A third of firms use drone technology and almost 70% plan to do so in future, a survey has found.
One third of the 161 respondents to the Drone Technology within the Construction Industry survey conducted by ProDroneWorx, said they use the technology. The main reasons given were time savings, cost savings and increased operational efficiency.
The majority of respondents to the survey (67%) were not using drone technology. But of those that do not, 70% said they plan to do so in the future. Of the 33% that are already using the technology, the majority have been using it for less than a year. However, 11% have been using it for the last three to five years.
Most firms said they plan to or currently use third party companies rather than having their own internal drone function as it is an “easier, cheaper and less risky” option.
ProDroneWorx managing director Ian Tansey said: “In a world of tight margins and an increasingly competitive landscape, the use of drone technology gives construction firms a significant competitive advantage over their peers through reduced costs, increased productivity gains and the mitigation of risk.”
The survey also found that awareness of drone technology and its benefits is high in the construction industry as 75% of participants said they understand how it can be used in their industry. The primary uses are photography and video, surveying, asset inspection and progress monitoring.
In 2015 innovation programme manager at Crossrail Marie Gilmour told New Civil Engineer that drones could have a range of benefits on building sites. Anglican Water trialled thermal imaging drones to detect leaking water pipes in Norfolk earlier this year and said it plans to extend the use of the technology.
161 respondents completed the survey, with 27% from the construction sector, 19% architecture, 18% surveying, 12% other (ecology, agriculture, consultancy) and 7% from engineering.