Seven years ago, Massachusetts-based Windover Construction began flying drones for construction to capture comprehensive data of its sites to increase operational efficiencies. Since then, the full-service construction and management firm with an industry-leading Virtual Design and Construction capabilities has expanded the ways it uses—and derives value—from uncrewed operations.
From Commercial UAV News by Scott Howe.
“We were one of the very early implementers of drone technology in construction,” Amr Raafat, Windover’s Chief Innovation Officer told Commercial UAV News. “We decided to implement drones for many reasons, and some of the biggest reasons were mitigating risk and having the ability to capture data in ways that are less time consuming and more efficient.”
Raafat explained that drones are ideal for getting information on major construction sites. “We work on large, multifamily sites that can be as large as 20 acres,” Raafat said. “We found that using drones with laser scanning technology is a lot less time-consuming than going on the ground to capture data. We saw that drone technology can really be much more efficient in very large areas, as well as a hard-to-reach areas.”
On recognizing the effectiveness of uncrewed systems, Windover decided to expand its drone operations. “We wanted to take things further and do more than mapping sites,” Raafat stated. “We were more interested in capturing detailed data and highly accurate dimensional information to document what’s built onsite in real-time. We’ve been adding latest cutting-edge systems, such as lidar drone sensors, to our existing UAV workflows.”
At Endicott College New Academic Center, Windover utilized drone lidar technology and utilized the drone data to build detailed Autodesk Civil 3D model to help coordinate the new foundations with the existing ledge and complex site topography. In addition to Windover documenting the whole Endicott College campus with drone scan to provide detailed building envelopes and overall topography grades data to support the campus future planning projects.
Adding these systems has produced substantial value for Windover and their clients to demonstrate how the combination of uncrewed vehicles and sophisticated imaging systems have helped construction operations, Raafat described work on installing plumbing systems at large multifamily construction sites.
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