Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 16

Connected Workflows:

Drones in Construction

A CONSTRUCTION DIVE PLAYBOOK


$31 TO $46 BILLION. That’s what In the last few years, however, drone These factors combined
McKinsey & Company estimates the programs have become much easier
set up drone technology
annual impact of commercial drones to adopt:
will be by 2026. In fact, unmanned for increasing project
aerial vehicles (UAVs), common- ■■ Commercial drones are less ex- efficiencies and profits,
ly referred to as drones, will have a pensive than they were just a few and expansive growth in
dramatic impact on the accuracy and years ago, with most drone prices
the construction industry.
speed of completion for construction ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
projects. ■■ The FAA released Small UAS Rule
(Part 107) in August 2016 which
While construction firms have allows anyone who passes the
watched the growing drone trend, remote pilot certification exam to
many are slow to adopt because of legally fly drones for commercial
a few key factors. For starters, they purposes.
want to see that clear economic bene- ■■ A growing number of integrations
fits outweigh the costs – and growing between drone solutions and con-
pains – of launching a drone program. struction technology platforms is
Additionally, strict FAA regulations making it easy to seamlessly and
and the lack of ability to easily share immediately transfer drone data
drone data have also been cited as between the jobsite and the office.
limiting factors.

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 2
Drones in Construction: How
Do They Enhance Operations?
Aerial data for construction sites is With the images and data collect-
not new, but prior to drone technol- ed by drone platforms like Site Scan
ogy, it was difficult and expensive to – made by 3DR, a drone technology
obtain because it was usually gath- company that counts Autodesk as an
ered by helicopters. Today, drones investor – users can create 3D models,
give the construction industry a safe, maps (orthomosaics) and elevation
cost-effective view from the sky. In models, as well as gather volumetric
addition to capturing photos and measurements, to name a few of the
videos, drones offer many functions expanding tasks they can perform. All
to make the overall project run more of this allows for better planning, site
efficiently, including: monitoring, daily reporting, safety and
overall project development.
■■ Tracking and
communicating progress The high-quality data collected by
■■ Managing materials and assets a drone is integrated into the entire
■■ Carrying out surveillance data collection process – not just DRONES GIVE THE
■■ Improving owner visibility another isolated data stream to be CONSTRUCTION
■■ Performing inspections examined separately. This provides
INDUSTRY A SAFE,
■■ Providing valuable information for users the opportunity to view a
improved design changes construction site in real time as the COST-EFFECTIVE
■■ Increasing construction safety project progresses, as well as better VIEW FROM THE SKY.

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 3
manage resources such as materials place (the drone imagery) with what
and labor, and keep projects on was intended to take place (the
schedule. construction documents). “This is
incredibly helpful for anyone who
Josh Cheney, industry manager of manages the job,” notes Cheney.
construction technology at Autodesk, “They can see what the architect, the
explains: “The drone is scheduled to project owner and the construction
do a jobsite flyover to collect aerial company intended to do versus what’s
footage – often on a weekly basis. The actually being done. This can be used
drone flies its course and takes photos in a number of ways – from project
of what’s happening on the construc- process to safety and from material
tion site. The result is an orthomosaic deliveries to payment schedules.”
file that can be used for a variety of
different workloads.” Additionally, with enterprise drone
platforms like Site Scan, people have
With this data flowing into a the ability to view a project from any-
construction management platform where – the office or on the go – with-
like Autodesk BIM 360, users can out having to physically step foot on
layer files – enabling a comparison a site. This allows different parties to
between what is actually taking collaborate and expedites the deci-
sion-making process.

WITH ENTERPRISE DRONE PLATFORMS LIKE SITE SCAN,


PEOPLE HAVE THE ABILITY TO VIEW A PROJECT FROM
ANYWHERE – THE OFFICE OR ON THE GO.

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 4
The Drone’s Expanding Capabilities
in the Construction Lifecycle
Drone technology is on the brink of cannot justify the time it will take
a huge industry expansion over the their people to learn how to integrate
coming years. In fact, the construction them into an existing process and still
industry is estimated to be the fast- keep projects running smoothly.
est-growing market segment for com-
mercial drones from now until 2026. Site Scan helps alleviate that fear by
not only providing extensive onboard-
However, some industry profession- ing and dedicated support, but also by
als fear that integrating new tech- giving users the ability to seamlessly
nologies, such as drones, will disrupt take 3DR drone data and integrate it
existing workflows. Companies recog- into BIM 360 at any stage of the con-
nize the value of these tools but often struction process.

THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IS ESTIMATED TO


BE THE FASTEST-GROWING MARKET SEGMENT FOR
COMMERCIAL DRONES FROM NOW UNTIL 2026.

