UPDATE 09/09/2016 - Construction Companies Lead the Way in Drone UsageAccording to a recent survey - almost 12% of construction companies have implemented drones into their service model. The findings, based on a survey of 3,000 drone pilots and data accrued from drone sales, indicates that construction firms and tradesmen have turned to unmanned aerial solutions more so than other sectors. See below for the survey results: We'll be keeping an eye on the market and, over the coming weeks and months, will be releasing further features examining drone usage across a range of industries.
DRONE USAGE IN CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATEThe construction and sale of both houses and commercial property is, unsurprisingly, a huge industry. However, despite the scale and staying power of these sectors, there are still issues and procedures in desperate need of improvement. As the demand to streamline processes through automation and cut unnecessary costs dominates boardroom discussions, this article focuses on how the rising usage of drones in the world of construction and real estate is beginning to achieve these goals.
ConstructionA new study has revealed the extent to which drones are taking off in the construction industry. Despite evidence suggesting limited knowledge of the rules surrounding their use, there is a growing demand from companies in the sector who are looking to streamline inspections and energy surveys.
Learn more about getting your commercial drone permissions
Over 70% of ‘senior decision makers’ at construction businesses stated that drones are already an active part of the sector, or will definitely reach a level of great importance in the next few years. This is according to a research questionnaire, carried out by market research firm, YouGov, on behalf of Charles Russell Speechlys, a London-based law firm. This is unsurprising when you factor in the advancement of drone sensor technology (especially in terms of high-quality cameras and thermal data capture) and many large manufacturers such as world leaders, DJI, increasingly moving towards the commercial market. Indeed, the Shenzhen drone giant has started to release solutions that have industrial potential spanning renewable energy and agriculture to mapping and, of course, construction.
Learn more about DJI's Zenmuse XT thermal solution for commercial enterprise
With potential use cases ranging from integrity management to real-time health & safety monitoring on-site, construction companies stand to gain a lot by adding drones to their existing workforce. Heliguy spoke with drone mapping specialists Pix4D to get their opinions on the way drones are changing the construction industry and here’s what they had to say.
...Drones provide a remote, non-intrusive way to collect site data. Traditional methods (walking the site, surveying, laser scanning) require someone to have feet on the ground, which creates potential interference with work and safety problems for personnel. As the price of the professional drone hardware falls, and the consumer drones increase in quality, the cost of acquiring this technology becomes very affordable. With software like Pix4Dcapture, operators do not have to be drone experts to collect accurate and relevant data. The only setback for this is the ever-changing legislation about flying drones. Being a legal expert could be more useful in some situations than being a drone expert.
Read more about Global Drone Regulations
Flying drones on-site is not always possible. While this can be due to bad weather conditions or legality, complementing the drone with other image capture platforms which automatically and repeatedly collect and process images, providing daily updates of the site status is one way to overcome this issue. Using a drone with a flight planning application allows someone with limited flying experience to automatically capture images that are optimised for processing in desktop software, so accurate and complete maps and models are generated every time.
…Thanks to Pix4D for their insights into the proliferation of drones in the construction industry and what steps they're taking to support the sector. Now it’s time to shift our focus to the next phase in a structure’s lifespan.
Real EstateThe National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently carried out a survey in the USA which found that almost 20% of real estate agencies that haven’t currently applied drones to their business model plan to do so in the near future. This ‘2016 Member Profile’ is based on responses from 10,194 participants (meaning over 2,000 members are considering using drones) and marks the first time the question has been asked to realtors. With the clarification of laws by the US Federal Aviation Administration (as well as longstanding clear guidelines from the CAA in the UK), real estate is one of a growing number of sectors which will benefit from the use of drones by licensed companies. The applications for drones in real estate are manifold, from carrying out crucial homebuyers’ inspections to showcasing the property with a compilation of photographs and video to give it an edge on the market. Whether it’s aimed at a residential or commercial buyer, the addition of drone services offers agencies the chance to make the proposition more attractive whether it’s through aesthetics or hard data. The potential to film both indoors and outdoors from unique perspectives strengthens the prestige of promotional campaigns and provides more data on structural integrity. It also offers consumers a much more comprehensive overview of their prospective new property allowing them to make a more informed decision.
Check out the new perspectives offered by the DJI Zenmuse Z3 'Zoom'
While currently, according to the aforementioned NAR survey, a large number of realtors (56%) stated that they still don’t use drones, 18% plan to implement them in the future. Additionally, 12% fed back that they know someone in their office who uses drones, while 11% would definitely hire a professional for their drone use. As attitudes continue to shift towards the acceptance of drones as a commercial asset, it will certainly be intriguing to see how the real estate industry evolves now it has the potential to offer more in-depth survey data and dazzle clients with professional quality aerial showreels.
Achieving Your Permissions with HeliguyWhether you’re involved in construction, real estate or another industry that’s seeking to add drone services, you must have permission from the CAA to operate commercially in the UK. As well as offering a one stop shop for all your drone needs, Heliguy is also a licensed CAA trainer able to provide you with the experience and knowledge required to fly drones commercially. We offer a range of courses that set you up to fly commercially and become a part of the rapidly growing drone marketplace. Below are just a few of the training opportunities available, click here to find out more.
Read what filmmaker Philip Bloom thought of our training
Our CAA approved courses are machine relevant, offer real-world scenario planning and are tailored towards smaller consumer drones. Our full course lasts three and a half days, covering all the material we think you should be aware of to operate safely. Heliguy supports you from ground school and operations manual production right up to your final flight planning assessment.