An Aerial View of Your Job Site

December 22, 2016

Thank you so much to everyone who joined last week’s Episode 1 of our webinar series, “Getting Started with Drones in Construction”, featuring Jesse Arenivas from the Virtual Design and Construction Group of Rogers-O’Brien Construction and David Benowitz from DJI Enterprise. We hope you found it helpful and informative!

Missed the webinar? Watch the full recording here.

An Aerial View of Your Job Site

In this first webinar in the series, “An Aerial View of Your Job Site”, we heard from Jesse about Rogers-O’Brien’s early experiences using drones for progress photos and video and why they have now started using drones for mapping.

The Early Days — Warranty Inspections

Roger’s-O’Brien first started using drones because they saw them as a faster, safer and more cost-effective way of performing warranty inspections.

Drones for inspection

Before drones, “We had two options, a man lift and a swing stage. The man lift would cost $3,500 to rent one and get it on site in two days. Flying a drone is safer option, and it’s cheaper and faster. We’re able to capture the data right there, process it that day and have it in hand,” said Jesse.

From there, they began using drones for progress photos and quality assurance as an alternative to photos from manned aircraft. It was common to have a manned aircraft fly monthly, but, says Jesse, “often by the time we received the data from the third party provider, the site would have progressed so far that those images didn’t even apply anymore.” Today, drone progress imagery provides a much more up-to-date aerial view of project progress. “That’s why drones are so valuable — because we can pull in that data and have it that day and share images out with our client and people that are interested in this project,” said Jesse.

Progress Photos Reveal Need for Mapping

DroneDeploy Drone Progress Photos

Faster progress photos mean better quality assurance, which can lead to major cost and time savings, such as in one case where drone photos helped them save $700,000 in change orders from a subcontractor. But the more Roger’s-O’Brien came to rely on drone progress photos, the more they recognized a few key limitations. With drone altitude restrictions, it can be nearly impossible to capture a view of a larger site in one photo, often requiring project managers to manually piece together multiple photos. And that’s not all — to make any measurements from the photos would involve a tedious manual scaling process.

“Even though we got great ROI from the photos, we saw that there had to be a better way. This is where DroneDeploy came into play — now we can process maps and pull all of this data together in one program to measure distances and not have to scale manually,” said Jesse.

Watch the full webinar recording to learn more about how Jesse and the VDC team at Rogers-O’Brien are using drone maps today and hear tips for getting started with drone mapping in construction.

Where to Learn More

Once you’ve watched the webinar, there are plenty of resources you can check out to learn more. We recommend the following:

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