drones in construction

 Drones in construction: Uses, Types, and Importance

Drones have emerged as one of the most alluring construction innovations in recent years. Drone use in the industry has increased by 239% year over year, more than in any other business sector. They are useful tools with advantages ranging from remote monitoring to on-site safety thanks to their aerial vantage point and data gathering capabilities.

Drone use in construction will increase dramatically as the sector develops and projects get more complicated. The advantages of drone technology have particularly transformed the entire project life cycle, from project idea to project closeout. Drone photography is used to scope out projects, monitor construction progress, and deliver real-time information.

Construction drones are a prime example of cutting-edge technological advancement that can dramatically shorten the time it takes to complete a project while requiring less capital and labor. Well this article will be answering questions based on the usefulness of drones in construction

drones in construction


  • What are drones?
  • How are drones changing the construction industry?
  • What do you need to implement a drone surveying program?
  • What are the best drones used in construction?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using drones in construction?

Let’s begin


What are drones?


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sometimes known as drones, are used for a variety of jobs, from routine to extremely dangerous. These robotic-looking aircraft may be seen practically anywhere, from delivering groceries to your home to rescuing avalanche victims.

Drones are increasingly commonplace in building projects. Due to a variety of factors, the construction industry is currently one of the fastest-growing commercial drone users.

Construction companies can gain from drone data in a variety of ways. Data may be gathered securely, rapidly, and precisely to assist businesses in monitoring their on-site progress, streamlining communication and decision-making, identifying errors, building thorough maps and 3D models, and preventing on-the-ground workers from entering risky regions.

Drones were initially created for the aerospace and military industries, but because of the increased levels of efficiency and safety they bring, they have entered the public. These robotic Drones fly independently and with varying degrees of autonomy.

Read more: Everything you need to know about drones

How are drones changing the construction industry?

The following are the reasons drones change the construction industries

  • Clarity
  • Improved Timelines
  • Protected Area

Improved Timelines

Any significant project’s planning procedure requires accurate data. Traditional surveying can collect data, but it frequently does so slowly and necessitates stopping everything on the job site in order to attain the highest level of accuracy. Drone surveying dramatically increases surveying speed and accuracy, allowing for much speedier and better-informed decision-making that can greatly shorten project deadlines.

Also, it considerably lessens the degree of uncertainty while assessing the accuracy of various project components and tracking project progress. Drone surveying has already made significant improvements to project timetables and ensured that clients’ expectations are constantly satisfied in the construction industry thanks to its increased efficiency, accuracy, and security. s


Any substantial building project often entails a number of subcontractors that are recruited to carry out specific tasks that are a part of the larger project. Some subcontractors are more concerned with completing their portion of the project than they are with considering the overall project. Project managers get a new level of clarity and reporting accuracy with the digital data and project updates that drone surveying and Propeller deliver, enabling them to precisely monitor the overall development of the project.

Construction organizations may maintain thorough records without having to rely on expensive and time-consuming conventional surveying techniques that could potentially cause project delays and increase variable costs thanks to greater accuracy and more thorough reporting. With this additional advantage, disputes can be clarified and resolved more rapidly to prevent project mismanagement and delays with drone survey data. Many businesses may now manage their reporting requirements on-demand and make crucial decisions regarding any conflicts, preventing significant project delays and misunderstandings.

Protected Area

Environmental sustainability in construction can be promoted and advanced with the help of technology, such as drone surveys. Workplaces that run smoothly not only advance projects more quickly and with fewer errors, but they also generate less waste. This results in a more ecologically friendly construction process, which is advantageous to the company and the neighborhood. Drone surveys and the Propeller Platform’s data processing enable you to more easily identify protected areas and proactively mitigate effects on natural resources (e.g., wildlife migration corridors, natural water drainage features, protected forests).

What do you need to implement a drone surveying program?

There are only three main pillars to concentrate on when you’re just getting started with implementing a drone surveying program on your worksites, despite the fact that it may seem complicated.

  • Training and certification
  • Drone Hardware
  • Mapping Software

Training and certification

Despite their small size, drones are still a sort of aircraft. All unmanned aerial vehicles are subject to regulation by your nation’s aviation agency (or UAVs). Depending on the airspace above, where you work may affect how, when, and whether you fly.

