Maximizing Construction ROI: Harnessing Drones and Photogrammetry for Progress Reporting

Written by
Brooke Hahn
October 11, 2023

Tech innovation is transforming the construction industry. In this blog post, we'll explore how drones and photogrammetry maps and models are revolutionizing progress reporting in construction and, more importantly, how they can provide companies with a substantial return on investment (ROI).

The role of progress reporting in construction

Before delving into the ROI of using drones and photogrammetry for progress reporting, let's first understand why accurate progress reporting is vital in construction:

  1. Project monitoring: Tracking project progress helps ensure that construction stays on schedule. Any delays or deviations from the plan can be addressed promptly.
  2. Quality assurance: Regular monitoring ensures that work is done according to specifications and quality standards. Any discrepancies can be identified early and rectified.
  3. Cost control: Monitoring progress can help control costs by identifying areas where resources are being wasted or where changes in the project plan are necessary.
  4. Documentation: Accurate progress reports serve as valuable documentation for regulatory compliance and dispute resolution.

The traditional approach vs. drones + photogrammetry

Traditionally, progress reporting relied on manual measurements, surveys, and visual inspections, all of which were time-consuming and prone to errors. With the advent of drones and photogrammetry software to transform drone images into orthophotos and 3D models, construction companies have access to a more efficient and accurate alternative.

Drones in construction:

Drones equipped with cameras and sensors can capture high-resolution images and data from various angles. They can access hard-to-reach areas and provide an overall view of the construction site, making them invaluable tools for progress reporting.

Photogrammetry:

Construction progress reporting photogrammetry with Birdi

Photogrammetry involves processing images to create accurate, 2D and 3D models and maps of the construction site. When drone-captured images are uploaded into a photogrammetry platform like Birdi, the images get stitched together to create a top-down model of the construction site. This provides a comprehensive and precise overview of the project's status.

ROI benefits of drones and photogrammetry in progress reporting

1. Time savings:

Traditional methods might take days or even weeks to collect data manually. With drones, data can be captured in a matter of hours, or even minutes, and then uploaded into a photogrammetry platform and processed into maps and models quickly for insights.

2. Cost efficiency:

While there is the initial investment in purchasing drones (or outsourcing your capture to external drone pilots or to Birdi's own pilot network) and photogrammetry software, the long-term cost savings are substantial. Fewer man-hours are required for data collection and analysis, reducing labor costs.

3. Accuracy:

Capturing your site with drones and then processing the data into 2D and 3D outputs offers a level of accuracy that is hard to achieve with manual methods. This reduces the risk of errors in progress reporting, potentially saving money on rework.

4. Improved decision-making:

Accurate and up-to-date progress data allows construction managers to make informed decisions promptly. This can prevent costly delays and rework.

5. Risk mitigation:

Early detection of issues through drone-based progress reporting helps in risk mitigation. Addressing problems at an early stage can prevent them from escalating into costly challenges later in the project.

6. Enhanced client satisfaction:

Clients often appreciate transparency and timely updates. Delivering detailed and visually appealing progress reports generated from drone captured data can strengthen client relationships and lead to repeat business.

7. Legal protection:

In the unfortunate event of disputes or legal issues, having comprehensive and accurate progress reports can provide legal protection and potentially save substantial legal fees.

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The ROI of using drones and photogrammetry for progress reporting in construction is clear. These technologies streamline the reporting process, improve accuracy, reduce costs, and provide a wealth of benefits that ultimately enhance project outcomes. Embracing these innovations not only positions construction companies as forward-thinkers but also ensures they remain competitive and profitable in an ever-evolving industry. As construction continues to advance, harnessing the power of drones and photogrammetry for progress reporting is an investment that pays dividends in terms of both financial gains and project success.

Brooke Hahn
Brooke has been involved in SaaS startups for the past 10 years. From marketing to leadership to customer success, she has worked across the breadth of teams and been pivotal in every company's strategy and success.