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The Sky’s (Practically) the Limit In Using Drones for Land Planning and Design

Exploring the use of leading technology for design innovation and to ‘eliminate project whitespace’ is a major initiative at BSB Design. With that in mind, BSB Design Director of Information Technology (IT), Corey Schmidt, invited BSB’s Autodesk® vendor, Cad Technology Center, to facilitate an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or ‘drone’ flying demonstration outside the company headquarters in West Des Moines.

The CTC team followed up inside with very interested BSB Design staff to showcase how data captured about site conditions using a drone and SiteScan® software can provide additional valuable information that is immediately actionable through integration with AutoDesk® and other existing software.

When commercial project manager, Jeff Rains, was asked if the use of drones and the SiteScan® software will be beneficial for BSB Design’s projects, he said it would have reduced time tremendously just the day before. The project, expansion of an existing building, required that he go up on a rooftop to take measurements and capture detailed information necessary at the onset for design purposes.

Not only would the time it took to gather the needed information been reduced to less than half with the drone, but it could have been downloaded directly into programs without the need for manual input.

The chart from Architect Magazine shows the current and, most likely, future benefits of using UAVs in the A/E/C industry:

droneinfographic_viaarchitectmagazineWhy SHOOT AERIAL PHOTOS AND VIDEO?

Shooting aerial photos and video provides accurate, immediate, actionable information about the land you are working with.

Whether you are optimizing an initial design or inspecting progress, an aerial view allows planners and designers to see more and gain a perspective on operations from the air – which can save money and time.

Inspecting Hazardous Spaces

UAV’s can be launched quickly when needed to inspect a trouble spot and can be sent to a complex site at far less cost than other aerial means. Drones can be pre-programmed to navigate areas and capture detailed imagery that can be relayed to workers who remain safely on the ground.

gathering Site Data for Land Planning

The drone and software “capabilities include creating 2D maps and in addition, you can ‘fly through your map’ in a software-generated 3D movie, complete with waypoints,” according to the 3DR.com website. Seein 3D volumetrics allows planners to know what they’re building on and to easily track progress.

Capturing views to optimize a design

Drone imagery provides context for a design project and allows architects to plan with a full view of the surrounding area. Site imagery can also have 3D architectural models overlayed for better visualization and communication of design concepts to clients.

Tell the story of your project

Architecture and land planning firms can show current and potential customers the ‘before and after fly-throughs’ of a site. For business development, what better marketing tool exists for a client to truly experience and appreciate the scale of the work in the company’s portfolio?