The FAA oversees commercial drone rules in the US, and a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate is necessary to fly. Maintaining a visual line of sight, flying below particular heights, and adhering to specific safety regulations when flying over people are crucial components of drone operation. It takes some studying and passing an exam to obtain your Part 107 license, but the procedure is simpler than you may imagine. Multiple-choice questions on important aviation words, weather factors, and laws that pilots need to be aware of make up the test. The majority of these solutions are obvious. Australian law governing commercial drones is a little different. Either a Remote Pilot License (RePL), which requires completing an approved course and testing, or an RPA operator accreditation is required for pilots. The RePL is essential regardless if you plan to fly a drone that weighs more than two kilograms.

The standards for commercial drones in Europe are also distinct. With the recent adoption of a single set of drone operation regulations by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), it is now simpler to use drones throughout the 28 EU member states as well as Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. In order to identify their drones, pilots must register them, much like getting a license plate in the US and Australia. Read our summary of the commercial drone laws in the United States, Australia, and Europe for more information on the rules that apply to each region.

Drone Hardware

When you get the necessary authorization to fly a drone, you may focus on the actual drone. The drone you select matters since it has a direct effect on the caliber of the data you get in the field. Make sure to pick a drone and camera combination that, given your budget, will capture the best possible photographs. It’s crucial to assess the level of precision and depth you require before choosing a drone because even minor mapping inaccuracies might have a detrimental impact on your surveys.

Mapping Software

You can read the findings of your drone survey data and decide on the best course of action for your construction activities if you have the right mapping software and the necessary training.

A three-dimensional map of your job site is created from hundreds of drone photographs using sophisticated mapping and analytics software. This map has a wealth of information, including heights, distances, and GPS locations. It is not just a picture. The Propeller Platform enables users to monitor environmental zones over time, track compaction rates, determine stockpile sizes, verify road grades, track progress on any project over time, track remaining airspace for waste management cells, and do so much more.

Be sure to purchase the appropriate program for your needs. Others, like The Propeller Platform, are specifically designed to fulfill the demands of civil construction companies, while some are geared toward agriculture. With straightforward tools that anybody can use, you can monitor progress and productivity on-site, assess quality, and save costs all from the cloud.

Read more: Understanding surveying

What are the best drones used in construction?

The following are the best drones for construction

  • Ease-of-use. DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
  • Portability & storage. DJI Mavic Air 2.
  • ZeroZero V-Cptr Falcon.
  • DJI Matrice 600 Pro.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using drones in construction?

Below shows the advantage and disadvantages of using drones in construction


  • Remote Monitoring and Progress Reports


  • Topographic Mapping and Land Surveys
  • Equipment Tracking
  • Personnel Safety
  • Security Surveillance
  • Structure Inspection and Photography

Remote Monitoring and Progress Reports

The visibility that construction drones may offer to clients is a useful advantage. When clients are unable to visit a site in person, drones may generate stunning overhead pictures and help them understand how the project is progressing. Clients are reassured that their money is being used effectively thanks to this.

Drones can enhance team cooperation internally by delivering data to connected software during flyovers, in addition to client communications. Construction managers, design teams, engineers, laborers, and owners may all simultaneously view the data, watch the project, and spot any potential faults. Moreover, drones can leave a useful paper trail that teams can later access.

 Topographic Mapping and Land Surveys

Planning intricate, extensive building projects requires consulting topographic maps. They can expose expensive mistakes in designs that are inappropriate for a given terrain. Topographic maps are useful, but they are costly and labor-intensive to construct. Maps are therefore not always updated at the beginning of a task.

Drones can significantly reduce the amount of time needed to visualize the topography of a site because of their capacity to map large areas of land. This guarantees correctness before the project is started and aids in keeping the project on budget and schedule. This data can be gathered to help with design and feasibility analysis.

In addition, the 3D models created from the high-resolution photographs taken by drones can be used by the construction team to identify problems before they arise and find errors in the scope, thus saving time and money.

Equipment Tracking

Being confused about where the equipment is at each job site is a challenge that almost every project manager has encountered. There are typically several lengthy spreadsheets involved, which can rapidly become an Excel headache (unless you have rental management technology).

The same manager can swiftly determine whether the equipment is where it should be by performing a flyover with a drone. Also, they can detect if a piece of equipment that needs to be terminated is still there immediately, avoiding costly unintentional extension fees.

Mistakes with the equipment are another frequent problem. The recording capabilities of drones could be utilized to detect problems remotely and offer visual representations that help explain those problems. Before they even arrive at the job site, operators can quickly and easily transfer recorded data to repair professionals at equipment rental businesses for faster and more precise diagnoses.

 Personnel Safety

One of the top considerations for the majority of construction organizations is worker safety. Particularly, falls are responsible for 34% of worker fatalities. When taking manual measures, workers frequently have to climb to unstable platforms and maneuver around dangerous situations. In these circumstances, drones can take the place of workers, reducing the risk that construction workers are exposed to.

