With a growing list of commercial applications, drones are starting to have an increasingly dramatic effect on the way that businesses operate. Their versatility offers certain industries a unique solution to everyday problems. In particular, they are allowing construction firms the chance to reduce costs, speed up their processes and improve site safety. This is where using drones for BIM comes in.
What is BIM?
"BIM" stands for Building Information Modelling. It refers to the process of gathering and collating information from a construction project throughout its lifespan. This includes the time in which the plans are first drawn up right through to final demolition.
Essentially, BIM is a central store of all the information gathered about a certain project. If performed properly, those working on a construction project will be able to create 3D models of the building. These can then be closely examined and monitored over time.
This data is invaluable in reducing initial build costs and ensuring proper maintenance and safety over time. Since 2016, Level 2 BIM has also become a mandatory component of all large-scale construction projects. Particularly in the construction sector.
How can you use drones to enhance the BIM process?
There are a number of key areas in which drones can make the BIM process easier. This includes:
Conducting structural inspections without the need for human labour:
One of the most dangerous parts of the construction and demolition process is conducting structural inspections. Well, drones could be used in the place of human labour, thus removing any risks altogether.
The ability to carry out site inspections prior to construction beginning:
This allows architects and planners to create more accurate drawings and identify any potential construction challenges that may arise later on.
Using advanced point cloud scanning:
Compared to traditional point cloud scanning methods, drones have a much more effective approach. They have access to an aerial perspective allowing them to better analyse a site’s topography and create more accurate 3D renderings.
Taking aerial photographs throughout the build:
By taking aerial photographs throughout the build process, companies are able to update investors on its progress and use the same photographs to enhance marketing efforts.
Keeping a close eye on site activity to ensure safety and progress is maintained:
These images also give all management a quick and easy view of how the site looks. This allows for higher levels of safety and the ability to spot major hazards before they arise.
Project Completion Checks:
Once the hard work is done, drones still have their uses with a number of checks and evaluations still needing to be completed. Whether this be aerial photography or the use of thermal imaging to ensure that everything is structurally sound. The thermal imagery can be used to judge the energy efficiency of the building by identification of hot and cold regions.
Meeting government regulation:
Depending on the nature of the build, there could be hefty involvement by local authorities. Drones allow you to capture any necessary information and imagery faster and more effectively, allowing you to appease the authorities more easily.
What drones are suitable?
The Inspire 2 has access to both the Zenmuse X4S and Zenmuse X5S cameras which both have outstanding filming and photography capabilities. The high-quality imagery can be used to create effective BIM data. The original Inspire 1 is also suitable, but the Inspire 2 has the look and feel of an upgrade.
The Matrice 210 and Matrice 210 RTK both have dual payload capabilities. This means you can not only mount a camera, but also a high resolution thermal imaging camera such as the Zenmuse XT2 to maximise your results. You also have the ability to top mount cameras, ideal for activities such as bridge and roof inspections.
The Matrice 600 is a hexacopter with the ability to carry heavier payloads than the majority of other models available on the market. The M600 is an industrial, all round aerial imagery drone. It has multi battery redundancy meaning it's not only reliable, it's also incredibly safe to fly in commercial applications.
The great thing about using drones in the BIM process is that the technology is constantly evolving. High-end drones can now emit visual feeds in stunning HD quality allowing you to access high-quality footage of how the construction site is looking from anywhere in the world.
Here at Coptrz, we produce some of the most advanced commercial drones currently being used for construction purposes. Discover more here.
Here at COPTRZ we are offering a free drone strategy session to UK Surveying Businesses!
As part of the initiative, COPTRZ will be offering free 1-to-1 drone strategy consultancy to surveying businesses in order to assist them in integrating drone technology into their existing workflows.
The strategy sessions will give surveyors the chance to get 1-to-1 with a UAV expert and cover hardware, training, industry-specific applications and best practice methods in integrating drones into their existing business.