Drones - the next new construction technology
A report released by Goldman Sachs has indicated that the next big change in the construction industry is likely to be surrounding the use of drones for surveying and mapping sites.
The report estimates that this could result in spending of around £8.2bn globally over the next two years. The construction industry tops the list of commercial and civil sectors when it comes to the use of drones, coming in ahead of agriculture, insurance and oil/gas refinery. The figures suggest that commercial use of this type could increase to £9.5 billion by 2020 with most of that spent in the construction sector. This is from a total market of around £75 billion.
The use of drones has already resulted in faster and more accurate inspections of building sites - improving on safety and keeping workers away from hazardous areas. In particular, they give surveyors the opportunity to view a site from a birds eye view allowing for a more accurate assessment. These services are now available at a lowered cost compared to just a year ago.
Once the site is up and running, drones can be used to collect information on overall progress, making it easier to allocate resources and keep on schedule. Managers and owners will also be able to view footage without needing to visit the site - reducing the risk of health and safety issues. The information gathered can also be fed into 3D imaging software to create useful images of the building.
Finally drones are being used to keep sites secure and to protect from vandalism and theft. The real time monitoring options minimise the need for security staff.