When Microsoft launched its campus modernization project in Redmond, Wash. in 2019, the software giant planned to demolish several buildings equivalent to the total square footage of 30 NFL football fields.
As the renovation of 6.7 million square feet progresses, the process has been optimized using drones to capture both the demolition and the project’s evolution from the razed site to completion.
“The [drone demolition] images have fed into 3D models of the site which are providing data to more effectively tackle challenges as they arise, plan ahead and monitor construction progress,” a Microsoft spokesperson said of the imaging process.
As with most industries, drones are fast becoming the default solution as a means to film and image construction demolitions. In the overall construction industry, drones have revolutionized data analysis and imaging. A 2018 U.S. Chamber of Commerce study noted 54 percent of general contractors and 60 percent of large construction companies were using drones and expected to use more in the coming years.
Building demolitions have always been the subject of public fascination – from the classic montage of old-school, Vegas implosions featured in Scorsese’s Casino to the demolition of the Georgia Dome seen by millions of viewers in 2017. Demolition companies are finding drones ideal for capturing their projects both for future marketing and later quality control. As with the case of Microsoft, aerial implosion videos can also provide vital data to guide builders in new constructions on the same site.
“Drones have increasingly been adopted by the demolition industry,” a representative for Bay-area demolition experts SV Demolition said.
“Beyond aerial imagery, implementing drone technology is now used throughout the entire demolition lifecycle: initial site surveys, estimating costs, delivering volumetric measurements, identifying layout accuracy, and more.”
Deploying top-quality drones combined with cutting-edge software can provide demolition contractors with imagery and key data to improve the safety and quality of ongoing projects.
Before a demolition begins, drone footage can identify risks and potential hazards from an aerial perspective that may save lives. And, because drones can capture thermal, radar and other telemetry in addition to video footage, companies realize cost savings with improved efficiency and minimal intrusion – especially when compared to manned flights.
Much in the way football teams watch after-game footage to improve performance, demolition companies get a bird’s-eye view when it comes to recording past projects with an eye for improvement. Drones catch details and data that may not be evident from the ground.
“Better record-keeping not only acts as a deterrent to cost-cutting and corner-cutting measures but can also play a key role in the development of health and safety best practice within the industry,” states a blog post by Australian equipment provider CJD.
“Beyond simply reducing the incidences of injury and accidents on a work site, drone footage and record keeping can help us to understand what went wrong in the event of an accident, and thus develop better policies for preventing injury and accidents in the future.”
Atlanta Success Stories
In 2017, officials at Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport commissioned a drone survey mission over a 40-acre space. Capturing more than 700 images, the images are being used as a guide for the demolition of several older buildings – a vital part of a $6-billion renovation. In addition, 3D data-point clouds are used by architects for preliminary design work of the new facilities.
As noted above, the demolition of the Georgia Dome was probably the most viewed structural implosion of the last 10 years. Major construction firm Darden and Company snagged the job to construct the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and demolish the 70,000-seat stadium.
By using drones for mapping and inspection, Darden kept the project on schedule and under budget. In addition, they used drones to inspect the nearby Georgia World Congress Center and the new stadium to ensure the demolition wouldn’t harm either building.
“The implosion was meticulously planned to avoid damage, but we wanted to make sure we had a lot of images of the World Congress Center and the new stadium to use as a resource in case anything unexpected happened,” Darden senior VP Jason Hughes said.
Demolition Progress Photos
Dronegenuity was selected to chronicle the demolition of parts of I-20 & I-59 in downtown Birmingham, AL in 2019. The demolished bridges bridges were originally designed in the 1960s with an expected 30-year lifespan and capacity of 80,000 vehicles per day. Nearly 60 years later, as daily traffic exceeded 165,000 vehicles, the bridges’ time had come. Dronegenuity provided construction progress imagery, photographing the scene before, during, and after major portions had been demolished. The affected portion of the highway was scheduled to reopen in early 2020. “Aerial construction progress photography is one of our most popular services”, said Dan Edmonson, Founder of Dronegenuity. “The service can be especially valuable for demolition companies, as their work is encapsulated in a given time period and the beauty of it often lies in how little they leave to see when they’re done”, he continued.
Drone Photography For Your Company
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