Why use drones for building & infrastructure inspections?
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are essentially flying robots. They are probably best known for military applications but, in recent years, they have become increasingly used for commercial purposes—building inspection is one.
Drones can significantly reduce the time, cost and risk of commercial building inspections when compared to conventional methods. There are many pros to this approach such as:
- Cost – Depending on equipment and location, rates to hire a drone pilot range from $100 to $450 per hour. Typically, you would pay the drone pilot less than it would cost you to insure the person who would have been hanging off the side of your large commercial building.
- Time – The drone can also be deployed very quickly and capture the necessary footage in hard-to-reach places much faster than a human could. A typical drone flight can be completed in 5 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the building.
- Risk – Locating temperature variations and anomalies in a building envelope that may indicate energy leaks or other potential problems is often difficult and sometimes dangerous.
- Versatility – UAVs can be equipped with a wide variety of sensors such as infrared sensors, laser, thermographic or video cameras combined with GPS, compass, and altimeter data together provide high resolution 3D and orthomosaic maps that can be analyzed.
Live data streaming and custom apps allows for more efficient and safe building and rooftop inspection and in addition to maintenance inspections, drone-generated video footage can also be a very useful marketing tool. The images, data collected and results are easy to share with accurate and detailed reports that allow fast and precise decisions.
We are also able to stream what the drone sees in real time, which allows the property manager to assess conditions from the ground by watching the drone operator’s monitor or from a remote location via a private YouTube link.