If Drones are not an integral part of your Operation already, here’s why they should be
For some, the word Drone can conjure up images of a toy, but this shouldn’t be the case. Due to their unique qualities and capabilities, there has been a huge increase in their popularity, specifically within the Building & Property Industry. This can be attributed to their reliability and ease of use, which allows the process of Inspections & Surveys to be carried out with improved safety, over reduced timeframes, with a smaller drain on resources & personnel, all the while (and most importantly) saving money.
While these are just a few of the many benefits of using Drones (or UAVs) within the Building industry, we’ll look at 7 of the more exciting ones here in more detail:
Most construction sites and buildings have complex structures or equipment, meaning it’s not always easy to reach every part for inspection, with some features or obstructions even making the access dangerous. But drones solve this issue by providing the perfect tool to access these problem areas. Surveyors can now get each & every view of the building they need, without ever putting themselves or anyone else in danger.
Likewise, some buildings will be configured in a way that makes it impossible to gain access by means of a traditional inspection (power lines, angled facades, open cavities). In the past, Inspectors used camera poles to address these accessibility issues, but these devices were not always effective as they couldn’t capture or provide all the data that was required.
Drones on the other hand overcome this entire issue. There is no need for scaffolding or High-Level Work Platforms to acquire that all important ‘eyes-on’ view of the area. Drones fundamentally put you where you need to be without you ever leaving the ground. In addition, this can be done quickly, safely, and with the results immediately available.
- Safety Assured:
When hiring a UAV Operator with ‘Permissions for Commercial Operations’ (PfCO or GVC) then you can be assured of the following: the Drone Pilots will be professionally trained and recognised by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). Indemnity Insurance is guaranteed as this is a Mandatory requirement of the PfCO, and all flights will include both a Pre-visit & On-site Risk Assessment.
In addition to that, the maintenance & servicing of the equipment is routinely scheduled and logged, with accessories monitored to the same degree of scrutiny. When coupled with clearly defined Operational Procedures, this all combines to give you the peace of mind that the Drones on Site will be fit-to-fly and more importantly fit-for-purpose!
- Reliability & Consistency:
The use of drones and the range of their applications within the Building industry is growing day by day. This refers not only to the activities surrounding Image Capture and Surveying, but also for Mapping, Point Clouds, 3D Modelling, Thermal Analysis to name but a few. This in turn places a huge importance on their contribution to the effort as a whole; but thankfully they have the credentials to stand up to the task, due to their excellent reliability and ability to perform consistently on every mission.
This has been made possible by significant advances in Drone Technology over recent years and the equipment that supports them. Enhanced Controllers & interfaces, sophisticated Software platforms with improved functionality, improved Battery performance, increased tolerances to Environmental conditions; all these elements have had a huge influence in raising the profile of Drones, making them the Go-To solution for Aerial reconnaissance.
- Building Maintenance and Repair:
The Maintenance and upkeep of any commercial Property is an essential process that will include a detailed & thorough program covering tasks such as scheduled repairs, End-of-Life monitoring, dilapidation reporting, as well as weather damage assessment.
On occasions, the damage caused by storms will be easy to identify and isolate. However, when it is caused over time, not all damage will be so obvious until, as in most cases, it is too late.
So how can you spot the damage and fix it in good time? Well, the best solution is to use Drones for routine/scheduled visual inspections. In this way, Drones act as an early warning system, by providing a time-lapse log of the condition of key areas, alerting you of any potential deterioration and enabling you to initiate reparative work before anything escalates or incurs unnecessary costs.
- Customer Satisfaction:
If you want to succeed in any business, you need to keep the customer happy; the same applies to the Building Industry. In the past, Inspectors may have not been able to get the full view of an inaccessible roof for example, due to the danger it would put them in. This meant they were not able to provide a complete & detailed report about the condition of the building to the customer, missing out critical information regarding the precise state of the building’s integrity or disrepair.
No longer is this the case. For a minimal cost, Building Inspectors can utilise drones to get the images of these awkward areas, and provide a full & frank account of the Building or Property from above. By having this complete picture, any areas of concern are then easily highlighted & investigated, without the need for engaging expensive third-party companies unnecessarily. As a result, customer satisfaction is not only ensured but guaranteed.
- Efficiency & General Oversight:
We’ve already looked at the process of using Drones to access & capture all areas of the project, but what about the results themselves? Beyond providing detailed images for analysis, the aerial vantage point can also be used to provide a wider view to keep on top of progress in its entirety. This then becomes an excellent reference point to be shared and distributed to all relevant parties as required.
Whether this be to Stakeholders (to provide oversight & track development), to Contractors (to familiarize them with the site or the scale of the job required), or to the Local Authorities / Insurance Companies (to demonstrate compliance); Drones can be used in this way to deliver a vital piece of communication in a simple & efficient manner.
Furthermore, this facility can be scheduled for routine/repeat visits, using the same Geographical ‘XYZ’ position (Lat-Long-Height), to compile a documented record of the development over time. This is useful not only for tracking & problem-solving, but also the forecasting of future projects.
- Focus on Profit:
Whether it’s Commercial or Residential Property, the goal is to make profits, is it not? Now, you might be wondering how drones can help you do this; well, quite simply, drones are not only suited to Inspections! They can also be used to create Professional Aerial Photos and Promotional Videos to showcase your work & its quality.
When you present static objects such as Buildings from an elevated vantage point, gaining the Birds-Eye view, you bring the building to life with a unique perspective that not only shows off its scale & magnitude, but also its character & style. This goes a long way in helping you market your product and promoting your business.
The days of Drones being thought of as a novelty is long gone. Instead, given their modern-day reputation gained across many different sectors, this has lifted them to being regarded as an indispensable tool that leads us wonder how we ever did without them.
Specifically in respect to the Building and Property Industry, as can be seen by the benefits outlined above, they have firmly established themselves as the Go-To tool of the trade, out-performing legacy practices whilst also redefining what is even possible.
So, the only question that remains is, why would you not take advantage of this amazing technology?