Data Accessibility in Construction

September 10, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic churned out unexpected losses for the construction industry, those within remain optimistic. A recent Procore study found that 81% of people surveyed expect an economic turnaround by the end of this year, however fraught with project delays and budget cuts. Still, individuals agree that increases in construction technology are pivotal to outlasting the pandemic, and foresee improved use of collaboration tools that will be standard in operations for years to come (75%). While the shutdown disrupted the industry, it also paved the way for quicker technology adoption and a revamp of operational procedures. With drone technology on the rise for a few years now, we predict that drone software will become instrumental in carrying out daily operations - whether working remotely or not. DroneDeploy assists in these processes by thoroughly documenting projects, and therefore verifying work.

DroneDeploy's Enhanced Progress Reports.

Project Documentation

Without access to critical project data, owners might remain uninformed about what stage their project is in. Handovers can be messy, and evidence may be missing in claims. Instead of being kept in the dark, owners receive continual status updates. By having a detailed visual record of a site, these issues are avoided. With DroneDeploy’s Enhanced Progress Reports, users can create and share one-click reports that include all project media in an easily digestible format - perfect for clients who want to stay updated on the project. Within these reports are the project’s progress media, which are interactive and engaging aerial visualizations like panoramas, videos, and photos that show exactly what stage a project is in, at what time. These can be shared in-app and to individuals outside of your organization.

Regardless of the type of project, it’s essential to easily share and access data early on in case of missed compliance or incorrect building. Inspection Reports identify areas of the selected asset or project that are not in compliance and ensure issues have been fixed and are within regulation. This is possible through Annotations, where measurements and problem areas can be recorded and kept status of. Workers can update progress and respond to one another through a continuous comment stream and @mentions. Additionally, complete project documentation results in evidence of safe working practices and conditions for insurance regulators. Owners need to be kept abreast of their investment, and these tools are a great way to build trust across executive stakeholders.

DroneDeploy's side-by-side comparison tool.

Design vs. Reality

With a host of large tasks, subcontractors, and project teams, miscommunication is bound to occur. Minimizing this is crucial to project success and ensuring alignment with budget and time goals. By repeatedly mapping a site with drone software, users can verify work through every construction lifecycle stage. This starts with workers submitting more accurate bids for projects, enabled by a clear understanding of site conditions. As construction professionals know, general contractors work with various subcontractors to determine the project’s total cost by adding individual subcontractor costs. Project costs are dependent on site conditions, which is not always evident in the design. With a precise, complete scope of the site, project managers can make the best-informed decision regarding budget.

DroneDeploy works where you work, currently integrating with software your team already uses, such as Bluebeam, PlanGrid, Egnyte, Procore, and Autodesk BIM 360. With tools like Project Design Plan (CAD) Overlays, users can overlay design plans with DroneDeploy maps, verifying work done. Side-by-side comparisons further enable you to compare two maps next to one another to show how work completed corresponds with design plans.

DroneDeploy's cut/fill tool.

Verification of Work

Lastly, drone software benefits general contractors needing to validate subcontractor work. Since subcontractors are responsible for their section of a project, general contractors need to verify that it’s done correctly and within budget. Helpful in this is Earthworks, a DroneDeploy tool that compares maps from multiple periods to calculate how much dirt has been removed and how much more needs to be removed to match the design plan. By having a plethora of tools at their disposal to complete tasks and verify work, general contractors and project managers can feel confident that projects will be completed on time and on budget.

While we’re not sure when sites will reopen, and work will resume as usual, we can be confident that investing in collaboration tools and construction technology will be essential to industry survival. As the construction field evolves, workers will see an increased digital transformation of standard processes. Drone use and DroneDeploy software aid in this effort by providing a cloud-based, visual record of work for project owners and teams, proving that verifying work done and documenting sites is still possible in this new normal. If you’re interested in drone data solutions for your construction business, read some of our customer success stories, or watch our webinar on leveraging drone technology throughout the construction lifecycle.

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