Drone inspections of buildings

Aerial inspection of church
Aerial inspection – Church


Drone Inspections of buildings have become popular in the last few years.  There are a number of benefits of a drone based inspection including accuracy, speed of results, lower carbon emissions and cost. When drones first entered the market they were traditionally used to market properties. Those all too familiar images of a birds-eye view of a property or a video tilting up and down and panning left to right. However the ability of some drone operators have come a long way since then. With the utilisation of specialist software combined with the latest hardware, a drone based inspection can now enable companies to conduct both essential and routine building inspections and drone roof inspections from the comfort of their home office.

Benefits of a drone inspection

One of the key benefits recognised by surveyors throughout the UK is that drones offer them unparalleled access to data whilst reducing the need for workers to work from height. It is well documented that working from height is the primary cause for fatalities within the industry. An industry which is predominantly driven by health and safety factors which are overseen by the health and safety executive. Put simply, rather than asking an individual to scale the heights on existing structures, a drone can quickly be deployed whilst the operator remains safely on the ground with a high definition live time feed of what the drone sees.

In our experience we have been able to provide our customers with access to the survey inspection data within as little as an hour after operation. In most cases the speed of service of delivery falls within 24 hours. In direct contrast, jobs which require scaffolding or the deployment of heavy plant can take days or even weeks to capture and deliver the data. At Drone Scotland we have delivered drone inspections of churches, schools, industrial units, hospitals and commercial property.  Sometimes we are asked to conduct full building inspections and other times drone roof inspections. Every project is different but our speed of service remains the same.

One of the many benefits of a drone inspection is that they produce zero carbon emissions. At Drone Scotland our own equipment is predominantly powered through solar energy. This enables us to operate off-grid. Unlike scaffolding which requires diesel trucks for delivery or heavy plant which operate using diesel engines. Drones are a low carbon solution and Drone Scotland have ambitions to become carbon neutral within the next 2 years.  

From a commercial perspective, drone inspections can substantially reduce the cost to capture data. A full drone roof inspection of an industrial warehouse can be achieved for hundreds of pounds. For a similar service, scaffolding alone can amount to thousands of pounds. In reality we’ve had clients advising for some of our inspections, scaffolding would cost circa £30,000 in addition to the cost of inspection services. Utilising drones to inspect your building can often be achieved therefore at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

In addition to the live feed, drone based inspections can save and documents these images for later review by suitably qualified personnel, either on location or off location.

It’s not simply limited to your standard RGB images, there is now a surge in demand for thermal data which not only can reference the heat loss of a structure but can also be used to detect hairline fractures which may otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.

One of the key benefits to using drones isn’t simply the safety to personnel but the inherent safety of the equipment themselves. Drones are reliable and robust. They utilise advanced technology which automatically overrides the pilot in the event of a collision with a structure. They have intelligent return to home technology meaning that should the operator fall unwell or the ground station lose control with the drone, the drone will intelligently return to land on its take off location. 

Drones are revolutionising the inspection and surveying industries through drone inspections and drone roof inspections.  However it’s always important to remember that drones are not toys and thus any such operations must be conducted by an experienced remote pilot. At present such a remote pilot will hold as a minimum a permission for commercial operations (PfCO) which is awarded by the CAA and requires suitable 3rd party insurance policies as well as annually approved operations manuals.

At Drone Scotland we offer a variety of drone inspection services  including

  • Two dimensional traditional imagery
  • 3d modelling
  • Survey grade inspection where the northing easting and elevation of structures and sites can be established to within approx. 30mm.
  • Video orbitals
  • 360 degree photographic panoramas
  • Utilisation of data to capture roof reports reflecting areas, angles and lengths of roofs
  • Use of drones as visual markers in the sky to help architects visualise the exterior boundaries of structures in relation to their surrounding environments

To find out more about Drone Scotland drone inspections contact our team at office@dronescotland.com or (0141) 302 4685.

Aerial building inspection of Church
Church roof inspection

Drone Construction Services at Drone Scotland


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