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 5
Expertly Streamline Constructability
Reviews During Preconstruction
Collecting accurate data during the firm in St. Louis, said that during the
preconstruction phase is paramount planning of a senior living project in
to the success of any project, and cut- Wisconsin, PARIC used drone data
ting-edge technology enables drones to not only pinpoint constructability
to be equipped with cameras, geolo- challenges, but also to open the lines
cation sensors, infrared sensors and of communication between the clients
more to capture precise details of the and the design team. “As builders, we
environmental and physical site. The see a project one way, but clients look
additional project data that drones at it differently,” explains Leek. “Drone
provide increases the overall success- images allow us to show and tell, and
“ DRONE IMAGES ALLOW ful outcomes of estimates, construc- clients are able to see what we are
US TO SHOW AND TELL, tability and winning construction bids describing much easier.”
– and gives you a competitive advan-
AND CLIENTS ARE ABLE
tage in an industry that’s known for Drone data platforms like Site Scan
TO SEE WHAT WE ARE very tight margins. make it easy to pull CAD or PDF design
DESCRIBING MUCH files from Autodesk BIM 360 and over-
EASIER.” Drone data can be incredibly valuable lay them onto orthomosaics collected
during the planning stage, particu- by the drone. Orthomosaics are used
— ANDY LEEK, VDC Director at PARIC, larly to help a customer visualize the to measure true distance and are an
a design/build construction firm in process. Andy Leek, VDC Director at accurate representation of the Earth’s
St. Louis PARIC, a design/build construction surface, so when design files are

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 6
overlaid on them, users can compare tion,” explains Leek. “But we wanted
design to reality to measure progress to get a more accurate picture of how a
and spot mistakes before they become site looks now. A drone provides us with
too costly to fix. real-time, measurable information.”

Additionally, when a design file For example, during the design of a


changes in BIM 360, the overlay will project, a company can overlay data
automatically update in Site Scan – captured by drones onto site and
ensuring that you are always making architectural plans, and simulate re-
key decisions with the most up-to- al-world scenarios to catch any dis-
date plans. crepancies, such as crane positioning
and movement – an issue that would
“There are tools out there, like Google be costly if they were not identified
Earth, that provide mapping informa- until later.

“ WE WANTED TO GET A MORE ACCURATE


PICTURE OF HOW A SITE LOOKS NOW. A
DRONE PROVIDES US WITH REAL-TIME,
MEASURABLE INFORMATION.”

— ANDY LEEK, VDC Director at PARIC, a design/build


construction firm in St. Louis

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 7
Efficiently Improve Site Monitoring
& Daily Reporting
As technology has advanced, import- Another way drone data can aid in
ing large visual and data files cap- collaboration efforts is by showing job
tured by drones is as simple as a click progress. “If a contractor is obligated
of a button. Now the entire team can to provide progress photos to the proj-
easily view and share orthomosaics, ect owner, from a financial standpoint
point clouds, digital elevation models drones provide instant ROI,” says
and more into a BIM 360 account so it Cheney. “This used to be an expensive
is easily accessible in tools like Revit, process and logistical nightmare to
BIM 360 Glue and Field. hire a helicopter. Now drones can be
operated autonomously, and you can
Data collected by drones is distributed do it on your own schedule.”
immediately, making it accessible in-
stantly by staff back at the office, and Leek shares one particular project
onsite by contractors and subs via their where PARIC flew a drone across the
mobile devices. This near real-time project on a weekly basis to create a
data is critical in an environment that simple video. “This video didn’t take
is constantly changing and can make much extra time at all, but it gave the
the difference in whether or not a proj- people financing the project comfort
ect stays on time and on budget. in being able to see the progress and
know we were on schedule.”

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 8
Skillfully Solve Jobsite Problems,
Enhance Efficiencies & Promote Safety
Once the project is underway, the tors – everyone involved on a project
jobsite becomes a micro-community – immediately has the data on their
of constantly changing activity, and iPad, and can see where things were
collaboration between stakeholders the day before, compare progress over
needs to flow smoothly. This is no time and catch any discrepancies.”
small task. Contractors have found
drones to be particularly beneficial Further, drones improve quality con-
during this phase of the construction trol and enhance material and sub-
lifecycle. contractor scheduling efforts. For
example, drones can get a bird’s-eye
“The whole industry realizes that view of the material staging area, and
collaboration is key,” says Nico Bon- if material isn’t there, the drone data
nafoux, Senior Customer Success can immediately call attention to the
Architect at 3DR. “You save money if issue before it becomes a costly delay.
you get everyone moving in a unified
direction, and the way to do this suc- Drones can also help locate thermal
cessfully is to collect drone data on- leaks and minute discrepancies that
site and distribute it to the field teams are imperceptible to the human eye.
through the BIM 360 platform. It’s not “Taking photos at various heights and
only virtual design teams getting val- angles is tough, but drones give you
ue out of drone data; field engineers, much more access to the jobsite than
superintendents, owners, contrac- ever before,” says Cheney. “It also is

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 9
automated, so it’s a small fix to the accurate daily site documentation, our
decreased labor force issue.” customer quickly resolved the dispute
and saved over $100,000 without hav-
Another benefit of regular aerial data ing to go to court,” shares Bonnafoux.
capture is its ability to collect in-
valuable documentation for billing or Last, but certainly not least, the ob-
potential legal challenges. Among 3DR vious positive impacts drones make
customers alone, examples abound on safety cannot be overlooked. Ac-
of how using drones to document cording to OSHA, the leading cause
their jobsites has helped save tens of private sector worker fatalities in
of thousands of dollars and prevent- the construction industry is falls –
ed costly legal disputes. “For exam- nearly 39% in 2015. Instead of work-
ple, one of our customers used their ers climbing stockpiles to measure a
drone data to help win a dispute with jobsite manually with a GPS stick, they
a subcontractor who was significant- can now do it with a drone, leaving
ly overcharging them. By having this both feet firmly planted on the ground.

