Documenting work has been a perennial challenge for the construction industry. And over the years, architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals have adopted numerous techniques to capture and communicate progress on their jobs. Chief among these techniques has been the adoption of technology innovations, such as film, digital cameras, and networked drives.
In the last five years, drones and drone data have given the industry the ability to measure, track, and manage their jobs quickly, safely, and cost-effectively. DroneDeploy customers have used our software to capture aerial images of their job sites, process them into 2D and 3D models, and use the data for surveying, planning, inspections, maintenance, progress reporting, and a host of other applications.
While the digitalization of job sites from a birds-eye view has been transformational for generating insights and making decisions, customers have asked us for a complete picture that combines both interior and exterior data. So we adapted our drone data platform to capture and process images from cameras at any altitude, angle, or perspective. We released 360 Walkthrough, a product that enables customers to capture, digitize, and measure every aspect of their projects, from the ground-up, inside-out, and outside-in, all in one solution.
There are other software products that generate data from ground-based 360 cameras to document work. They are designed to address the industry’s need for better visibility and accountability across teams, trades, and the home office. Although they can drive value, they are point solutions used in tandem with other data capture solutions. We believe that DroneDeploy’s processing power and the integration of aerial-to-ground data in one system for site data capture deliver groundbreaking efficiencies and cost savings unmatched by separate point solutions.
This blog explains how our technology and integrated platform impact financial performance.
Employee Efficiency: Simplicity Drives Adoption and Accelerates Cost Savings
Technology designed to improve employee efficiency is only successful if it is adopted. And adoption is more likely when there is less training needed and requires fewer clicks to use the product. The growing number of robots and other technologies on job sites will make it much more difficult to drive adoption and usage. But integrated solutions that support expansive use cases across the construction lifecycle — without giving up power, precision, or accuracy — will be much better positioned to help companies achieve efficiency.
With a straightforward platform to learn and use, DroneDeploy offers the simplicity to increase adoption and accelerate workforce productivity throughout the construction lifecycle.
DroneDeploy not only aids in capturing data about interiors and exteriors during the construction stage of a project— but also delivers data crucial for planning, pre-construction, and handoff. For data capture, in particular, our software works with multiple drones for capturing aerials and most 360 ground-based cameras, freeing users from the constraints of having to purchase and learn yet one more software package to be able to use specific cameras.
Processing Speed Reduces the Cost of Rework
Construction sites change daily. Issues missed can delay projects and balloon budgets.
DroneDeploy’s 360 Walkthrough is built on technology honed from years of processing drone imagery. As a result, it is blazing fast compared to competitive products. Processing a 360 Walkthrough takes place in minutes rather than hours or days. You can capture near real-time data and/or capture data more frequently, so your field teams, trades, owners, and other stakeholders stay even better aligned.
Change orders are inevitable on any project. But with data delivered faster, teams can identify issues, act quickly, and avoid late rework and change orders that aggravate cost overruns and delays, which can also influence team morale and productivity.
One Source of Truth Reduces the Cost of Rework and Accelerates Project Timelines
In the same way that an integrated BIM solution reduces mistakes from miscommunication and lack of visibility across teams, so, too, does an integrated platform for site reality. A BIM solution captures all of the structural and functional characteristics of a construction project — and any changes. This is crucial since plans are interdependent: for example, changes to the floor plan can impact the electrical plan. One source of truth helps teams to identify these interrelated issues and address them.
Similarly, a fully-integrated data capture solution captures all of the relevant visual data about a structure and can keep teams apprised when issues related to one aspect can have ramifications on other areas. DroneDeploy integrates interior and exterior reality, making it easier to identify all impacted regions when reality is misaligned to the plan. And because DroneDeploy is also integrated with leading construction solutions like BlueBeam, Procore, and Autodesk, users can integrate site reality back into planning to generate new design documentation for changes needed.
When all of the documentation is in one place, employees spend less time searching for the right files to consult, share, and annotate. Our customers report that DroneDeploy eliminated the need to allocate engineering and design hours to pull data together across multiple systems to generate custom progress reports.
With the launch of DroneDeploy’s 360 Walkthrough, customers can now align interior data with aerial data and drone maps. As a result, users can easily find locations anywhere in a structure or a job site and track progress consistently. When these efficiencies are enjoyed multiple times a day by a significant percentage of the workforce, the time and cost savings is bound to be substantial.
Moreover, when teams work from the same source of truth, they can enjoy a reduction of errors from miscommunication. They can minimize misalignment between as-built and as-planned that could lead to rework and change orders, especially late in the project when changes are much more expensive.
Faster Handoffs and Cash Management
DroneDeploy’s integrated platform can accelerate handoffs. Owners can immerse themselves into their structures, annotate potential issues, request further inspections, and zoom out for an aerial view or zoom in for an interior view — all within the same platform. Any changes can be further documented, eliminating the inefficiencies from referencing multiple sources of information. By reducing project durations, companies can allocate the savings in cash for other projects they choose to undertake.