Drone building surveys are becoming increasingly common. The UK has been slow to catch up with using drone technology in the construction industry, but there are signs this is changing.
The Federal Aviation Administration in the USA predicts that seven million drones will be in use in the country by 2020, and large percentage of these will be operated in construction.
As well as drone building surveys, unmanned aircraft have a role to play in design, inspection and monitoring. Some large construction firms send their surveyors for drone training and invest in their own equipment, but others choose to outsource. There are now thousands of CAA approved drone pilots in the UK who have experience in drone survey work. Outsourcing drone work is a good strategy as it means you can pay for services on demand and don’t have the ongoing costs of training and maintenance.
A survey from the ground doesn’t tell the whole story in many cases. Flats and high rise properties are becoming increasingly common in the UK, and drone building surveys are ideal for these. A drone can record close-up images of brickwork, cladding and roof coverings in hard to access places. The alternative is to pay for scaffolding, and this can be extremely expensive.
Drone roof inspections are now widely available in the UK and can cost as little as two hundred pounds. If you have a leak at a property a drone is the perfect tool for tracing it. The high definition camera on a drone can capture detailed footage of the state of tiles, flashing and flat roof coverings to determine if repairs or maintenance are required. When buying a property it’s worth the investment in a drone building survey to see if work is required. The photographs can be used to negotiate the price of a property if there are signs of problems.
Advanced software can take the data captured from drone building surveys to develop 3D models and plans for architects and property developers. Developments in artificial intelligence over the next few years will make drones even more effective in the construction industry.