Drones at Brasfield & Gorrie
Brasfield & Gorrie began exploring the use of drones for inspection several years ago, but when new FAA regulations were released, wanting to ensure full compliance, they ceased operations until gaining their commercial section 333 exemption in December 2015. Today, drone operations are housed in the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) group, a 24-person team dedicated to improving construction processes through the use of Building Information Modeling.
Hunter Cole, Virtual Design Coordinator, summarizes what the team does another way; “We assist in almost anything that the company does that’s 3D-model related.”
The team is equipped with the DJI Inspire series at each of their regional offices. Whether capturing aerial photos or video, or generating detailed 3D models of entire sites through the use of photogrammetry, drones enable them to rapidly gather information during all phases of construction in a safe, economical, and practical way.
Earthwork at a Hospital Construction Site
During the course of work on a 61-acre hospital construction site in Florida, the VDC group received a request from field operations. A subcontractor had just finished initial earthwork, but the site manager was concerned that the earthwork did not yet match what had been designed. He enlisted the help of the VDC group to verify what work had been done. To learn more about this project, we heard from VDC coordinator Jesse Creech and field engineer Charles Curtis.
“We were tasked to figure out the difference between the current overall site grade and the proposed finish grade,” said Charles Curtis, a field engineer on the site.
The size of the site made it a great candidate for drone mapping, since measuring the elevations of the earthworks using traditional methods would have been a very expensive and time-consuming process.