Many unique challenges arise during the phases of construction and building projects. Even the most seasoned site and business managers of a construction firm can struggle to avoid delays and cost overages, while simultaneously improving operations.
Effective communication and collaboration across teams are also crucial, with construction companies constantly in search of new, innovative ways to overcome such challenges. But Rogers-O’Brien Construction (RO), a leading general contractor in Texas, has found a competitive edge in the form of drones. By utilizing drones and DroneDeploy, the company saved time, increased efficiency, and avoided costly budget overruns.
RO has been providing a wide range of pre-construction and construction management services since 1969, but they had been experiencing many of the same challenges seen on several job sites. In order to ameliorate these challenges, they went looking for ways to reduce overall costs and improve quality control across operations.
In its storied history, RO has been a pioneer in utilizing new technologies. They were one of the first companies to rely on professional photographers, helicopter pilots, and satellite imagery to capture images of their construction sites. But RO also found these solutions were far from financially prudent, at times traditional aerial photography costing up to $1,500 an hour, with typical flight times lasting up to 6 hours. The company knew these exorbitant costs were not sustainable.
Another major challenge was safety across job sites. Safety is paramount at RO, and its team is well aware construction projects present a manifold of safety hurdles. With such expansive structures, workers oftentimes must traverse narrow beams in high winds with dangerous scaffolding surrounding them. “Being able to use drones to inspect parts of the building that would otherwise be challenging or risky for a person to do so, has given us such peace of mind,” says Holmes.
Because of these extreme costs and underwhelming data, RO began leveraging drone technology to augment its operations. And, over the past five years, the company has produced nearly $3 billion in construction volume. Today, on all of their projects, it is now assumed up to three drone pilots will be used to obtain aerial imagery and capture detailed data.
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