How drone technology is revolutionising the construction industry

17 Nov 2017

Ian Tansey Managing Director of ProDroneWorx outlines how drone technology is taking off in the Construction sector.

Drone technology is beginning to take off in the UK and Irish construction industry.

Recently, ProDroneWorx, one of the UK’s leading companies for aerial mapping, inspection and surveying, conducted a survey ‘Drone Technology within the Construction Industry’ across the UK and Ireland.

According to our findings, a third of respondents are currently using drone technology, and of those who do not, nearly 70% plan to do so in future.

Our survey asked senior figures within the construction industry, including surveyors, architects, engineers and construction firms, about their perception, usage and understanding of drone technology.

The response to this survey was impressive with over 160 respondents taking part across the UK and Ireland.

We believe that drone technology will transform traditional business models and help to reshape the construction industry. Indeed, early adopters are already starting to see a positive impact on their operational processes from the way projects are monitored to the inspection of assets. 

In a world of tight margins and an increasingly competitive landscape, the use of drone technology gives construction firms a significant competitive advantage over their peers through reduced costs, increased productivity gains and the mitigation of risk.

Key survey findings:

  • A third of respondents (33%) are currently using drone technology in their operations. These early adopters understand the benefits it brings to their organisations
  • The majority of respondents (67%) are currently not using drone technology. However, most plan to do so in the future.
  • Of the 33% that are currently using drone technology:
  • The majority (60%) have been using it for less than a year.
  • However, 11% of this sub-group have been using the technology for the last 3 to 5 years making them very early adopters

The main reasons firms are using the technology are:

  • Time savings (49%)
  • Increased operational efficiency (49%)
  • Cost savings (47%)

Construction firms have two options when it comes to deciding how to incorporate drone technology into their business models and workflow: creating an internal drone unit/function; or using a 3rd party specialist.

Overall, the vast majority of firms (67%) plan to or currently use 3rd party specialist companies on their projects rather than having an internal drone function within their company.

Issues such as regulation, licensing, insurance, hardware, software and data processing are factors putting firms off an internal function. Many find it easier, cheaper and less risky to use a professional drone solutions company on projects.

Awareness of drone technology and the various benefits it brings is high within the industry; 75% of respondents understand how the technology can be used within their business.

Although drone technology has many applications within the construction industry, currently its primary use is in photography, video, surveying, asset inspection and progress monitoring.

As a drone technology specialist, we pride ourselves on our professionalism and commitment to improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, mitigating risk and improving health and safety for our clients through the use of drone technology.

Our services include surveying, asset inspection, progress monitoring, measurements (volume, area & distance), 3D modelling, orthomosaics, digital surface/terrain models (DSM & DTM), thermal imaging, photography and video.

We primarily work within the construction industry, servicing property developers, construction firms, groundwork firms, civil and structural engineers, surveyors, architects, landscape architects and land buyers/sellers.

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