Drone cameras can be used by construction managers to check the project site for safety hazards, check that workers are balanced appropriately, and make sure that no equipment or structures are loose or unstable.

Security Surveillance

You understand how heartbreaking it can be if you’ve ever had a piece of equipment stolen from a job site. You may lose tens of thousands of dollars or more if an excavator or boom lift is stolen. Less than 25% of the construction equipment that is stolen from job sites each year, according to the National Equipment Registry, is ever recovered. Hence, maintaining equipment security is crucial to task management.

To swiftly determine whether a piece of equipment is at a secure enough place, a drone operator can perform a flyover. They can check the security camera to determine if anyone is coming onto the property without authorization. By doing so, you can deter theft or damage and spot trespassers.

Structure Inspection and Photography

Drones can deliver a key inspection in place of large scaffolding and labor-intensive machines. They can be flown around buildings to examine their stability and minute details while collecting high-resolution imagery for analysis. Heat leaks, cold spots, and any electrical problems can all be found with thermal sensors. In the long run, this level of quality control benefits client relationships.

Drones can be used to do planned maintenance on larger buildings like scaffolding, towers, bridges, and roofs. Work that would require a whole team of surveyors to complete would only take a drone operator a few hours to complete.

Read more: Everything you need to know about building insurance


The following are the disadvantages of drones in their various applications:

Drones only fly when weather permits

Inclement weather prevents drones from taking to the air. They lack the ability to sense fog and are unable to fly in strong winds or rain.

Drones should never be operated beyond 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), as the drone’s internal electronics will overheat and shut down if they are exposed to these conditions for extended periods of time.

Drone cameras can’t capture everything

Drones are excellent for taking pictures of buildings and landscapes from the outside, but they can’t capture every detail. Drones, for instance, are unable to display a building or structure’s interior.

That’s because it’s impossible to bring a drone inside an enclosed location like an office or warehouse because doing so would put people’s lives at risk while they’re attempting to work.

Another issue is that drones have trouble filming in inclement weather, such as snowfall or intense rain. Also, it is quite difficult for them to record at night or even in the twilight because it takes a while for human eyes to adjust rapidly enough to see effectively through their cameras!

Drones are not that good for interior inspection

Drones Should Not Be Used to Examine Interiors. A drone won’t be of any use to you if you want to see what is happening inside a building because it cannot pass through windows or doors.

Drones can’t fly beneath some objects, like trees or power lines, which makes it difficult for them to obtain the greatest perspective of your house.

Read more: Understanding yellow standards in construction

Drone in Construction FAQs

How drones are being used in construction?

The predicted 8-month construction delay is being studied using data gathered by the drone. This data can be utilized to spot inefficiencies and determine the cause of the delay. This information may even help future building projects run more smoothly and without additional delays.

What are the advantages of drones in the construction industry?

Drone surveys are safer to do because they can access difficult-to-reach areas of the site. The drones are outfitted with expert cameras that can take high-resolution pictures and with zoom technology to analyze the captured pictures and spot any issues that need to be fixed right away.

How have drones impacted the construction industry?

Drones are having a big impact on the building industry. They have transformed how we construct buildings and made it possible for us to take excellent aerial photos. Then, these photos can be utilized to make 3D models or even simulations for virtual reality. This enables contractors to envision their projects before beginning work.

What is the disadvantage of drones in construction?

  • based on the weather. UAVs are lighter and smaller than traditional aircraft, which increases their reliance on good weather.
  • Uncertainty in the law.
  • susceptible to wildlife.
  • expertise and knowledge.
  • simple to hack.
  • malfunctions or troubles with software.

Can drones make construction safer?

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can circumvent the risks that heights, large machinery, and infrastructure like electrical and drainage systems present to human inspectors. The activity of workers on building sites can also be continuously monitored using drones with thermal imaging capabilities.

Which drone is best for construction?

  • Ease-of-use. DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
  • Portability & storage. DJI Mavic Air 2.
  • ZeroZero V-Cptr Falcon.
  • DJI Matrice 600 Pro.

How drones are changing the construction industry?

Process Improvement: Drones help track projects’ progress and increase transparency on the job site. Cost Savings – By reducing labor expenses and enhancing accessibility, drones can cut costs associated with running construction sites.

That’s all for this article, where the answers to these questions were discussed

  • What are drones?
  • How are drones changing the construction industry?
  • What do you need to implement a drone surveying program?
  • What are the best drones used in construction?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using drones in construction?

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