Drones can be beneficial for a variety of industries. There are only a few applications though where they can be invaluable in comparison to other resources available today, and curtain wall/ building envelope inspections is one. Rather than spending an incredible amount of time and money on lifts, scaffolds and hanging over the sides of buildings, we can use a drone to capture up close images of high rise buildings. Utilizing this resource is beneficial for the due diligence process when time is of the essence and when an engineering firm or property owner needs preliminary imaging and information about the condition of the exterior of a high rise building for maintenance concerns or remodeling projects.
We utilize a DJI Matrice 210RTK- D for our envelope inspections for a few reasons. This drone has redundant systems and a 360 degree obstacle avoidance system built into it to ensure safe flight operations within close proximity to large buildings and structures. These systems help with human error and un predictable winds to maintain stable and accurate flight to collect the necessary data and information. The RTK flight system allows for triangulation with multiple satellites and location systems to help with the location data and UAV communications with the pilot. We have an array of cameras to help capture what you need from a safe flying distance to include the x4s, x5s, Z30 for collecting visible imaging. We also are licensed and utilize the Zenmuse xt 640R for thermal inspections where applicable.
From this inspection, we identified multiple areas where the MP1 was weather and cracking, allowing water to get in to the expansion joints where it freezes, expands and causes chunks of the exterior of the building to break off and expose the rebar. If this problem is not corrected properly and efficiently, you will see long term negative effects on the condition of the building. What has gone from an inexpensive preventative maintenance item has become a costly problem to repair. Below are images collected from the problems we identified.
To learn more about the use of drones to help with curtain wall and building envelope inspections, call today at (214) 842-6000.