How are drones changing the construction process?

4 ways drones have improved the construction industry


Drones seem to be everywhere these days. From delivering packages, scaring birds away from airports – even to racing them – these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have proven their versatility and worth as an emerging technology.

UAVs have also revolutionised the construction industry in a number of predictable (and surprising) ways. At Locker Group, we’re excited to see how construction projects can benefit from the implementation of drones to provide innovate solutions.

1. Land surveying

In remote or wild areas, often the biggest hurdle in construction is simply surveying the land. Traditionally, the only method to accurately gauge an area was to do so on foot – an expensive and arduous task. Getting up in the air back then required physically putting a person up there, and the problems that come from manning light aircraft came with it. When drones arrived on the scene, everything changed and became a lot quicker and cheaper.

Drones allow surveyors to access and gain insight of property they would otherwise be unable to attain. Being able to accurately analyse an area, regardless of terrain, is a huge time and money saver in the overall process.

2. Safety of workers

UAVs provide an opportunity to monitor workers and their environment to ensure that everything is safe and up to regulation. It’s easier to routinely monitor a site via a UAV than it is to visit in person, and their ability to constantly record whatever they see provides a valuable record of a construction site in the event of an accident or mishap.

Drones provide a unique point of view in the construction industry.Drones provide a unique point of view in the construction industry.

3. Showing progress to clients

Traditionally, balancing a complicated and time-consuming construction project with the needs of the clients has been less than simple. Not only is a construction site unsuitable for tours, often clients are located a significant distance from where a project is taking place.

UAVs can be used to bridge this gap by providing an unobtrusive way to regularly feed clients and customers regular videos and images of a project without the need to don hard hats and steel-capped boots. What’s more, these “tours” can be done in real time with the option of live video streaming in order to improve the dialogue between clients and contractors.

For example, architecture projects using drones to show clients how their building fits in with the wider environment can help them decide which external facade best suits the surroundings.

4. Communicating between multiple sites

A building project has more than just one site, and a construction company usually has more than one project in the works. Successful contractors often aren’t able to stay on-site 24/7 and must rely on others to relay progress back to them.

When it comes down to it, drones aim to provide greater efficiency in the construction process.

With the use of UAVs providing a second, or even third pair of eyes, contractors, designers and architects no longer have to rely solely on others to ensure the job is progressing to plan. In mining construction, Rio Tinto’s aviation manager, Kevan Reeve, explained that drones have helped them bridge the gap between surveyors in remote locations.

“We have got our operations centre here in Perth that’s bringing that information in, and we are using the drones to increase our ability to get that information.” he said to ABC news.

When it comes down to it, drones aim to provide greater efficiency in the construction process – whether that be in the form of making sites more accessible for clients, or by improving communication between contractors and inspectors.Those efficiencies, in turn, translate to crucial savings on what are otherwise expensive projects. The construction industry in Australia alone is worth over $100 billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, so reducing costs where applicable is key.

To find out more, get in touch with the team at Locker Group today.

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