Construction firms in GCC depend on drones to get their operations back on track

Rabih Bou Rashid, CEO of Falcon Eye Drones.
Rabih Bou Rashid, CEO of Falcon Eye Drones.

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An increasing number of construction firms and real estate developers in the GCC are turning to drone technology as they get their operations back on track while safeguarding the health and safety of their workers.

According to Rabih Bou Rashid, CEO of Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS), the Middle East’s leading provider of drone technology, data technology, and digital transformation, drones continue to prove their value in the sector, helping construction companies increase their reporting turnaround by 25% and cut down site time wastage by 18.4% as they conduct activities at a more accurate and stauncher pace than manual labor.

Falcon Eye Drones recently closed a strategic investment with Aerodyne Group, creating the largest drone service company in the world.

Rabih Bou Rashid, said: “As the UAE and the wider region reopen their  economic activities under the new normal, players in the construction industry would like to get their projects up to speed with as much as savings they can while being mindful of workers’ health and safety. Cashflow is crucial in today’s times, hence, more and more companies are turning to drones as they provide a cost-effective, safer and time-saving alternative to the conventional construction process. We have noted a dramatic increase of enquiries and orders with regard to the drone services that FEDS can offer to get them going again.” 

Using drones in construction prevents costly mistakes as they allow managers to identify challenges in the pre-construction stage, spot mistakes, and measure progress during construction. Drones also improve safety in a sector that poses a high risk for fall, the number one cause of work-related fatalities for construction workers.

Bou Rashid highlighted the primary areas in which drones will be utilised by the construction sector during the new normal:

Progress monitoring

Progress monitoring through drones can cut project value costs by up to 11.8% and can decrease the time spent to compile the snag list (or inventory of tasks by contractor) by 32%—eliminating the unnecessary cost of regular manual supervision.

Since drones can conduct repeat flights to consistently monitor the construction progress and status, the possibility of doing manual rework decreases by 25%. This helps site supervisors save five hours a week on unnecessary meetings, boosting productivity amongst workers as they can focus on other aspects of the project.

Aerial view maps allow managers to sit down and easily determine potential problems early on before they get costly.

The drones’ high-resolution and accurate data of the construction site overview help contractors spot errors on a regular basis—helping them act on it ahead of time and in turn, save the company from unnecessary expenses.

“Drones can help quickly identify potential problems in each phase, allowing managers to plan solutions ahead to prevent unnecessary back jobs that can dent a project’s schedule and budget. in addition, aside from the built-in data they have taken, drones can also overlay the blueprint of the construction to help contractors identify any deviations. Spotting a potential barrier to finish a project on time will save construction firms extra costs, time and effort,” said Bou Rashid.

Aside from mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infection thanks to less human contact, drones can help companies conduct a dangerous phase in progress monitoring—site inspections.

Drones keep construction workers and personnel from the dangers of surveying complex and hazardous sites, such as towering roofs, colossal bridges, and skyscrapers.

Since drones can hover even around remote and risky spots to gather clips of the construction site, companies and contractors can now view the footages from the safety of their office.

“Drones offer a safe alternative to what is considered to be one of the most critical phases of construction. The task that usually takes days to complete can now be accomplished in a matter of minutes, depending on the requirement, and provide more precise inspection data,” said Bou Rashid.

Site mapping

The process of mapping wide construction spaces used to be a long and rigorous process. With contractors can produce a speedier workflow with less effort needed.

Drones can finish the task accurately as well as send up-to-date data straight into a computer for fast-track analysis. They can also map sites faster than land survey and produce data—even for large-scale projects—more precise than a satellite.

“It used to be that mapping a wide construction site involves hiring a helicopter to fly over the areas just to capture images. Now, drones can get more accurate images in a shorter period and at more affordable costs,” he said. 

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PMV Middle East - August 2020

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