TL/DR: General Contractors and Design Teams are always looking for innovative ways to make best use of their time. UAVs can be utilized to quickly capture imagery to perform visual inspections faster, safer, cheaper more thoroughly than typical methods.
Construction is nearing completion on a project in downtown to renovate an old building with a stucco facade. Upon completion of the stucco, we did a building punch walk with the architect, GC project manager and superintendent, stucco foreman, myself, and the owner. It took us an hour climbing around the scaffolding to spot check various conditions (side note, according to OSHA there are 4500 accidents and 50 deaths a year attributed to scaffolding accidents):
- Waterproofing at penetrations
- Weep holes
- Quality of construction
We all took photos with our phones and a field report with some minor corrections in the next week or so; pretty typical for a punch walk.
As we're going through this exercise, I couldn't help but think: why are we all here?
Sure, there's a satisfaction to "kicking the tires", but we were all looking for about the same things, and coming to the inspection we had specific issues we wanted to address and look for. If there were truly a discrepancy, it'd be a much more effective use of time to solely inspect that condition, but this could have easily and more thoroughly been accomplished utilizing UAV services.
An alternative scenario could have looked like this:
- Skyview Imagery is contracted to document the building facade. Not a spot check, EVERY window and penetration. This could be accomplished not only upon completion, but at various stages to ensure compliance.
- We would provide a field report showing every penetration and any potential discrepancies, and imagery blanketing the entire building envelope.
- This report would be distributed to the entire design team for comments.
- Any discrepancy would be shared with the GC and subcontractor for correction or comments and the task is closed out.
Estimating hourly rates and fees, here's how this would break as far as time and financial commitments:
On this small scale application, a $300 service would yield a 38% savings per visit without having to leave your office. If this were a larger project, or had team members flying in from out of town, the savings would be substantially higher.
Let's take it a step beyond that of how we can use the same process to eliminate site visits while still conducting other visual inspections:
- Structural steel, structural members
- Building envelope, various stages
- Concrete inspections
- Waterproofing and Fireproofing
- Roof, Flashing, Sheathing, Nailing
Where can you find opportunities to optimize your team's time?
For more information, check us out at www.svimagery.com