The market for drones in the Gulf is expected to reach $1.5bn by 2022
BIM is the process of creating and managing information on a construction project across its lifecycle. Such a process is a digital revolution for the construction industry. Drones contribute to this approach in various ways such as 3D modelling and progress monitoring. The market for drones and drone technology in the Gulf is expected to reach $1.5bn by 2022.
Competition in the construction industry is growing. Business Information Modeling (BIM) software has been around for a while, but savvy engineers, architects and contractors are now discovering the power of combining BIM with drone technology to get a leg up.
During the construction stage, maintaining proper documentation of the project progress schedule is difficult. Usually there would be a site manager traversing around the site capturing photographs at random points and then preparing the whole site report based on these limited photographs. With the introduction of drones into the construction industry, a series of high definition aerial shots and videos can be easily captured so as to get a better insight to the progress that has occurred without actually being on-site. The real time data acquired by light detecting sensors mounted on the drones can help create building information models which can be directly fed into Autodesk’s program line such as BIM, Inventor, AutoCAD and Revit for early damage detection procedures, quality management exercises and other asset evaluation techniques. The point clouds
or building information models can be further used to retrieve relevant information at the wish and will of the engineer.
BIM uses a wealth of data gathered in various ways to accurately create a 3D model of a project, significantly streamlining the preparation and ongoing monitoring phases, and reducing costs. However, the key to effectively using BIM is gathering accurate data from mapping tools, Google Earth and other resources. No source provides more precise data, including aerial imagery and digital elevation, however, than drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles are revolutionizing the construction and engineering fields. PwC estimates the value of labour and services that will be replaced by drones at $127.3bn. More than one-third of that is from infrastructure and construction companies. How are drones being used? Consider how leveraging drones can improve a firm’s BIM output.
One of the key benefits of drone usage is precision. The degree of accuracy in the data is phenomenal, better than any other method. Drones provide a controllable, repeatable process not rivaled by manual techniques. Here’s how it works. A flight path can be programmed into a mapping application such as DroneDeploy, so that it automatically surveys the same area each day. While in the air, the drone takes hundreds of images. Those images are sent to the cloud and incorporated into BIM software to create a 3D image. The 3D image is overlaid on the original CAD designs to look for problems and inconsistencies. As the project moves forward, construction crews can catch mistakes quickly, such as pipes or trenches that were not dug correctly. Catching these inconsistencies upfront saves money and timeline setbacks, advantages for both contractors and their clients.
Drones can survey a construction site, creating data for every square inch. Compare that precision to traditional mapping techniques that yielded a data point every 30 or 40 feet. There’s no comparison. Data can be collected daily, if necessar y. “Daily scanning allows you to spot problems as they happen so you can either fix it or, if it’s not a big deal, model it for the next guy who comes so he won’t make a mistake”, according to a Robotics Trends interview.
The combination of BIM and drone usage streamlines many aspects of the construction process. One huge way is simple collaboration between teams. BIM software creates a “shared” model, allowing each building discipline to make notes that are seen by the rest of the teams and departments. The need to rework drawings or create duplicates is eliminated. Each shared object is attached to a database. As new data is collected and construction specs evolve, the model quickly updates, giving all team members real-time access to the latest 3D version.
Construction Work Zone referred to 2015 as a “transitional year” for drone use and predicted 2016 as a “break out” year for commercial drone use. The total drone industry will be worth $127bn by 2020.
PwC says drone solutions are best suited for sectors that require high quality data, businesses that manage assets dispersed over big areas, largescale capital projects and infrastructure maintenance, all accurate descriptions of projects handled by construction and engineering firms. Drone usage benefits contractors and their clients. Investing in and using this technology now will put a company ahead of its competition.
The combination of BIM and drone usage streamlines many aspects of the construction process.″
Drone solutions are best suited for sectors that require high quality data.