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Aerial building surveys

Aerial building surveys

Aerial building surveys: 6 reasons to use a drone

Over the past years, you can’t have failed to notice the surge in interest in UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), better known as drones. These little flying objects are more than the latest craze in tech gadgets. Rather, they’re now in widespread use, helping with anything from artistic videography to military reconnaissance. But perhaps one of the most obvious applications of drones is in the field of building inspections and surveys carried out from the air.

Traditional building and roof surveying relies on the use of ladders, erection of scaffolding or hiring a cherry picker to access hard-to-reach places. Unfortunately, there’s a whole raft of disadvantages, risks and dangers associated with these practices including

  • The need to use heavy and expensive equipment
  • The need to deploy several skilled surveyors
  • The risk of falls and injuries to persons
  • The risk of building and roof damage
  • Limited data collection from inaccessible locations
  • Laborious and costly processes

Until fairly recently, no alternatives to traditional high-access methods existed. But now, the new technology can do away with most of the downsides above, literally at the push of a button. A high-resolution camera drone can record the details of the roof and other high access areas in crystal clear, high definition detail, eliminating the need for anyone to make a physical inspection of roofs or high elevations.

Here’s how it works:

Source: Hutton and Rostron

Whether employed by a building surveyor, architect, property developer, insurance company or any other building professionals besides, using a drone to survey a building is, in a nutshell, safer, quicker and more accurate, with considerable efficiencies to be achieved all round.

  1. Accurate data collection

With the help of rapid improvements in camera technology over the past decade, the latest camera drones are now able to shoot up to 5.2k resolution still images and video. Ultra high definition images can even be captured in poor weather conditions.

GPS functionality helps to record before and after shots with extreme accuracy, while images are able to be captured from an array of angles and elevations that simply would not be possible with a conventional handheld camera. The overalls scope and accuracy of building survey findings have never been better.

  1. Cost and time saving

When time is of the essence – say a water leak has been detected – it is considerably quicker to deploy a drone to take a look at the problem, rather than erecting ladders, access towers, scaffolding or aerial lifts. Once inspected, preparations for repairing any damage can be made without delay.

Drones enable the inspection of tall building walls and roofs to be achieved faster, and without any expense for equipment, manpower and time. The reduced risk also means lower insurance costs for both workers and equipment.

  1. Safe access without risk to human safety

The traditional inspection of high buildings, whether it’s of large family homes, high rise office blocks, church steeples or historic buildings, carries a degree of risk. Most accidents occur as the result of falls – typically with serious consequences. There are plenty of health and safety regulations that have to be complied with to ensure everyone working at height is safe.

Sending a drone to take a look instead eliminates the need for human operatives to climb buildings, and the potential dangers of unstable or slippery roof surfaces, loose power cables or unexpected bird encounters. Drones can reach areas humans cannot, including blocked access areas and those that are inaccessible on foot.

  1. Reduced risk and damage to buildings

Aerial survey drones are the safest way to collect data without leaving any physical impact on the building whatsoever. In cases where buildings are structurally unstable, having weak or delicate surfaces that are susceptible to further damage or collapse, drones offer the perfect ‘no-touch’ solution.

Inspections are carried out from the air, with no physical equipment or control necessary other than the UAV itself. Using high definition cameras to record images and video of the affected areas, combined with GPS and cloud computing functionality, is all that is required to carry out a safe and professional job.

  1. Multi-location inspections and remote data sharing

For multi-site inspections, the efficiency savings to be had by using drones rather than setting up multiple lots of access equipment are even greater. Using technology-led aerial surveys allows the surveyor to inspect several rooftops in short succession, with minimum fuss and in record time.

Once the data has been collected via a drone survey, the device is connected to the cloud to enable uploading and sharing of data between stakeholders in different locations. The benefits in terms of easy data access, better teamwork and collaboration between different professions are undeniable.

  1. Minimal operational disruption

Having equipment and personnel deployed for the purpose of a rooftop survey can easily disrupt day-to-day operations on the ground. By contrast, using a drone to survey rooftops and high access areas means less noise, mess and obstruction.

Whether it’s your own home or manage commercial premises or a client site, access and operational efficiency remain unaffected. Using drone technology delivers maximum convenience for all parties concerned.

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