5 reasons why construction firms need to start using drones
Drones are being used more-and-more each day for commercial applications. The lightweight and versatile devices are finding new uses all the time, including in the construction industry.
Construction Global takes a look at five ways they can be put to use on-site.
1. Conducting aerial surveys
Before a project even gets underway, drones can be used by surveyors and construction firms to conduct aerial inspections and evaluations of a site. This is particularly useful in urban areas, where space is often tight. Aerial imagery can be taken and measured against tools such as Google Maps to calculate site dimensions, height restrictions, and access points. Using drones for this purpose will save construction firms and project managers time, money and resources.
2. High definition video and imagery
Drones have the capability to be fitted with high-definition cameras. With this level of technology on-board, users on the ground are able to survey a site in real-time, but also capture video and imagery. Traditionally, aerial footage would have to be captured from a helicopter or light aircraft and the fuel cost alone makes drones a much more viable option.
3. Worksite surveillance
Surveillance is one of the main benefits of drone technology in the construction sector, but it isn’t limited to land management. Drones can also be used to monitor contractors on site, to ensure health and safety standards are being met. Security firms can also use them at night to protect against theft and trespassing. Once again, traditional, static CCTV is more expensive and less mobile.
4. Light management and planning
Lighting and light pollution is a key concern for construction firms. Drones can be deployed at night to monitor illumination on site, ensuring it is even and not spilling past set boundaries unnecessarily. Even with careful planning there can be a variance between what’s expected and what happens, so drone tech can help manage and rectify this.
5. Movement of materials
Amazon has begun using drones to transport goods to its customers and construction firms can use them much in the same way. Moving materials and equipment on site can be done using drones – this is particularly useful in hard-to-reach places.
HS2’s Old Oak Common station in London given go-ahead
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today given the go-ahead to construct the HS2 train station in Old Oak Common in London. It is said that the station will be the UK’s largest built in one stage, and will create more than 2,300 jobs.
Mr. Shapps said: “The start of permanent works at the largest train station ever built in the UK in one go, Old Oak Common, marks yet more progress in delivering HS2, the high-speed, high-capacity and low-carbon railway that will form the backbone of our national transport network. This ‘super hub’ station shows our Plan for Jobs in action – kickstarting major regeneration, creating 2,300 jobs and 250 apprenticeships in construction – and underlines this Government’s determination to build back better”.
Construction of the 32-acre site will include a 1.1-mile-long underground wall making way for six HS2 platforms. HS2 Ltd said the station aims to offer “unrivaled connectivity” with services to four crossrail platforms, four mainland platforms in South Wales, as well as platforms in the Midlands and North of England.
A notable feature of the station is its roof, which is the size of three football pitches. Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “The start of permanent works at Old Oak Common station, our first station under construction, is a significant step for phase one of HS2, as we deliver world-leading engineering to create what will arguably be one of the best-connected railway super hubs in the UK”.
The HS2 project so far
Announced in January 2009 as a government plan to construct a new high-speed railway network connecting London, the West Midlands, Leeds, and Manchester, HS2 or “High Speed 2” initially sparked criticism for its potential impact on the country’s green spaces and countryside.
With costs of over £42bn for the tracks and a further £8bn for rolling stock, the HS2 is the single most expensive project ever attempted by the British government. While the plan may have been announced over a decade ago, construction started in 2017 and is still ongoing. It is due to be completed in 2025, although the COVID-19 pandemic has almost definitely put a spanner in the works.
If the process goes according to plan, HS2 Ltd says that Phase 1, the London to Birmingham line, will open to the public in 2026, following commissioning and testing. Phase 2, which includes a route from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, is due to start construction the same year, with an estimated completion and operation date of 2033.