Around the world, drones are all the rage these days.
Additionally, drones have proven themselves to be quite commercially viable thanks to numerous applications across many sectors. This has been especially true in the construction industry, where advantages include the reduction of safety risks and improved project monitoring.
The construction industry market is expected to reach $11.2 billion in the not-so-distant future and drone use is expected to grow with it.
In this article, we’ll be discussing how drones are disrupting the construction industry and assisting with various tasks from construction project processes and safety.
Drones in construction
Drones are being used in all sorts of spaces, from film shoots to agriculture. However, one of the fastest growing industries for drone use has been infrastructure development, and more specifically, construction.
UK construction companies embrace drones
In fact, drone adoption in the construction sector is largely thanks to several high-profile businesses being early adopters, including; Kier, Balfour Beatty, Costain and Mitie.
How are drones used on a construction site?
Some of the benefits of drone use in the construction industry include easier access to big or hard to traverse sites in addition to tall and/or complex structures.
Drones can be used in the construction industry to gather aerial data, map a construction site and take images to monitor work progress and for inspections.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
During the lifecycle of a construction project, the process of creating and managing all info is known as BIM.
The BIM process provides a shareable digital catalog of all aspects of a construction project that can be updated by any stakeholder.
Construction projects in the UK are among the first to be using this methodology. Some have even gone so far as to call this development in the construction industry a digital revolution.
Aside from BIM, drones are also being used in other ways on a construction site.
Automated construction site
DJI, a leading manufacturer in China, made the largest ever commercial drone order in the Spring of 2018. It’s a partnership with Skycatch, a U.S. tech firm, and it’s a move that construction firms the world over will surely be paying attention to.
Additionally, Komatsu, a massive construction company in Japan, has ordered 1,000 drones to put to use in the surveillance and monitoring of their construction projects.
One specific type of drone, known as “Skycatch Explore1” are slated to be used in order to operate robotic construction vehicles. If this plan proves to be fruitful, it could clear a path towards a construction site that is completely automated.
All over the world, countries are investing substantial amounts of money into new drone technology. There is optimism that drones can be used to disrupt all sorts of industries.
The law on drone use
The government of the UK set forth new regulations for drone use in the Spring of 2018.
The new bill is intended to improve the overall safety of drone use. Additionally, the bill aims to ensure that Britain is among the top countries developing drone technologies. Another reason behind the new drone bill is to look for opportunities for drone use in the business and infrastructure sectors.
- It will be required that you register any drones over 250g.
- Before a drone pilot can operate their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), they must pass a safety awareness test.
- If a drone is suspected to be used in any criminal activities or unsafe operating, the police have the right to ground that vehicle and seize any necessary parts for evidence.
- Drone pilots are required to present proof of registration if the police request they do so.
- Apps will be required for drone pilots to guarantee safe and legal flying. This is important, especially for restricted areas such as schools or military bases.
- No drones may fly around an airport, nor can they go over 400 feet.
- To help drone pilots comply with guidelines, there will be geofencing development through a government, CAA and the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) joint effort.
There’s no question that drone use is on the rise and that they can have a massive impact on industries across the globe.
Construction companies especially stand to benefit from the use of drones in their projects.
We’re just scratching the surface of what drones can help improve.
In the UK and around the world, we’re going to see more and more sectors embracing the use of drones.