Approximately 53% of common construction projects are completed late and 66% of them over budget according to data from Dodge Data & Analytics and McKinsey & Company. The documentation of construction progress is challenging. Until recently, paper-based methods or Manned Aircraft Photography were used. Those methods are expensive and, in most cases, inaccurate. As a result, it was complicated to detect problems and implement the appropriate measures to keep projects on track.
Some years before, the usage of drones was not feasible as the process to get the authorization to fly a drone was challenging and time consuming while drones were expensive. However, today, the procedure of certifying a surveyor has been simplified and the price of an average drone on construction sites is about $1500, 90% less than 4 years before. Moreover, drones are now able to get down to 5 millimeters per pixel resolution, allowing surveyors to detect issues that could not be identified differently. If thermal cameras are also used providing heat signatures, other problems like malfunctioning air conditioners can be resolved.
Drones can improve the efficiency of building projects by constantly recording the process and optimizing collaboration between all construction groups. Everyday documentation allows the constructors to know if they have accomplished their daily targets and to make modifications in case something goes wrong. Real-time full record process could also aid to detect and fix faults in the procedures. In the future, drones will be able to perform more advanced tasks tracking down the progress of contractors on a detailed basis.
Data from drone recordings can also improve the communication and information sharing between the stakeholders of the project. Real-time visual data allows contractors to efficiently address current issues during meetings. In this case, a decision can be made immediately with the minimum cost of time and money.