drones in construction drones

droneHOW – Drones in construction

The construction sector plays an important role in World’s economy and is estimated to be about 6% of the world gross domestic product (GDP) and is expected to reach around 14.7% by 2030 (GCP, 2015). Construction sector is important for European economy as well, providing 18 million jobs and 1% rise in productivity could save $100 billion a year in construction costs (WEF, 2016). Construction sector is in the era of transformation, towards the 4th industrial revolution and therefore given a name of Construction 4.0 (Craveiro et al., 2019). Construction 4.0 basically means the greater level of digitalization through a building information modelling (BIM) (Figure 1). BIM main purpose is to integrate the entire building information along its lifecycle (design, construct, operate, maintain, reuse, demolish).

Figure 1. “Construction 4.0” environment enabled by intensive use of digital technologies (adapted from Craveiro et al., 2019)

I have created a video series to show how drones can be used in construction sector more easily. It will start with creating a drone flight program (in different ways), carrying out drone flight itself and editing the data in different ways.

Episode #01 – Creating a drone flight program (DJI Phantom 4 RTK)

Episode #02 – Creating a drone flight program from a KML file (DJI Phantom 4 RTK)

Episode #03 – Flying a drone at construction site (DJI Phantom 4 RTK)

Episode #04 – Creating a 3D model (Bentley ContextCapture)

Episode #05 – KML-based flight program for 3D photogrammetry (DJI Phantom 4 RTK)

Episode #06 – How to organize your photos/images

Episode #07 – Sharing a pointcloud through a free web service

Episode #08 – Using ground control points in drone survey (Bentley ContextCapture)

Episode #09 – Generating pointcloud (Bentley ContextCapture)

Episode #10 – Combined pointcloud (Potree viewer)


Craveiro, F., Duarte, J.P., Bartolo, H. and Bartolo, P.J (2019) Additive manufacturing as an enabling technology for digital construction: a perspective on Construction 4.0, Automation in Construction, 103, 251-267.

GCP (2015) Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics, A Global Forecast for the Construction Industry by 2030, Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics, London, UK, 2015 (ISBN 978-0-9564207-9-4).

WEF (2016) World Economic Forum, Shaping the future of construction – a breakthrough in mindset and technology, World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland, http://www3.weforum.org/docs/ WEF_Shaping_the_Future_of_Construction_full_report__.pdf, accessed: 07.06.2019.