Drones were once considered science fiction but have now become an everyday reality. Often drones are now used not just for recreation and toys, but as impactful tools for businesses, including in the construction industry.
What can drones do on construction sites?
Drones can do things that people often cannot do. This includes navigating and flying to places people cannot safely reach or traverse, such as heights or narrow passageways. As a result, these mini machines can be a great benefit, especially in potentially hazardous locations and situations. Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), allow people to steer clear of dangerous heights, to avoid smoke inhalation from fires, or to avoid chemical risks. The drones’ ability to not be inhibited by these risks means they can provide visuals and data otherwise difficult or even impossible to obtain.
The many uses of drones on building sites include:
- Measuring land and spaces
- Infrared imaging
- Building examination
Key benefits of drones used in construction industry
- To bid on projects
- Document work completed
- Navigate bridge and highway projects
- Quantify work completed or what materials have been installed, such as windows and solar panels
- Verify work completed to know what should be paid for
- Investigate a building’s condition
- Collect construction defect litigation evidence
How drones might assist in litigation
Perhaps one of the greatest uses of drones is to prevent litigation or to support or defend a client during a lawsuit.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. When aerial footage is shown to a judge or jury, it can be much more convincing to deciders evaluating an issue or property condition than trying to communicate without detailed footage.
The timeliness of information gathering also helps construction attorneys prove or defend their cases. Drones are able to quickly provide data and visuals for construction site projects. A report in the North Dakota Law Review discussed how drones can help and stated three main areas of benefit: “construction project pre-planning, progress tracking, and safety.” The report emphasized that prior to using drones, people relied on satellite images to help with construction site issues. However, the images and scanning technology provided by drones is much more accurate and of higher quality, hence more useful for construction needs of today.