Minnesota Department of Transportation to explore how drones can be used to minimize the risk of the employees and reduce costs simultaneously. According to the study, drones could offer several benefits like improved worker safety, provided both infrared and 3D modelling details of the bridges, gathered topographic mapping details, and also professionally mapped riverbank conditions while reducing the overall cost. The study conducted an inspection on the second-largest bridge in Minnesota and revealed that the inspected costed nearly $59,000 and it took nearly 8 days to complete the inspection. However, the drones took only 5 onsite days with the cost of $20,000, thus saving the cost of 66%.

In the recent times, many companies are considering operating their own drone fleet to make better financial sense. To know more about industry-related information, keep yourself logged into our website. We, at A F Alber, take the utmost pleasure in providing you with the latest information related to construction industry.