Three Wilmington-based construction companies are making extensive use of drones.
Representatives from Bancroft Construction, EDiS and BPGS outlined the increasingly important role of unmanned aircraft at a Wednesday night meeting of the Technology Forum of Delaware at Wilmington University’s New Castle Campus.
At the event, the university announced a drone certificate program.
The use of drones in construction has skyrocketed, thanks to low barriers to entry (the cost of a decent drone runs about $1,500) and increasingly powerful cameras that produce images and video that can be processed on existing software.
Costs do go beyond the drone itself since drone licenses are required for commercial use and insurance is typically purchased.
BPGS, the construction arm of Buccini/Pollin Group has been able to eliminate the costs of aerial photography that can run thousands of dollars for one flight. Footage allowed the use of videos like the one below.
The most rapid growth in the use of drones has been in constructionfollowed by mining and agriculture. Other areas such as media and residential real estate are also seeing rapid growth.
In the construction industry, safety is improved, since drones can check roofs and other hard-to-reach locations that make can be dangerous for workers. Costs of aerial photography are reduced and even eliminated.
Perhaps the biggest advantage is the ability to share drone footage in communicating details of the project with subcontractors, customers and others. A powerful feature of drones is the ability to make precision measurements.
In one site preparation case, the construction manager was able to determine that the amount of earth moved was lower than the figure cited by the subcontractor.
The Technology Forum holds monthly educational and networking events. Membership is open to those with an interest in technology and its uses.