This Indispensable Tool Is Changing Construction

Digital construction isn’t just a concept anymore. Construction companies—more than ever—are using new technologies for more efficiency, productivity, and cost control on projects.

In the past few years, BIM (building information modeling) has gained considerable ground in construction. More and more companies worldwide are adopting BIM technologies to optimize project management, helping them to better synchronize all aspects of the construction process: planning, designing, building, operation, and maintenance. But contractors are under constant pressure to reduce construction costs and schedules. Basically, they have to do more with less.

To improve productivity, both design and construction schedules are getting shorter and shorter, and consequently, it’s easy for important details to be overlooked. For the construction, it means project managers have to begin understanding their projects earlier and monitor them more carefully and at a deeper level than ever before. They also need to be as efficient as possible while minimizing errors. This has led constructors to change the way they work; and this is where virtual design and construction is important. New on-site technologies, and more globally digital construction, can help them tremendously in this regard, solving a lot of the issues the industry faces today.

At Pix4D, we are witnessing the increasing use of drone technology for photogrammetry and 3D mapping in construction. More and more, project and BIM managers are finding drone mapping to be an indispensable tool during all phases of construction. It enables them to rapidly gather as-built data from the jobsites that can be used for a number of different purposes, including survey data. By using regular as-builts, errors can be spotted early and accounted for, minimizing impact on the rest of the project. When traditional survey methods require a few days to capture data and deliver results, drone surveys for 3D mapping is done very quickly, at lower cost, and in an automated fashion, so that the data is available in a couple of hours only.

Productivity being critical for construction sites, there is a strong demand for automated solutions. Construction professionals can now fly drones easily, take hundreds of site images, and use mapping software to process these images on desktop or cloud and produce high-resolution 2D orthomosaics, 3D models and elevation maps.

It rapidly shows site progress, and with built-in measurement tools, CAD (computer-aided design) drawing overlay, annotation, and sharing options, it provides project teams with a checking tool. Anyone can remotely access, monitor projects in realtime, and identify potential issues early, before they impact costs and schedule.

by Julian Norton, Business Development Manager at Pix4D

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