While drone applications have changed the way we do business, the construction industry is no exception. According to reports, the construction industry is incredibly inefficient, with larger commercial projects typically taking 20% longer to finish, and running 80% over budget. This presents an opportunity for Drone technology to help reduce the current operational inefficiencies in the industry.

1. Planning

Every construction project begins at ground zero. Drone technology makes data collection faster, easier, and more cost-effective – providing your business with a competitive edge from as early as the bidding process. Aerial images and videos captured with drones can help companies determine the best places to build, and help document the project from the start for future underwriting and claims if necessary.

2. Mapping & Surveying

Drone solutions map large work sites to provide detailed, precise data for architects and contractors. With flight planning and 3D modeling software, project teams can easily and rapidly collect the surveying data needed to evaluate large work sites. With their ability to capture data from above, drones have been successfully integrated into surveying workflows to perform land surveys, photogrammetry, 3D mapping, topographic surveying, and more. When surveying challenging terrain, drones make it no longer necessary for human operators to physically access and measure points in hazardous or difficult-to-reach locations. Additionally, while traditional surveying methods require meticulous measurement, preparation, and planning, drones can capture comparable data in dramatically shorter time-frames. In an independent study by DroneDeploy, the DJI Phantom 4 RTK achieved 2 cm relative vertical accuracy and 1.20 cm relative horizontal accuracy.

3. Inspections

Building inspections often require teams to implement manual, rope-access techniques which require walking across rooftops and scaffolding. Drones eliminate the need for elevated work platforms, scaffolding, scissor lifts and ladders to get the job done. DJI drone solutions provide inspectors with accurate data and enhanced safety. With high quality aerial imaging and real-time video transmission, inspectors can evaluate buildings from the ground without putting themselves in harm’s way. Drone solutions collect comprehensive imagery of a roof to detect physical, water and electrical damage. By using thermal and visual imagery alongside a suite of intelligent features, roof inspectors can easily detect defects mid-flight.

4. Progress Reports

Using drone data to have a full view of sites helps open communication around issues with both owners and architects, leading to stronger trust and confidence in work. Managing a construction project is no small task. From tracking site progress and monitoring safety, to overseeing subcontractors and keeping stakeholders informed, there is almost no end to the amount of coordination you face on any given day. Aerial photos, maps, and 3D models have the power to transform your day-to-day workflow. Not only can drones save your project money and resources, but they also give your team a rich set of data for more informed communication and decision making. Another key benefit drones bring to the construction work site is smoother communication across teams and stakeholders. Project progress documented with drone data offers an easy way to keep everyone on the same page, so that architects, owners, operators, and management members can monitor what is going on remotely, cutting down at least 5 hours of meeting time per week and reducing re-work by 25%.

5. Safety

Drones provide site management with a unique aerial vantage point to help keep crews and equipment safe. Work related injuries and accidents often decrease efficiency in the entire team. Drones have the ability to maneuver through sites performing inspections, and detecting hazards even while workers are present. They also provide accurate, on-demand access to the data needed to ensure that worker safety isn’t compromised by last-minute changes or unexpected surprises.


According to the CDC, the commercial segment of the $100 billion UAV market is predicted to be the fastest growing between 2016 and 2020, with the construction industry accounting for the largest share of the growth. By 2025, the U.S. commercial UAV sector is forecast to surpass five billion dollars in investments. A report created by Skyward last year found that drone construction work had the biggest piece of the commercial drone market with 35% of the companies surveyed who reported using drones in their operations identified themselves as working in Construction & Engineering (i.e., working with drones in construction and related projects).

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