News To the Skies Using Drones to Evaluate a Building Enclosure

Publications  |  Facilities Management Journal, March/April 2022

To the Skies: Using Drones to Evaluate a Building Enclosure

Facility managers often use building enclosure investigations and evaluations to determine the condition of a facade/roof for safety and establish budgets for repairs.

Depending on the configuration of the structure, access to perform an investigation can be challenging, especially with steep-sloped roofs, steeples/spires, multistory buildings or facilities in urban settings. Existing methods to access a façade include the use of aerial lifts, swing staging, scaffolding or rope access. Each of these methods is time consuming, costly and oftentimes restricts pedestrian/tenant access in and around the building. A 21st century alternative to the traditional methods of building enclosure evaluation is to incorporate the use of aerial drones. A detailed visual survey of building enclosures can provide sufficient information as to the condition of the exterior building components including, but not limited to, the quantity, type and locations of deficiencies. For instance, a drone survey of a slate roof can provide the same information as a visual inspection from high-reach equipment at a fraction of the cost. Drone zooming capabilities can provide information on the condition of mortar and sealant joints, extent of masonry spalls or cracking, displacement of façade components and overall condition of roofing systems.

Continue reading To the Skies: Using Drones to Evaluate a Building Enclosure on FMJ’s website.

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