April 16, 2018
Drones are providing great ROI and proving to be a growing tool for those who are willing to embrace new technology in the construction industry.
Recent changes in regulation for drones, or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), as well as advancements in UAV technology, have opened up many new possibilities and construction companies are embracing these new options from multiple angles. Here we highlight 5 of the ways construction companies are using drones and seeing an ROI from their use.
Improve Bids on Construction Projects
Those in construction know that the bidding competition for a project is always stiff.
In an effort to overshoot or underestimate on bids, and optimize for the best project performance price, as well as a profit at the end- construction companies are finding drones to be a boon in the bidding process.
The use of drones can help ensure the bid is just right, with accurate land surveys helping to process the data and make an informed decision.
According to Identified Technologies1:
Drones in construction allows for this task to be convenient and fast. The drone is able to map and process data to catch mistakes and keep you in the know about which obstacles you may face during the job.
The procedure of mapping to processing to analyzing can be completed quickly because the quickness of a drone mapping solution.
As a result, this speededness leads to lower costs, and lower costs lead greater profit margins.
It all boils down to doing more with less. Higher profit margins allow you to place and win more contracts and let the glorious cycle of profitable work continue!
More accurately assess project schedule
Mark Bogh, the President of Bogh Engineering, talks in Commercial UAV News about a project he was involved in for the demolition and rebuild of Indio High School in Indio, CA.
He mentioned that the company flew their drone everyday on the job to look at areas that needed to be cut or shaved, as well as areas that needed to be filled. He then used the data gathered by the drone to make sure he was as strategic as possible in that process, because to not do so could generate unnecessary expenses. He mentions, however, another way he's been able to leverage the drone in an even more specific and beneficial manner.
The reason I bought the drone is because the way that my work is scheduled.
When we're not doing grading, we're primarily the concrete contractor. If the grade isn't right, or if the grade was right and then got disturbed, I'm the one that often has to pay to fix it. With the drone, I can look at a particular spot and see the grade is messed up. It allows me to identify where and how that grade got messed up, which means it's that person's responsibility to fix it.
Tracking Progress for Schedule and Payment
Ryka UAS is a data acquisition company that provides remote sensing from unmanned aircraft platforms. Aerial Analytics and Surveying for Science, Telecommunications, and Civil Engineering projects.
According to Ryka UAS, drones are being used on civil projects, large site commercial projects, or high rises, giving the project team a powerful view of the site conditions for tracking progress.
As reported by Ryka UAS3:
Collecting site analytics with drones is much faster than boots on the ground; Streamlining the decision-making and creating a better overall experience for stakeholders.
It bears repeating that drones are not an added expense to the project, but a tool to make many activities easier and more efficient. Ease, efficiency, and safety always translates to a better bottom line.
Not only can this help keep your projects moving promptly, but it will also enable you to easily keep the client updated on how the project is progressing.
They state that when clients can't make it to the site often to track progress themselves, drone imagery products make it possible to analyze the situation with various software. The site surveys performed with the data collected by drones may be able to keep projects on time, keep clients updated, and save money for everyone involved.
Managing Materials and Equipment
Keeping track of material and equipment spread out across large project sites can be a thankless task, but periodic drone flights can incredibly simplify the process.
According to Ryka UAS (3):
Data from drones can demonstrate readiness for certain activities. Understanding quantities on hand prevent many shortages from occurring, whether it is pallets of pipe or volume of gravel stockpiled. Drone surveys can supply this information timely and effectively aiding the logistics and planning of materials, and prevents possible interruption of construction activities.
Ensure Higher Safety Levels
While it still counts as an ROI, higher safety levels for employees benefit construction companies in more ways than simply the financial bottom line. It is a testimony to the company's integrity and concern for employee welfare when technology is used to make the workplace safer for all involved.
According to a news report from EGC Construction Corporation4:
Drones have the ability to safely detect working conditions before a worker is dispatched. They can hover over a location that is too dangerous for a worker and can save lives by monitoring workplace conditions in areas that are hard to reach. With drone technology managers can see what is happening in real-time and look to prevent accidents and injuries.
Embracing new technology like drones can be both exciting, and full of questions and mystery. The right knowledge can give you a head start and tilt the balance in your favor. Employee training can also be beneficial. If you'd like to look into training and certification for yourself or your employees, please contact Lorman Education Services today.