“ BY HAVING THIS ACCURATE DAILY SITE


DOCUMENTATION, OUR CUSTOMER
QUICKLY RESOLVED THE DISPUTE AND
SAVED OVER $100,000 WITHOUT HAVING
TO GO TO COURT.”
— NICO BONNAFOUX, Senior Customer Success
Architect at 3DR

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 10
Getting Started with Drones
According to McKinsey & Company, as complex as they were a few years
the average commercial construction ago, when you needed a skilled pilot
project takes 20% longer to complete to fly the drone and specialty software
than planned, and ends up being up- to process and share the data. Today,
wards of 80% over budget. Much of with integrated platforms like Site
this is due to rework, quality control Scan and BIM 360, this is all simpli-
issues and scheduling inefficiencies. fied and streamlined, often taking
An integrated drone program institut- only a few minutes to get set up.
ed across all stages of a project lifecy-
cle can cut these figures by thousands With simplification in mind, 3DR of-
of dollars a day, making the return on fers a dedicated support team to help
investment extremely attractive. customers implement drone technolo-
gy safely and efficiently. Their helpful
Before instituting a drone program, library of online training materials
however, companies should consider includes a study guide to help obtain
three key factors: cost, liability and an FAA remote pilot’s license, as well
resources capability – and cost should as operation manuals to enable their
include the purchase of the drone, ad- customers to build standardized safe-
ditional accessories/equipment, plan- ty and operations procedures. “The
ning and set-up considerations, train- onboarding process takes about four
ing a drone pilot and maintenance. weeks,” notes Bonnafoux. “It starts
with obtaining a remote pilot’s license
Some companies may consider out- and then shows pilots-in-training the
sourcing, but drones are not nearly steps to fly a drone on their own.”

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 11
“ YOU NEED SOMEONE WHO HAS A GOOD IDEA He adds, “The best advice I can give
any company considering a drone
OF HOW THE TECHNOLOGY CAN BENEFIT program is to identify the best person
CONSTRUCTION OPERATIONS AT EACH STAGE within your company to spearhead
OF THE PROJECT.” this initiative. You need someone who
has a good idea of how the technology
— NICO BONNAFOUX, Senior Customer Success Architect at 3DR can benefit construction operations at
each stage of the project.”

Another pro tip for those utilizing


drone technology for the first time:
figure out which data you actually
need. Drones can capture a lot of
data, but too much will create data
overload. “Strategize your flight plan,”
advises Leek. “This includes the time
of day you will fly, what parts of the
project you need to capture data on
and the story you will tell with that
information.”

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 12
The Advancement of Drone Technology:
What’s on the Horizon?
The advancement of drone technology important data, and plug it into the
will shine the spotlight on a whole construction management platform for
new level of industry innovators who further analysis and reporting. It can
are able to apply that technology to handle all incoming visual data and
create a workflow that is customer accompanying audio, automatically
centric and automates wherever labeling (or tagging) the data based
possible. on content, making it easy to search
and sort in the future.
For example, machine learning offers
a big leap forward in this regard. In- Additionally, Smartvid.io SmartTags
tegrating technology like Smartvid.io can detect common safety risks like
and BIM 360 into these drone work- missing hard hats or gloves, giving
flows can automate a lot of activity. teams an extra pair of eyes to help
Their AI engine, VINNIE, can analyze drive a positive safety culture on the
streams of drone imagery, extract project.

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 13
Leading the Charge: PARIC Corporation
PARIC’s commitment to its drone 360 integration, we can easily share – more transparency, more account-
program — overviewed throughout it across our entire project team and ability and greater efficiencies than
this article — is firm, explains Leek, with our customers. It will be used on ever before. All that equates to this:
because “PARIC strives to be at the all of our projects.” construction companies that adopt
forefront of the latest technology, drone technology now can anticipate
and Site Scan makes it easy for us to Construction is a competitive industry, being at a clear advantage by expe-
collect and process accurate drone and customers expect more from the riencing improved project efficiency
data.” He concludes: “With the BIM firms they choose to do business with and, ultimately, greater profits.

PLAY VIDEO

CONSTRUCTION DIVE 14
Ready to Connect Your
Workflows to Drone Data?
Enhancing your construction drawings and
documents with drone data is an easy way
to get started.

With a drone program integrated into


your construction management plat-
form, you’ll be able to quickly improve:
■■ Jobsite documentation & QA/QC
■■ Progress tracking & reporting
■■ Inspections & overall safety

Connect your jobsite and start deliver-


ing faster, cheaper, better, and safer.

GET STARTED

+ CONSTRUCTION DIVE 15
Construction Management Software for
Improved Decision-Making

Make better decisions and eliminate costly


delays with BIM 360, the next-generation
construction management platform.

LEARN MORE