When you think of common applications for drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), construction probably doesn’t come to mind. After all, how many times have you seen a drone hovering over a construction site? Well, it’s actually more common than you may realize. Countless construction companies throughout the United States and abroad are using drones to facilitate their operations and boost their sales. To learn more about drone videography and the benefits it offers for construction companies, keep reading.
Planning is one of the first stages of a construction project, and it’s also one of the most important. Instead of consuming valuable resources and machinery in the planning stage, project managers can survey the landscape using drones. It’s an easier and more effective solution for surveying a construction site — and is usually a fraction of the cost of traditional surveying methods.
Drones also stream video in real time, allowing key personnel to watch the feed from a 2nd monitor. This means construction companies don’t have to wait for the drone to land to see the footage. They can watch from a computer monitor, see exactly what the drone sees, and adjust the flight path to complete the survey. Construction companies can take advantage of this feature by navigating the drone around otherwise rough terrain to determine proper placement of foundations, structures and equipment. And with the latest software drones can stitch together hundreds of high resolution pictures to create crystal clear orthomosaic images of job sites, providing dimensions down to the square inch.
Protect Against Theft
Drones can also be used by construction companies to protect against property theft. According to the According to National Crime Information Bureau (NCIB), construction companies lose more than $1 billion a year due to the theft of construction equipment, machinery and tools. Whether it’s a bulldozer, excavator or even small power tools, theft costs construction companies big bucks. And to make matters worse, the chance of recovery is only 20%, meaning that only one out of every five stolen construction tools are returned to its rightful owner.
Construction companies can use drones to monitor construction sites to maintain a secure environment and quickly check any area of the property. By flying drones overhead, construction companies can see whether the site is vacant or occupied, as well as check on the status of equipment and machinery. Taking a birdseye picture of the site at the end of the day and then at the start of the next day allows you to compare photos to see if anything has been moved or changed. It’s one more safeguard that companies can use to protect their valuable property from theft.
Construction consistently ranks as one of the most hazardous industries in which to work. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 937 construction workers lost their lives in 2015 while hundreds of thousands of other construction workers sustained nonfatal injuries. OSHA says that most work-related fatalities in the construction industries are attributed to the “Fatal Four,” which includes falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions and caught-in/between.
There’s no substitution for training and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the construction industry. However, construction companies can promote a safer working environment and further reduce the risk of injury by using drones. By flying drones overhead, companies can identify potential hazards such as exposed power lines, missing fall protection equipment and more. Once these hazards have been identified, the company can take the necessary steps to fix them and mitigate the risk of injury.
Show Project Progress
Drones are also used in the construction industry to show the progress of a project to clients. It’s not uncommon for construction projects to last for several months. In fact, larger commercial projects can take longer than a year. During this time, it’s important to keep the clients aware of the progress of the project. Doing so allows them to see firsthand whether the project is moving along according to schedule.
If you’re a construction manager who’s overseeing a project, you can use drones to show progress to clients. As per the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) rule, drones can be operated as high as 400 feet, allowing you to capture the perfect overhead view of a construction site and all of the work taking place. Additionally, drones can be flown extremely close to the ground. By changing altitude from several hundred feet to just a few feet, it offers a unique perspective that’s not available through traditional videography methods. Clients will appreciate this realistic view of the construction site, which will help you land contracts for other construction jobs in the future.
Of course, drones can also be used for marketing purposes. Construction companies can capture footage of every stage in the project’s cycle, after which they can combine this footage to create professional quality marketing videos that can be shown to prospective clients who are interested in their construction services. Drone videos show clients how the construction process works, giving them peace of mind that they’ve made the right choice.
These are just a few benefits of using drones in the construction industry. From independent contractors to large commercial developers, all construction companies can benefit from drone videography services.