There has been plenty of discussion recently around the many benefits that ‘proptech’ and drones can bring to the building surveying profession. However, after some intriguing conversations with my clients, it’s become apparent that very little emphasis has been placed around drone video inspection data specifically, and the valuable aids of this on condition report generation. As explored by Anthony Walker in the October-November 17’ RICS building surveying journal, it’s estimated that £50bn is spent each year on property repair and maintenance across the UK. Additionally, the article discusses the ‘data-driven’ conversations that property technology provides to effectively plan investments in assets when required, and the subsequent valuable knowledge real-estate owners will have moving forward. It’s a very interesting read, and certainly emphasises the importance of embracing property technology, but furthermore how data such as real-time video really is the key to many potential decision-making barriers.

A recent drone video inspection conducted on a residential property in the Greater Manchester area identified multiple defects including cracked tiles, damaged brickwork and a clearly leaning chimney stack. Our client is a big believer of testing modern technology (especially video) and regularly inspects historic buildings across the UK, “aerial video enables me to visualise and place defects onto a structure, it gives me much more perspective over just imagery”, they continued to explain how the data is then utilised “I will review the footage and take stills directly from the video of any areas that require further investigation or repairs”. The collected drone video data will be remotely shared with structural engineers for a second opinion, “it’s much easier to share with relevant parties, but also quicker than reviewing hundreds of individual photos”. They go on to confirm that the evidence collected from the inspection will be crucial for report generation and next advisory steps for their client. It’s worth noting here that taking a ‘still’ image or ‘screenshot’ from a video is relatively simple, it’s far from a time-consuming task.

drone video inspectionAnother increasingly popular route is to simply scan structures using high resolution video and then capture close-proximity images of only key areas as directed by the client on the ground; this approach gives the surveyor a ‘best of both worlds’ approach. Combining drone video inspection data with imagery delivers a 3-dimensional viewpoint of areas of interest, enabling multiple parties to share and collaboratively review inspection data during the condition report generation process. Appropriate references can be made and the high resolution images captured during the drone inspection can be inserted within the report, links to the videos directly can too be achieved via cloud based software such as Dropbox.

Using drone video inspection as a property management tool can considerably reduce the overall time and effort taken to inspect buildings, whilst equally creating a ‘data focused’ visual audit trail for informed on-going asset management. The ability to generate a robust, accurate and consistent framework for data collection in turn can generate much greater organisational efficiency, reductions in risk and significant long-term cost savings for clients.

If you would like to know more about drone video inspection services please contact our expert team now. You can also read some of our previous posts on drone property related topics here. CyclopsUAV offer drone inspection services to the property sector across Greater Manchester and the UK.