Today’s construction firms have implemented drone technology to incredible effect. They’ve enjoyed a broad spectrum of benefits, using unmanned aerial vehicles to improve safety and security measures, update traditional land surveying techniques and streamline management methods.
Let’s take a look at those benefits in greater detail, exploring the many applications of UAVs in the construction industry.
- Improvements to Safety and Security
Construction workers have to remain diligent when they’re on a site. Their awareness is essential to avoiding hazards, and even a minor distraction can prove dangerous if a laborer is momentarily negligent. Whether it’s an unsteady scaffold or a falling object, the risks are very real, and caution is critical.
To alleviate some of the burden on supervisors, drones can assist in monitoring a job site. Aerial imagery allows them to view an operation from multiple angles, spotting potential hazards before they escalate into serious issues. This increased visibility has a significant impact on the safety of a crew.
Construction firms also use drones to protect against theft and vandalism. Their “eye in the sky” can take pictures of criminals as they engage in unlawful activity, collecting evidence to bring these offenders to justice. More than that, a drone serves as an effective deterrent to malicious individuals.
- Improvements to Land Surveying
Traditional methods of land surveying have taken a back seat to modern technology. A construction project is generally a complicated, labor-intensive process, but drones have reduced the effort involved in planning and organization. They can produce accurate surveys far more quickly than a worker could.
Surveyors have to participate in both fieldwork and office work, making precise measurements of a property’s boundaries before recording the information for later use. They often have to stand for extended periods and walk long distances, trekking through inclement weather. Project managers with access to drones, however, can cut down on labor costs and survey a piece of land with speed and efficiency. They can also make use of 3D laser scanners, which provide high-quality images of terrain, making note of variations in dirt patterns and other minuscule details to inform their approach.
- Improvements to Management
A construction project has a set schedule, and deviation can harm a company’s bottom line. Project managers have to make educated decisions to keep their team moving in the right direction, correcting their trajectory if they notice they’re off-track or over the allotted budget. It’s a difficult balance to strike.
With structural building sites and civil engineering operations, project managers also have to account for earth-moving and excavation equipment. If they mishandle this heavy machinery, it could jeopardize their plans, but fortunately, drones can help these tools perform with greater precision through careful surveillance.
As a drone monitors a site, it provides a crew with real-time information, lending managers and supervisors more control over the variables that determine a build’s success. They can prevent problems before they happen, and if the problems are unavoidable, they can attend to them quickly to limit losses.
- High Expectations for the Future
As more construction firms adopt drone technology for use in the field, they’ll enjoy benefits beyond those detailed here. While it’s true that fewer injuries, less criminal activity, updated land surveying methods and improved management practices are all important, the advantages of aerial equipment don’t end there.
Project managers will also see simplified transportation and inspections. Drones have no shortage of applications in the construction industry, and firms are only scratching the surface of what they can achieve with recent innovations in robotics. No matter how they choose to implement these innovations, they can only go up from here.
Emily is a green tech writer who covers topics in renewable energy and sustainable design. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.