Drone Technology is proving to be a big benefit for facilities managers, building surveyors, tenants and owners in maintaining both commercial and residential properties.
Drones have recently become something of a ‘buzz’ hobby. The small, unmanned remote controlled flying machines have become a familiar site in parks and in open land around the country.
An early adopter of drone technology is Fairhurst Estates in Stockport who recognised that it is their application in business that has the most benefit.
According to a recent survey by drone retailer Drones Direct UK, 14 per cent of drone users have used drones for work purposes. And the property industry is leading the way in adopting drone technology for business uses, with 12 per cent of construction, trades and property management firms reporting using them.
They have proved to be safer than erecting scaffolding, delivers a quicker result saving valuable time.
Fairhurst Estates Managing Director John Thornley explains: “Traditionally, specialist surveying personnel have been required to ascend or descend a building, a job that carries risk; scaffolding and lifting equipment may have been required to closely examine high levels. Abseilers are restricted by weather conditions and surveyors must comply with stringent health and safety rules.
“Drone building surveys are ideally suited for surveying functions, especially for tall or inaccessible buildings, saving money and time.”
Drones come under the category of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
“We have a fully qualified pilot, compliant with CAA regulations”, said John. “The drone has a HD camera that records pictures on a memory card, and may also relay live images to the operator below.
“In many cases, drones can be used in inclement weather; it can quickly scale walls, fly over roofs or survey large sites or complexes, with no disruption to the occupants within.
“We use drones to look at the condition of a building, to look at the state of decay in a dilapidated building, or to closely inspect the roof. The data we collect will capture HD video and photographs of the area.”
They have attracted some controversy, too, with privacy concerns raised over the cameras many drones have mounted on them. And they have hit the headlines for uses as diverse as gathering military intelligence in combat zones to being trialled by Amazon as a 21st Century delivery vehicle.
So what benefits could drones bring to Facilities Management?
Red Rock Facilities Management – a division of Fairhurst Estates – prides itself on providing the very best in professional property management services, making best use of cutting edge practices and technology.