How Drones are helping housebuilders reduce their carbon footprint

House building drone image
Drone Scotland – Image – Housebuilding

COP26 has just finished in Glasgow. World leaders and delegates from over 180 nations have been working to identify how the 1.5C target can be achieved. It is anticipated that further policies will be introduced to help make the goal a reality. This will impact how we all live and how businesses operate. Green technology is going to play a critical role in reducing our carbon footprint. The pressure is already on us all to find new ways to be productive whilst reducing carbon emissions. We will explore how the housebuilding sector is utilising drone technology to drive efficiencies and reduce their carbon footprint.

Drones in housebuilding and construction

PwC forecast that drones will drive over £8.6bn in efficiencies to the UK construction sector by 2030. Many housebuilding firms either include drones within their strategies whilst others have only dipped their toe to test the water. Surprisingly some haven’t utilised drones at any of their sites – often not fully understanding what drones can offer. At Drone Scotland, we are trusted by many of the leading construction firms to provide multiple site data for 5 years.

“Drones in construction allow contractors a chance to monitor any issue, track progress and develop better plans on-site by providing an unrivalled view of a site at a fraction of the cost. This has largely been related to various aspects of a construction project from deploying labour, material wastage, site inspection, and an overall return on investment (RoI).” (Sidharth Verma – Geospacial World)

Drone Scotland – housebuilding

At Drone Scotland we provide fast and accurate information that helps people make the right decisions at the right time. By doing so, we offer our customers an advantage within the market.

Our equipment operates on batteries and produces no harmful gases. Our batteries and other electronic equipment are powered through our solar panels (where possible) The data we provide is shared electronically thus enabling distance collaboration. We deploy small teams and capture data faster and cheaper than traditional methods. Also having a reduced impact on the environment.

To help understand what Drone Scotland are delivering for the housebuilding sector we’ve listed the types of projects we typically deliver below.

1. Topographical drone surveys

Highly accurate, reliable and repeatable full site elevation surveys. Data capture to delivery can be as fast as same day to within a few days – subject to size and complexity of the survey. Data is neutral – we don’t know what the elevations are meant to be or what the design levels are. We simply provide ‘as is’ data in a variety of formats including visual DSM’s, 3D Meshes, Orthomosaic maps as well as cleaned CSV point clouds.

Low impact, environmentally friendly and fast surveys help our clients make the correct decisions when they need to be made. This in turn reduces the need to buy or sell soil. It helps our client’s better plan their earthworks strategy, as well as relocate soil to other sites rather than buy and sell soil to 3rd parties.

Less trucks on the road, less soil being transported and reduced costs. One of our housebuilding customers recently advised that just one of our drone surveys saved them £300,000 in soil costs alone at a single site. How much did that also save the environment? More information on surveying and topography can be found here.

2.Housebuilding Delivery management

Housebuilding sites are busy places. It’s common for materials to be offloaded and then moved around a site. Each time results in a loss of materials and even cross contamination. This results in excess waste and excess deliveries arriving on site – all of which are harmful to the environment and increase your carbon footprint . Our up to date full site maps as well as online collaboration tools help site managers communicate with internal and external parties about their site. Imagine a haulage company had an up-to-date map of the site showing them exactly where they are to offload?

3.Site planning

By conducting pre-construction missions we can provide unrivalled data to help site managers design their compound. The maps can be accurate to within 30mm when aligned to British National Grid. A well designed site is an efficient site which in turn helps it to be friendlier to the environment.

4.Pre-purchase site inspections

No longer do you need to get everyone to travel to the site to understand your site. Housebuilders instruct us to provide aerial data of their site so that they can assess the plot remotely and make a buying decision. This often includes topographical data as well as 360 panoramas and videos. One vehicle attending the site is substantially more friendly than a whole team of vehicles arriving. In addition, we only require a single site visit as once we capture the site, the data is processed and saved. If you need to review an area, you simply load it up on a PC rather than having to reattend.

5.Design and planning

The data provided by drones is not only accurate but very visual. This helps speed up design and planning and reduces the need for sites visits from internal staff, external 3rd parties and investors. Less visits means less CO2 in the air.

6.Site redesign

Its common place for design changes to be made throughout the lifecycle of a build. Doing so requires putting surveyors on the ground for days or sometimes even weeks. Our drones capture this data at every visit and provide the deliverables in a timely manner. Helping get the redesign correct helps reduce errors which in turn benefits the environment.

For information on how Drone Scotland can support your housebuilding business contact our team at or 0141 309 4685. A full list of our housebuilding drone services can also be found here.

To see other articles from Drone Scotland on the Housebuilding and Construction industry click here.

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