Drones in Construction: Impact, Benefits, & More

view of a construction site from aerial drone With their ability to record HD aerial footage in real time, drones can be a powerful asset on a construction site. Drones don’t need to be directly involved in the building process to provide benefits, either. They can provide a new perspective on a construction site, or supply key data that makes your planning process easier.

Learn more about the impact of drones in construction below, and discover where you can find Rhode Island drone pilots for your next project.

How are drones used in construction?

The construction drone market was valued at 4.8 million dollars in 2020 and is expected to nearly triple in value by 2027. According to a drone case study by California Polytechnic State University, construction drones are often used for tasks like:

  • Survey & Estimating
  • Site Monitoring & Safety
  • Quality Assurance
  • Team Communication & Collaboration

What are the benefits of using drones in construction?

1. Topographical surveys and data collection

Topographical maps are a crucial tool in many construction projects. However, publicly available topo maps aren’t always as detailed or up-to-date as you may need to make plans.

Thanks to their ability to survey large swaths of land from above, drones make excellent tools for generating accurate topographical views of the land. Some even include lasers that can scan the ground. The resulting footage and laser data can be combined to create custom 3d models of the planned site, which can be used for designs.

2. Better planning and decision-making

An aerial perspective of a construction site could also allow you to spot potential pitfalls you may not have seen from the ground. This added information could help you make more informed decisions about your construction process, allowing you to preserve your time and resources.

3. Better on-site safety

Safety is always a priority for construction sites. However, workers may sometimes need to put themselves in precarious positions on the job, making falls one of the most common causes of construction accidents. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the construction industry accounts for 46% of all fatal falls, slips, and trips on the job in 2022.

A drone can be used to inspect structures instead of having a person scale potentially dangerous scaffolding. The drone’s real-time footage can allow you to closely check for fine details and potential structural faults. In fact, it’s estimated that drone monitoring on construction sites could reduce life-threatening accidents by up to 91%.

4. Progress Tracking

Drone footage can also be used to track the construction process step-by-step. This can allow clients to see the full scope of a project’s progression throughout the timeline. What’s more, data obtained from drones can be processed at an office or even at home, allowing stakeholders to view the findings remotely. There’s no need for them to be present on the site.

5. Improved security

The National Equipment Register estimates that as much as $400 million worth of construction equipment is stolen from construction sites annually. However, a drone operator can enhance security on your construction site in multiple ways.

Drones can perform flyovers of the site to monitor for the presence of any unauthorized visitors. They can also complete inventory assessments and ensure that equipment is in a secure location before workers leave the site.

6. Cost-savings and improved time management

While drones require an initial investment, there’s potential to save on costs long-term by incorporating them into the construction process.

According to a construction drone case study by Drone Deploy, one hydrogeology company was able to save over $28,000 by replacing their ground surveys with aerial ones. They also saved an average of 228 hours of labor, allowing them to focus their attention on other matters.

7. Marketing materials

Of course, drones can also do flyovers of a finished project, allowing you to have HD videos and high-res images that you can use for marketing purposes. The views you obtain from above can help a project feel more grand than photos taken on the ground, giving your promotional materials a professional edge. Plus, your clients can appreciate the full scope of your finished work.

What’s the best drone for construction work?

Several different types of drones in construction work can be used, but two of the most common include:

  • Fixed-wing Drones: These drones feature a plane-like design, which allows them to glide at greater heights than other models. However, they can only fly forward, which means they can’t be controlled extensively.
  • Multi-Rotor Drones: These drones feature rotors that allow them to hover in place. They can be piloted more precisely and maneuver through tight spaces and obstacles.

Both drone types can come in handy for different tasks, but at McVegih Media, we’re personally fond of rotary drones for their maneuverability and more precise controls. Our favorite models include:

  • DJI INSPIRE 3: A top-of-the-line cinematic drone that captures lifelike images and textures similar to what the human eye can see.
  • DJ MAVIC3 CINE: A powerful drone that can capture professional-quality images with a light and maneuverable frame.

A Rhode Island drone pilot for your next project

In the United States, commercial drone operators need to be licensed by the FAA. So, if you’re looking for a professional drone operator in Rhode Island, let McVeigh Media give you a new perspective.

With many years doing drone photography in Rhode Island, we have experience flying drones over construction projects, and we’ll gladly bring our years of experience and cutting-edge drones to give your project a new edge. Our fleet of professional DJI drones can help you keep your construction site running smoothly, or capture stunning aerial footage of your finished project.

Contact us today and bring your construction project to new heights.
Posted by Sean McVeigh
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Sean McVeigh is an award-winning filmmaker and producer with over 25 years of experience. Sean’s work as a cinematographer and editor has been viewed on many of the major TV networks including NBC, ESPN, and the BBC. He has also worked with iconic brands like Apple, GE, Jaguar, Amtrak, US National Parks Services, and AAA.