This post was originally published on November 1st, 2016, and updated on June 30th, 2023.
Complete site documentation can be a challenge for builders, especially as projects grow, evolve, and change. Where should you focus your construction cameras? How can you ensure that you’re capturing the most important angles? What about sites with awkward or risky areas? By employing drone services, managers no longer have to worry about the logistics and potential hazards of manually capturing problem areas.
Construction documentation is constantly innovating for more effective ways to capture jobsites. For builders looking for a new perspective on their construction build, drone technology is an exciting new frontier. Drones allow users to capture high-quality images and video from almost any perspective. With drone-captured photos and footage, users have a new range of capabilities for capturing jobsites. If you’re looking for a new solution to capture your next build, here are just a few ways that drones are changing the construction documentation landscape.
Reducing costs and risks without sacrificing quality
When it comes to worker safety, the easiest way to reduce potential risks and liabilities can be simple – reducing the need to access hazardous or hard-to-reach areas. Employing drones for jobsite inspections eliminates the need for humans to physically access these risky areas, such as tall structures, roofs, or otherwise unstable terrain.
Drones capture high-resolution imagery and data from various angles and heights, providing a comprehensive view that can help project managers conduct thorough risk assessments. With the benefit of a wide perspective and new angles, managers can identify potential hazards, evaluate site conditions, and develop appropriate safety protocols or preventive measures before workers enter the site.
Inspections from any height – and in dangerous conditions
Drones allow close inspections that would be harder, riskier, and/or more expensive to perform any other way. When utilizing drones, high-rises, bridges, and utility towers can be easily viewed without putting workers at risk. One Dallas-based construction company reported saving thousands of equipment-rental dollars and a full 2 weeks of valuable project time when using a drone to inspect a building façade for a warranty claim. In Minnesota, state DOT officials are now evaluating drones for routine highway inspections – which would eliminate lane closures and safety risks for road crews. Employing drone technology to capture jobsites eliminates the setup, equipment rental cost, and liability of manual inspections. Not only can projects move along much faster as a result, but managers and their teams can also refocus this time and effort on other important tasks.
Monitoring the whole jobsite in detail
Drones can extend the documentation of construction activities to every square foot of your jobsite. Using a drone, you can keep close watch over stockpiles, construction materials, and ongoing work outside the view of your construction cameras. Hovering capabilities allow you to view details up close that would otherwise require a second camera.
Dynamic captures for elevated marketing
On top of solving logistical challenges, drone photography and footage are also a dynamic addition to showcasing project work for marketing campaigns.
Rapid data collection
Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras, sensors, and other technologies can capture accurate and comprehensive data quickly. This includes aerial images, videos, thermal imaging, LiDAR scans, and more. Such data can be processed and analyzed faster, providing real-time or near real-time insights for decision-making.
Enhanced documentation and communication
The visual data collected by drones can be utilized for documentation purposes, such as generating as-built records or creating visual archives for future reference. Sharing drone-captured information with various stakeholders, including architects, engineers, clients, or regulatory authorities, facilitates effective communication and collaboration.
Progress Monitoring and Reporting
Regular drone inspections enable project managers and stakeholders to monitor construction progress effectively. By capturing images or videos at various stages, they can assess milestones, identify delays or deviations, and make informed decisions promptly. Drones can also generate detailed reports and documentation automatically.
Don’t fly alone! Partner with trusted drone pilots
As drone technology continues to evolve, builders can look forward to more capabilities and tools for high-quality documentation with less risk and better results. With so many options in the market, it can be difficult to decide on which is the best for your project needs. Luckily, there are trusted drone partners that can simplify the process while still ensuring the best quality inspections for your site.
With the rising interest in drone technology, builders are contemplating purchasing their own drones. However, there are various factors to consider before committing to this decision. Apart from the initial investment and ongoing maintenance, builders need to navigate legal issues, as drones can only be flown for commercial purposes with explicit consent from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has a slow certification process. Additionally, an in-house expert must be appointed and trained to comply with FAA rules on unmanned commercial flights, requiring a pilot and/or spotter with a clear line of sight to the drone. Insurance poses another challenge, as the lack of actuarial data makes it expensive, necessitating custom risk management solutions. Lastly, even once the drone is chosen and purchased, builders also need to have the right processes and technology in place to edit, archive, and share drone footage in order to fully benefit from their investment.
How the TrueLook drone solution works
TrueLook’s drone service simplifies the entire drone documentation process for you. You can get started right away, without the hurdles of insurance and FAA certification. Our pilots are insured and FAA-approved to fly for commercial purposes, with all current certifications in place. Each pilot is vetted for professionalism and bound by strict safety guidelines. The drone equipment they use is also up-to-date and properly maintained.
Plus, TrueLook representatives are knowledgeable about maximizing the benefits of drone missions. Based on your drone photography goals, they can help create a plan that works best to accomplish them. For example, they’ll help determine the ideal frequency of missions and identify the best angles to capture.
On the day of the mission, a professional pilot will fly a drone equipped with HD cameras to take 4k photographs and 1080p video, capturing aerial images and video of your project. This includes 20-30 photos showing all cardinal directions, a birds eye view, a panoramic, and various other marketing shots. The video content is 15-20 30-second video clips showing a flyover of the entire site.
After the mission, your drone imagery and videos are automatically uploaded to the TrueLook platform. They will be added as a new photo album within that project and are included as part of our unlimited cloud storage. The images and video can also be downloaded, emailed, or shared as desired.
Ready for take off!
By embracing drone technology, you can enhance safety, streamline inspections, and achieve better project outcomes. TrueLook’s drone services provide a simple, cost-effective way to add aerial photography and videography to your project documentation. Take the next step and contact our team to learn how our aerial drone media service can work for you!