Jeremiah Karpowicz / Commercial UAV news
The many ways in which drones can impact how construction professionals might approach a project have been well documented, but recent changes to regulation and advances of UAV technology have altered these conversations. Rather than focusing on the potential of these tools, many stakeholders are ready to explore where and how UAVs can make a difference. How will a drone impact their bottom line? Will it mean training for the current crew? What kind of data will they be getting from a drone?
Beyond such practicalities, questions around what adoption looks like for organizations of different scales and scope remain. After all, it’s one thing to figure out the best way to utilize a drone on a specific project, but it’s quite another to work through what doing so will mean across an entire organization.
Recently, the team at 3DR connected with experts from large and small firms to detail exactly how drones were making a difference for them. Whether it was the 4X increase in productivity with Site Scan or how a company is using drones as a QA/QC Tool, it’s clear these practical differences are being realized, and it’s especially notable to see how companies of various sizes are seeing those distinctions. By making it easy to collect and process aerial data while seamlessly integrating with existing workflows, drones are increasingly finding a place on job sites of any size.
Seeing the Same Differences
Two very different companies have showcased how and where drones are making a difference for them. Bogh Engineering is a 3rd generation family owned construction and engineering company with 65 employees. On the other end of the spectrum, PCL Construction is a group of independent general contracting construction companies with over 4,400 employees across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Both companies have been able to identify the difference UAV technology has made to their bottom line and the way they approach a project.
Bill Bennington is Virtual Construction Manager at PCL Construction Services, Inc. He’s been an active part of the company’s project startup process, which includes a discussion between project teams and district management, to determine which tools and technologies could be leveraged to add value to the project. These talks are focused on how technology like drones can impact a specific project, but these are conversations that have implications for the entire organization.
“I think our size made it easier to move forward with the technology,” Bennington said. “At any given time, we have many projects underway in various market sectors and phases of construction. This allowed us to quickly put the system in use and test its full range of capabilities.”
Bennington can and does consider the differences the technology represents for projects that vary in scope and scale, but the differences he’s looking for are the same as the ones for professionals who are focused on single projects.
Mark Bogh is the President of Bogh Engineering, and he’s actively involved with the demolition and rebuild of Indio High School in Indio, CA. His company flies their drone every day on their current export job to look at areas that need to be cut or shaved, as well as areas that need to be filled. He’s able to use the data gathered by the drone to ensure he’s being as strategic as possible in that process, as not doing so generates unnecessary expenses for the 40-acre site. However, he’s been able to leverage the drone in a far more specific and even beneficial manner.
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