How to Expedite Decision-Making in Civil and Structural Engineering

June 10, 2021

Architects and civil & structural engineers have a close, symbiotic relationship when it comes to early-stage builds. While architects are the first to generate proposals based on owner requirements, civil and structural engineers utilize initial site data to determine how to convert an area into an engineered site and structurally sound building with a thought-out design plan.

But how do they get this information?

Either with manual surveying techniques such as GPS “base and rover” protocols, terrestrial LiDAR scans, or total station setups. And while these methods can yield accurate and reliable results, they also burn a considerable amount of time and resources.

At DroneDeploy, we believe that drone technology is the next wave of engineering innovation, and that drone-powered insights have reached even greater accuracies within a fraction of the time, bringing the industry to newer, more efficient heights. Utilizing drone software for grading and foundation plan development, as well as architectural plans, expedites decision making within civil and structural engineering and provides the context stakeholders need to operate well.


Design Phase Development with Drones

The best applications for an all-in-one drone solution in civil engineering come during the design phase. As an alternative to deploying manual survey teams, drones equipped with RTK and PPK technology or working in conjunction with ground control points (GCP’s) can document a site from above, providing detailed maps for civil engineers looking to understand existing conditions.

DroneDeploy allows users to share, measure, and amplify this data to multiple stakeholders and write notes in-app. Estimators then use this data to perform takeoffs using the details of civil plans and existing site conditions and, ultimately, create a bid. Since bidding is integral to project success, having the most defensible, precise information in a timely manner is crucial.


Documentation & Reporting In-App

For those working for construction companies themselves, drone solutions present an even greater opportunity for progress tracking. Repeated site surveys, largely unattainable by manual surveyors, allow construction teams to compare work completed over time and empower workers to remain on top of outstanding tasks.

Serving as an accountability tool, DroneDeploy reduces rework and overall discrepancies with @mention features and live comment streaming. As civil engineers primarily track the location and elevation of footings, drilled piers, basement and retaining walls, excavations, subgrades, finish grades, and drainage infrastructure, earthworks is helpful for design tracking and comparison through post-processing measurement and reporting.

Facade and Interior Building Construction Inspection Validation

DroneDeploy’s newest construction-focused product offering, 360 Walkthrough, engages 360 cameras for documentation and structural validation. Since structural engineers are honed in on comparing as-designed to as-built plans throughout project progress, this software helps them understand daily activities on-site. Integrating with Procore, BIM 360, and other common construction software further improves efficiency by centralizing reports, data sheets, and RFI’s.

We know that keeping projects on time and on budget is central to your day-to-day engineering operations. But with referenceable, comprehensive views of your construction site pre, during, and post-build, you can make critical decisions quickly and confidently. DroneDeploy and drone mapping cuts time and labor expenses by bringing context to your projects and eliminating unnecessary work.

If you’re interested in utilizing an all-in-one drone solution for engineering, watch our webinar on site reality throughout the construction lifecycle, or contact us.

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