Transparency, Accountability, & Documentation in Construction

April 16, 2021

Monitoring, maintaining, and inspecting construction projects aren't valuable if you cannot see every aspect of your job site. And without a complete view, errors and miscommunication are bound to happen. DroneDeploy gives construction companies a holistic view of every project while storing all information in our secure solution. Our state-of-the-art visual data acts as a construction company's sole source of truth and provides benefits many executives may otherwise overlook.

Because DroneDeploy can quickly create a highly detailed 2D map or 3D model, along with sophisticated documentation and comprehensive reports, you're guaranteed to improve transparency, accountability, and documentation within your teams, ultimately increasing productivity and efficiency across all of your projects.

Let's explore a few strategies that can benefit project management, improve the procurement process, and keep any construction project on time and on budget.

Photo Credit: Brasfield & Gorrie

Improving Transparency

Lack of transparency on a job site mainly pertains to a lack of communication between involved parties. Whether details are missing or simply not conveyed, communication and transparency issues can be highly detrimental to construction projects. But one of the significant advantages of utilizing drone data is that it can help improve execution at various stages of the construction process – from planning through to the surveying – streamlining communication and improving transparency.

Drone technology also eliminates the need for manned aircraft, such as helicopters or planes. Using these traditional methods to perform surveys or document project progress is time-consuming and exorbitantly expensive. Critical, cost-efficient, and lightning-fast, drone data provides teams instantly available information to all appropriate stakeholders.

To make matters more transparent, drone technology (as compared to conventional manned aircraft) can automatically send data to the construction manager or the contractor. This process occurs much faster than manned aircraft and with much greater accuracy. Creating these 3D reconstructions during the construction process is the only way teams can integrate a 3D model along with high-resolution drone photography.

Additionally, integrating ground control points and elevations with the data generates a complete picture of any job site, resulting in far greater transparency.

With all employees working from the same information, this previously unattainable level of transparency will not only reduce errors but remove rework that would otherwise be necessary. DroneDeploy customer Brasfield & Gorrie experienced success in the form of thousands of dollars when, on one particular project, drone data enabled them to save over $10,000 by avoiding rework on their project.

Addressing Accountability

We discussed earlier stakeholders all working from the same open source of truth. Perhaps nowhere is it more important than addressing any accountability issues that may arise during any stage of construction. Having an effective drone operation ensures every team member – from the top-level executive to one of the many subcontractors – is accountable for their responsibilities.

Some may believe accountability (or lack thereof) is relatively easy to spot. For example, a project manager directs a foreperson to split his/her crew into smaller teams to address one of the many job site challenges. It's pretty easy to assess whether or not he/she did this. However, after splitting up teams, it isn't as easy to manage what those smaller teams did and didn't do. And the chances for miscommunication or (worse) finger-pointing are prone to rise.

DroneDeploy addresses these issues with something simple but powerful: All information is available at the click of a button.

Drone technology meets the challenges that accompany accountability issues during the construction process, and many companies have already experienced success using DroneDeploy. Stiles Construction ended up saving over 4 hours per week, comparing as-designed versus as-built. This kind of success is a true testament to the visual data that can be integrated with any project plan.

Photo Credit: Rogers-O'Brien

Delivering on Documentation

Planning for a full-scale look and feel of the construction project is critical. The procurement process is especially crucial for a construction company to deliver on the documentation and quality assurance promised by the drone.

Site reality visual data enhances any construction lifecycle. And because the software can direct a drone to fly the exact flight path throughout a project's duration, construction firms achieve unprecedented consistency and accuracy.

We discussed earlier how DroneDeploy images and analytics validate as-built versus as-designed work, but DroneDeploy also offers an Inspection Workflow. This workflow allows field teams, subcontractors, trades, owners, and other stakeholders to view high-resolution images of job sites, annotate issues, and resolve them. Utilizing DroneDeploy on inspections, construction firm Rogers-O'Brien cut inspection costs on one project by over 99%.

Paired with aerial data, DroneDeploy's 360 Walkthrough captures, digitizes, and measures every aspect of construction projects from the ground up, all in one solution. Data such as this provides project teams and owners a viewpoint unlike any other. From any angle or altitude, DroneDeploy renders documentation that is complete, accurate, and defensible.

By combining interior and exterior reality capture in one platform, DroneDeploy has established itself as a one-of-a-kind construction management software. And since it integrates seamlessly with BlueBeam, Procore, and Autodesk, teams and stakeholders can quickly identify all impacted regions and generate new design documentation.

Using DroneDeploy to Keep up With Evolving Conditions

The construction industry must embrace the evolving technological solutions aimed at improving project planning, building, and maintenance. And while this may seem like a bit of a low bill for a construction manager, it will become necessary to utilize the breadth of capabilities associated with augmented reality (AR). AR can support a 3D map, 3D models, and 3D software that can assist in the building design process and further improve visual fidelity with AR.

We want to make it as easy as possible for project managers, forepersons, contractors, and essentially all employees to advance the operation of your business as far as possible. When it comes to a company's drone program and where data is collected, it's imperative projects begin without delay. Whatever the technology, utilizing drones and other robotics in your program will give you an unprecedented look into your job site.

By utilizing DroneDeploy to improve transparency, address accountability, and deliver on documentation, construction companies can keep project costs down, project documents updated, and stakeholders informed. If you're interested in learning more about how drone technology can impact your business, watch our webinar on site reality in construction.

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