Drones in Construction: Using drones for safe and accurate roof inspections

We know that one of the key factors that drives adoption of commercial drone technology in many industries is the indisputable safety benefits compared to traditional inspection and surveying methods. This could not be more true for companies and individuals operating in the construction, roofing, solar, and insurance industries. The one thing that many of these types of companies have in common: the requirement for their employees to work in potentially hazardous environments on a daily basis. In this post we target our discussion on a specific function that these companies carry out with regularity: roof inspections and surveys. And we look at some of the reasons why more companies are starting to use drone technology for the delivery of this element of their work. We will also look at what companies need to do to get setup with a drone solution that delivers safer conditions for their employees and more accurate results for their business.

Benefits of roof inspections with drones

Improvements to workplace safety

According to a provisional report from the UK’s Health & Safety Executive, 144 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2017/18. Of these 144 fatalities, just over a quarter occurred in the construction industry. With this statistic in mind, it probably comes as no surprise that the majority of workplace fatalities occur in situations where employees are working at height and in the vicinity of unstable objects and moving vehicles. These working conditions generally account for around 75% of workplace fatalities in the UK. Sadly, these numbers have failed to decline over the last 5 years. Consequently, companies are looking for new and innovative ways to improve safety and reduce risks on their job sites.

Using drones to carry out inspections and surveys means that it is possible to reduce, and in some cases completely remove, the need to put human lives at risk when inspecting and surveying hard to reach areas such as roofs on buildings.

Improvements to accuracy, consistency and repeatability of roof surveys

Another critical factor is the company’s ability to achieve better measurement accuracy and consistency. Traditional methods deployed to survey roofs can present problems in this area; problems such as inconsistent measurement endpoint selection and inaccessible edges, both of which can cause significant inaccuracies. This is another reason why companies are now turning to drone technology. With the right drone solution, users are able to capture the key information from even the most complex of roof designs in an accurate and repeatable way. Intelligent software tools have been developed to enable the user to generate repeatable drone imagery of any roof, these images are then processed and analysed by the software to provide information like surface area, roof features, pitch, and slope. This data is then displayed in an easy to read PDF file for sharing and collaboration purposes. Compatibility with existing CAD software also gives companies the ability for further analysis and design purposes.

Greater efficiency to improve bottom line performance

Keeping control of cost and removing factors that can lead to inefficiency are key to the bottom line performance of any business. It is for this reason that companies operating in industries like construction, roofing, insurance, and solar have been craving a solution that can reduce the time taken to undertake roof surveys, whilst also removing the risk of repeat site visits to collect missing information. The right drone solution meets these needs perfectly.

Companies that are already using end-to-end drone solutions for roof inspections are reporting that the technology is allowing surveys to be completed at least three times faster than traditional methods.

In addition to the time and human resource savings, drones are also capable of providing much richer sets of data compared to those available from manual measurement.

How to get setup with a drone solution

There are some key considerations that must be made when planning the setup of a drone operation like the one discussed in this article:

  1. The type of drone and sensor required to capture the raw images
  2. The type of software required to capture repeatable datasets and that will deliver the results that you need, in a format that allows further action to be taken
  3. The flight training, certification, operating permissions/exemptions, and insurance required to operate safely, proficiently and within UK law
  4. Identifying who in your organisation will operate and manage the drone project
  5. How you will finance the solution

Fortunately, this is where RAWview’s team will help you; providing the necessary expertise and end solutions to get your in-house drone project off the ground.

Drone roof inspection benefits at a glance

  • Automated, repeatable flights
  • Simple and intuitive to use
  • Removal of human error factors – consistency, repeatability and accuracy guaranteed
  • PDF roof report for sharing and collaboration purposes
  • Roof geometry data compatible with existing CAD analysis and design tools
  • At least three times faster than traditional roof measurement methods
  • Great Return On Investment

Want to know more about how RAWview can help you get your drone project off the ground? Contact our teamĀ here.

Let's talk about a bespoke drone system for your needs.