How Drones Play a Part in Construction

(Originally posted by Jaclyn Selesky, Anchor / Reporter, NBCRightNow, 8/2017)

TRI-CITIES, WA – We see drones being used for almost everything today; from police work to wildfires, and now even construction. Crews are using them to mark progress at work sites. Reporter Jaclyn Selesky found out how they’re changing the construction industry.

“I think we’re hooked,” said Zak O’Brien, vice president of O’Brien Construction. “I can pick up the phone and within a day or two I can be analyzing that data in my office with my team.” O’Brien started using drones on his projects about two years ago. He has sites in both Washington and Oregon, so being able to get real-time aerial footage within hours has been a game changer.

“The three main factors that attracted us to drones technology was speed, cost and flexibility.”

The drones collect data, track the project’s status and a whole lot more that crews on the floor can’t do. Justin Coronado is the owner of UpAngle, a drone service in Richland. He says he has watched drones explode into almost every industry, including construction. “Before contractors had to hire helicopter pilots to come out and do that,” said Coronado. “You’d only see it being done on really, really big expensive projects and now the small contractor has the same ability to bring that same type of reach and marketing power to his own company.”

One of the many things Coronado’s company does is create time-lapse videos to see the project from beginning to end.

“The progression of a project site is really cool to see from when it goes to bare earth, just the dirt and all of a sudden you have steel being erected.”