Building Facade Inspections

Drone Technologies are the Future of Building Facade Inspections

Drones have significant applications to the construction industry. One area of interest is how this technology will benefit Property Developers, Contractors, Quality Control Engineers, and Architects to name a few. Engineers are frequently tasked with examining a variety of structures for structural defects, general quality control, aesthetics, correct fire stop installation, and possible water penetration. 

Facade inspection has grown in terms of quality installation inspection especially after several fires due to poor installation and non-fire-retardant materials being used.  There is a huge cost for developers, property management firms and contractors using expensive and time-consuming scaffold erection, mast climbers, cherry pickers, and scissor lifts to look at the installation of a structure to evaluate if the installation follows the approved design & specifications.  In many cases it is required for the building owner to close the building during the equipment installation process.  In addition, what can be seen by traditional inspections is limited.  This is where drone technology comes in.

Scaffolding systems were most often the only method available to inspect, physically identify and document existing issues of poorly installed facade components for review and rectification until recently.  With significant advancements in drone technologies, as well as a new generation of task-based drone software technologies, the facilities management sector is poised to capitalize on this new and constantly changing technology for the better by drastically lowering vertical structure inspection time & cost and more importantly improving staff safety by reducing the time spent working at heights.

Facilities and property management organizations may now securely and efficiently assess and offer rectification methods quicker than previously possible by using drones to inspect and collect data.


Facade Inspection Through Vertical Flight

Initially, most automated drone software solutions focused on horizontal mapping for typical applications such as roof inspections, land mapping, 3D elevation modelling, and dozens of other topographical data collection uses.  With the newest technological advances, drones can now fly vertical mapping missions, allowing for a more detailed facade inspection and capturing areas that standard methods cannot.

Drone inspections may be used for a variety of purposes other than structural and aesthetics.  For example, drone data may be used to record historical information, produce 3D point clouds, orthomosaic, DTM, DSM, digital twins (3D Maps), 2D maps, document building code compliance, compare as-built conditions, and much more.