Compared to other industries, the construction industry has been hesitant to adopt new digital technology, even though the long-term benefits are enormous. According to the report, commercial drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are crucial.

Some construction companies are already using professional drones. Drone use throughout a construction project gives an unprecedented record of all activities, decreases planning and survey expenses, boosts efficiency and accuracy, and removes debates about the current state of a project. It should come as a given that construction companies invest heavily in drone projects.

The Use of Drones in Surveying and Monitoring Building Construction - Sheet1

How is data from drones useful in the construction industry   

Drones are mostly utilised in the construction industry for surveying and inspection. Drones have downward-facing sensors, such as RGB, multispectral, thermal, or LIDAR, and may quickly collect a large amount of airborne data.

During an airborne drone survey, the ground, features, and structures are photographed numerous times from various angles, and each image is tagged with coordinates. These extremely detailed geotagged pictures can be used for assets and inspections, such as building roofs or hard-to-reach areas. They can also track long-distance sites such as vegetation rows, highways, and railroads.

Photogrammetry software may use the pictures to create geo-referenced 2D maps, elevations, and 3D models, advancing the technique. Data such as accurate distances, surface measurements, and volumetric values can be extracted from these maps.

Drones are used in   A point cloud comprising thousands of points with geographic (X, Y, Z) and colour information that can be generated from drone photos. You can obtain precise volume measurements and do a cut/fill analysis using photogrammetry software.

The Use of Drones in Surveying and Monitoring Building Construction - Sheet2
Drone images to 3D model to make the volumetric measurement is easy now_©

Visualisation Contractors who move soil are compensated based on the amount moved. As a result, accuracy in measuring the amount of earth transported is required. Using very accurate drone data reduces the margin of error in these calculations and payments. One of the most noticeable benefits of accurate site visualization is the ability to overlay the CAD over the ortho photo. This allows you to compare what was built to the plan and ensure compatibility. Site managers can then detect discrepancies between planned and actual progress and steer projects accordingly. Site managers must control and validate finished work during the building phase to approve ongoing work. The quicker you can inspect and validate a task, the faster you can go on to the next, saving time throughout the construction process. Given the inexpensive cost of utilising a drone to capture visual data on a construction site, surveys may be conducted frequently to keep track of progress. This information timeline can be used to control and validate tasks more swiftly, saving time and ensuring that deadlines are reached. When your project hits a milestone, you want to ensure everything has been completed to the highest quality standard. Further construction is predicated on that milestone, so if something goes wrong, you’ll eventually get stuck and may have to knock down what you’ve already done. Having up-to-date visual data can help you spot a mistake before it takes shape, avoiding demolition and the associated waste of time and materials. And if a mistake occurs, and it is built over, you have a regular record of the process. You can determine where the problem occurred more precisely and settle issues without protracted debate or even legal battles.

Benefits Of Drone In the Construction Industry

A contractor, an engineering business, an earthmoving company, and several subcontractors are constantly on a construction site to undertake specific duties. Timeframes are tight and require continuously updated data to drive choices, align numerous stakeholders, and involve many teams.

For construction site managers, this is where drones shine. Drones can offer a thorough image of the building site on demand and in a matter of hours.

Drone images are crisp and precise, allowing site managers to monitor progress and make informed decisions based on current data and thoroughly rebuilt site maps rather than relying on plans or partial data that may not reflect reality.

The aerial photographs also serve as a visual aid when communicating with all stakeholders, allowing everyone to see what has already been completed and what still has to be completed.


The same data a drone collects in a single flight provides a full site map with GPS positions in 2D and 3D and detailed aerial photographs. These maps allow for accurate distance, surface, elevation, and volume measurements. Photogrammetry software then generates elevation models such as digital terrain models (DTMs) and digital surface models (DSMs). Because surveying is simple and repeatable, the site will have complete documentation throughout its life cycle.

When a project is built on top of poor construction, it is difficult to determine where the error occurred or who created it. Drone data provides clear, accurate, and retrievable documentation at numerous points during the construction process. Because the evidence is clearer, stakeholders may evaluate and pinpoint where errors occurred and settle these disagreements outside court.  

Another advantage of improved documentation is that the data collected may be analysed and compared for benchmarking purposes.

BIM managers, surveyors, and head office managers must either travel physically or rely on on-site staff to obtain information regarding construction progress. You will be able to watch the development of projects immediately on your computer, analyse it, and discuss it with site managers as if you were on site if someone is flying the drone and capturing photographs.


Perroud, D. (2023) Drones in construction and infrastructure – why and how to use them, Wingtra. Wingtra. [online]Available at: (Accessed: April 23, 2023). 

Construction site monitoring using unmanned aerial vehicle (no date) Drone companies in India.[online] Available at: (Accessed: April 23, 2023). 

Stannard, L. (2023) Bigrentz, BigRentz. [online]Available at: (Accessed: April 23, 2023). 


Amrutha is an architect and designer based in Bangalore. She is a voracious reader and believes that architecture is similar to a narrative that slowly unfolds in time and space. As an avid traveller she finds thrill in serendipitous encounters.