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Taking the High Road – Can Drones Revolutionize Façade Inspections?


Technology has changed the way construction firms approach their operations. Advanced machinery and software have brought significant efficiency and improvement into workflows. Thanks to BIM (Building Information Modelling) construction has become more sustainable, coordinated, and collaborative, LiDAR has taken 3D scanning to a new level, and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) like drones have made surveying and inspections easier.

Now, drone technology is used for land surveying and site analysis, but it can do much more, like façade inspection. In a city like New York which features over 6000 high-rise buildings, routine façade inspections are needed to identify potential problems in the buildings and address them before they escalate. New York’s Façade Inspection and Safety Program (also known as Local Law 11), states that “Owners of buildings higher than six (6) stories must have exterior walls and appurtenances inspected every five (5) years.”

As of now, façade inspections are done by humans as flying drones in NYC is illegal. But panelists from the 2023 New York Build Conference have emphasized ‘digital disruption’ in construction, especially through drones.

Drones for façade inspections soon? 

At the conference, Edward Kostakis, CEO of AeroSpect, an NYC-based drone service provider, talked about legislation that could allow using drones for façade inspection. The legislation in question is Introduction 452-2022 which requires the Department of Buildings (DOB) to set up a “Pilot program for the use of unmanned aircraft systems in the inspection of the exterior walls of buildings greater than six stories in height.”

He said (referred from Construction Dive, thank you!) “Operating drones in New York City is very different from operating drones in the rest of the country. There are so many high rises. If we wanted to do some sort of facade inspection, generally if you have a building a little more spaced, you’d have a much easier time to do that, at least for now.”

He further added that “Adoption of the technology would greatly improve the speed and efficiency of conducting facade inspections.”

Façade inspections are crucial for building safety which further extends to tenants’ safety. It can reveal structural deficiencies within a building and allow professionals to take care of it, which would otherwise lead to the leaning of buildings. Deploying drones is a safer, more efficient, and faster way of conducting façade inspections, an area which, according to Business Market Insights, is poised to grow from USD 38.25 billion in 2021 to USD 49.79 billion by 2028.

Technology changing the face of not just construction, but AEC as a whole

The AEC sector might be slow to adopt technology but things are picking pace. Firms are looking at sustainable, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions that will benefit their firm and help them in making an impact on clients, stakeholders, and the environment. 

Here are a few examples of how technology is changing the AEC sector for the better.

BIM for the win

BIM has allowed firms to take a holistic approach to construction. The entire construction process can be managed and monitored by clients, professionals, and stakeholders through BIM. It enables firms to deploy safety measures in place by identifying potential hazards, pre-plan phases and avoiding clashes, and creating shared environments through cloud capabilities. 

LiDAR is changing the way we approach scanning and safety on construction sites

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology is allowing surveyors and construction firms to scan more quickly and accurately. LiDAR uses a narrow laser beam to collect point cloud data in millions for better accuracy. 

LiDAR can also be used on construction sites for increased safety. It can help mitigate risk by identifying hazards and danger zones on a construction site. Moreover, LiDAR assigns a unique ID to each object it scans. This feature makes it a great tool for monitoring workers and also setting up security and surveillance systems around structures.

Decarbonizing construction is possible

Build environments account for almost 40% of annual global CO2 emissions. Traditional must be toppled to make way for newer technology that will allow firms to make a positive sustainability impact. They can start with decarbonizing mobility by using EVs for transport, and a new method was discovered that can trap CO2 in polymineralic rocks!

What’s more? BIM is driving the CAD outsourcing industry. It has enabled better coordination, scheduling, and collaboration between outsourcing service providers and AEC firms globally. By outsourcing CAD services, AEC firms can focus on core competencies, and get high-quality deliverables with a quick turnaround time.

Technology enables faster, more efficient, and more accurate work. Couple that with outsourcing, and you have a win-win situation on your hands!

About Indovance

Indovance Inc  with its exclusive delivery hub in India is a global CAD technology partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. We focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free.

We are armed with software’s like AutoCAD, Adobe Ai, CorelDraw, Revit, Inventor, SketchUp, Solidworks, LED Wizard, and more to deliver CAD outsourcing services across various verticals. We have 3-stage quality checks in place to ensure the deliverable meet your standards.

We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology. To deliver long-term engineering and business strategies, we align with your culture and processes to create an unbreakable partnership. With over 700 full-time employees and more than 500 customers in the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia, we are poised for the next level of success.

Indovance acts as a catalyst, Empowering You for positive change and supporting you to Do More.

For more queries regarding any of the above-mentioned topics, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com, or contact us on +1-919-238-4044.

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