The sheer scale of the construction industry and the projects that are being undertaken on the African continent lend themselves to the effective use of drones which can only add value, provided they are implemented safely and correctly. Drones allow Africa to leapfrog old and inefficient technology and embrace the new and effective technology to better all industries especially the construction industry. There are multiple applications where drones play a beneficial role in the construction industry – here are just a few:
Construction Site Inspections
Carrying out site inspections on a busy construction site can dangerous and complicated.
The ability for a drone to carry out a visual inspection of high-risk areas can save time and reduce health & safetly risks. Drone footage can be recorded from the safety of the site cabin and then sent to project stakeholders in HD quickly and effectively. Site inspections can be undertaken more regularly and cover larger areas more efficiently
Carrying out planned or reactive maintenance inspections of high-up structures such as bridges, towers, roofs and scaffolding, can often involve costly access arrangements, and site personnel working at height. Drones can provide a quicker and easier way of carrying out the inspections, feeding back HD real-time footage to the engineer or surveyor from the ground at all times reducing cost but most importantly risk.
Most building surveys require visibility of the building’s roof to identify its condition and assess any defects. In most instances getting access to a roof can be tricky and often involves the erection of a scaffold, use of a cherry picker or ladders. Which are both time consuming and costly. Using a small drone to perform the survey can save time, money and reduce health and safety risks involved with surveying a roof and accessing tricky or hard to reach areas.
Project Progress Reports
Construction progress reports are often prepared monthly to record site progress against the project programme. These reports include the surveyor or CA taking multiple photographs of various parts of the site.
A regular drone flight can be a speedy way to record and visualize project progress. Through a series of aerial shots and HD video project stake holders can gain a better insight into the progress that has been made without actually being on-site and have regular daily or weekly updates.
Health and Safety Inductions
Site inductions can often be a tedious and again a time consuming exercise. Often involving a premeditated talk in the site cabin or a pre-recorded induction videos. Using a drone to fly over a site can show new site operatives health & safely risks in real-time. Enabling site managers to demonstrate moving vehicles, moving cranes, or active excavation areas etc. Each induction would be site specific outlining the risk that are relevant to that site and in return reduce the risk of accident or injury on each site
Construction sites are ever evolving and the movements on-site do not always stick to the programme.
Drones can provide a real-time update of what is going on around the site. Carrying out a speedy flight around the site can give a good overview of potential issues to be aware of. For instance moving vehicles, machinery or cranes etc. again reducing risk and allowing key decision makers to make up to the minute, informed decisions on ever changing developing sites.
Thermal Imaging recording
Similar to laser scanning, drones can be used to take aerial thermal imaging recordings which can be used to assess potential cold spots in buildings or even heat spots in areas holding electrical components. This can give engineers and surveyors essential information when trying to identify and rectify building defects.