Written by: Joseph Fitzsimmons on Tuesday 31/01/2017
More widely known for their use in delivering parcels or conducting aerial surveillance, drones, or small, unmanned aerial vehicles, have the potential to benefit those involved in commercial property. We find out how.
Even before the construction process starts, new builds need a comprehensive understanding of the lie of the land. Drones fitted with high-resolution digital cameras can feed back information to the ground to provide 3-D maps of the site in order to provide the information a developer needs.
Once construction has started, drones can again provide a useful resource to architects by capturing an aerial view of a construction site which can then form the basis of any 3-D rendering which they might want to use in marketing material. In a refurbishment project, images obtained by drones can then be ‘modelled’ and used as part of any planning applications which are necessary, to give a powerful and realistic visual representation of what the finished project will look like.
Also consider the marketing potential of a HD video of the outside of the finished construction, shot by a drone in a cinematic style, to add impact to a website or draw visitors via a Twitter feed.
During the construction phase, constant monitoring is vital. Drones can act as an ‘eye in the sky’ to ensure progress is satisfactory, that safety standards are being adhered to, and to co-ordinate the deliveries of materials more effectively. In fact, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, which has been under construction since 1882, and is due for completion by 2026, has had drones employed to monitor the progress of the building works in an attempt to speed up the complex construction.
From checking for roof damage to highlighting areas of structural concern, drones are an effective and safe way to inspect inaccessible areas of a building, without the need for ladders or safety equipment. Drones can even be fitted with specialist cameras which can read thermal output (to ensure insulation is effective and prevent heat loss), or detect metal fatigue which may cause structural damage.
Security on construction sites can be problematical, and it is expensive to maintain 24-hour security staff who are then at risk themselves. Drones, when fitted with night vision cameras, can be a cost-effective alternative, providing a risk-free monitoring service for materials and equipment as well as alerting security staff or police to any intruders.
Technology now provides us with new and powerful methods of simplifying all aspects of commercial property, from construction to repair. If you need advice on building or managing your commercial property interests, talk to a member of our team.