This is a first in a series of articles where we will look at current technology trends with an emphasis on the ease of implementation & adoption as well as ensuring that we don't break the bank!
This week we concentrate on Drone technology. Our aim is simply to give you some ideas as a starting point on what you can do to leverage the technology down on site. Its not the drones that will unlock your business to new levels of efficiency, its the data they capture.
There are numerous cool start ups and businesses leveraging drone technology right now. From delivery services for your weekly shopping out in Oranmore with the impressive Manna, to examples a little closer to home in our industry with the likes of Drone Deploy, who can provide quantifications and daily flight updates on the site progress of your project. It has never been easier to be connected to your project, no matter where you are in the world, provided you have internet access!
To improve operational efficiencies in coordination and planning, it helps if you have all of your site reality in one solution. Drone Deploy enables you to capture interior and exterior data from any drone or 360 camera.
I am sure our friends at Drone Deploy can fill you in on more detail of what they can offer but at GagaMuller we frequently rollout the best available technology on the market to our clients, with a particular focus on giving realistic outputs and explaining in very layman's terminology what we can do with this technology that may sometimes overwhelm the market.
To pick a use case that shows the value of the investment you can pick up an industry standard drone and combine a Drone Deploy license along with it, leaving you with spare change from €3,000 for a Christmas hamper.
So, in the real world, where might be a good place to start? How can we justify the spend?
Well, one quick win is that you could use it to quantify your site topography or a renovation survey during the acquisition or early design phase. It could be worth getting a drone up and conducting an early site survey, calculating the cut and fill all within a day. The return is a detailed topography survey or maybe a renovation survey that can be overlaid over your design to a level far in excess of what we would be used to in the industry. In the past this exercise alone has avoided some red faces that resulted in real saving to the tune of over €100,000's and unquantifiable delays on schedule where in one instance alone exclusion zones to electrical pylons and protected trees were not considered in design phase. When you consider the what if's, using drones where you can is a very cost effective risk mitigation tool for any project in your portfolio.
Another potential very useful aspect to the use of drones on your site is for construction phase logistics management and progress reporting. Its great to think that in todays day and age we can allow a project stakeholder the ability to have a birds eye overview and allow a very accurate walk through of their construction site with accuracy on measurements and quantifications. Project stakeholders could calculate areas, quantify bulk material volumes, identify laydown areas and open work fronts, map out the most ideal logistic routes and site access, quantify and confirm daily plant count of site, manage potential health and safety risks and close out concerns - all from their desktop - be it they are in an on-site office but cannot face the the harsh cold Irish winter mornings, or they are a client executive who is currently enjoying a flat white in a New York coffee shop interested on a check in from 3,000 miles away!
As always, the goal is to combine smart with technology in construction. Don't buy it because it looks cool and you think it will add some colour to your next tender brochure (unless you are into that sort of thing). Identify a problem and use the technology to form your solution. Always consider the ROI and you will rarely be left disappointed.
Next week we will look into some extremely useful communication applications.