What is the latest technology trend in construction that is really changing the industry’s landscape? If you thought drones, you thought right. Although heavy equipment is often associated with the greater success of construction related businesses, the smaller, less-impressive drone may actually be the vehicle which helps a construction company become more productive.

1. Mapping: Why send out a team to survey and map a jobsite when you can use a drone? It is easier, faster and less expensive, not to mention accurate. A drone-generated digital blueprint is immediately available, easily accessible through any smart-device. Watch in real time from your office or on the road.

2. Modeling: Drones are not just capable of collecting data and generating images. They can also create 3D, high-resolution models. Want to visualize a planned structure on the site your drone just mapped? Simply take advantage of the latest technology available. Allow clients to view what the finished project will actually look like. This allows for changes to be made during the planning stages, which is much more cost-effective.

3. Trouble-Shooting: 3D modeling is more than just painting a pretty picture of a final product. For already-existing structures this technology can also detect problem areas and monitor the progress of projects. For example, if a company has a containment project in the works, information systems like DSMs (digital surface models) will show color variations that indicate an area of particular interest. This could be the drone pointing out a potential weak spot in the soil or making a suggestion for a planned drainage pipe’s installation location.

4. Client Relations: Safety concerns may make it undesirable for clients to visit a jobsite and see how things are progressing. However, their curiosity is only natural. Drone technology makes it easy to keep clients informed and happy. Their satisfaction is only the tap of a link away. Accessibility to progress modeling and multiple perspectives from different vantage points provided by drones hard at work allow clients to inspect their project safely and conveniently.

5. Security & Productivity: Drones can monitor every aspect of a jobsite. They can easily shift from site to site, working to secure the interests and assets of multiple properties. Companies investing in drone-based security are saving money, time and loads of energy in their efforts to monitor project progress, workplace safety standards and jobsite perimeter security. Asset protection becomes so convenient, a company can check up on valuable equipment any time of day from anywhere. Monitoring work in real-time can also help detect areas to address that will improve worker performance. For a project manager who has a question while sitting in their office, no need to interrupt workflow. Simply deploy a drone and scout out the information you need.

Getting Equipped: For construction companies eager to enjoy all the benefits of drone technology, getting equipped properly means more than just purchasing a drone and training or hiring a qualified operator. It means operating within Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines. Section 33 of FAA guidelines regulating umanned aircraft requires certification of airworthiness of a drone and the right insurance.

Results: The final results of drone capabilities in the construction industry are better safety records. Drones are delivering safer jobsites for a number of reasons. They are inspecting areas that are dangerous. They are monitoring safety compliance. They are identifying problems and issues before disaster strikes. They are mapping safer perimeters and predicting traffic patterns around a site.

Project managers know that there can never be too much data to improve production and safety. Drones are just another tool to help keep a construction job on-track and operating within budget. It is rare that a construction problem would not encounter some type of problem. However, detecting and resolving issues early minimizes loss. As a leader in the construction industry, unmanned aircraft may not be your specialty. Consult with technology experts who can get your company outfitted with a drone perfectly suited for your needs.