A beam went up in the air the morning of June 25 at Dickies Arena, signaling a Topping Out ceremony for the new $540 million facility that promises to add another element to Fort Worth’s Cultural District. Slated to host major events like the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in 2020, and the NCAA basketball tournament in 2022 - the 14,000 seat multi-purpose arena is set to be a new signature landmark of Fort Worth and North Texas.
Enhanced efficiency throughout the project
Grant Hagen,VDC Manager at The Beck Group (Integrated Architecture and Construction), leads the drone implementation for informed planning, site situational awareness, and more efficient documentation on the jobsite.
Grant and his drone operation team have worked on site at the arena for 15 months with DJI drones aiding in the process as high performing efficiency multipliers throughout construction. Utilized as enhanced platforms for BIM, 3D mapping, progress monitoring, documentation, and inspection tasks, the drones greatly reduced operating times while optimizing workflows throughout the construction phase.
Grant Hagen, VDC Manager at the Beck Group
Aerial footage from drones helped streamline project management throughout the project life cycle, taking construction crews only a few days to complete comprehensive site mapping using DJI drones. This not only accelerated project planning but also made it more precise with enhanced site data and mapping accuracy.
During construction launches, having a drone monitor progress on a daily basis ensures on-site situational awareness, so that management and project teams are aware of real-time advancements, setbacks, and potential risks, allowing them to make informed decisions based on a comprehensive set of tracking data.
Aerial data collected by drones is also used to document project progress, make comparisons to design plans, and later generate as-built drawings. Gary Pille, Project Executive of Dickies Arena, told us that “Using the drones has enabled our superintendents to view the installation of piers, utilities, underground MEP, etc., and compare to contract CDs, which means image overlay on design plans on a daily basis… and allows us to detect any layout / routing deficiencies much sooner than before.”
Gary Pille, Project Executive of Dickies Arena
Inspection is important in all construction projects. Being able to detect a problem early helps save enormous time and resources that would otherwise be spent on remedy or rework.
Drones cut down over 80% of inspection time, taking only hours to complete missions that would otherwise take days using traditional and rope access techniques.
Managing teams and stakeholders
Another key benefit drones bring to the construction worksite is smoother communication across teams and stakeholders. Project progress documented with drone data offers an easy way to keep everyone on the same page, so that architects, owners, operators, and management members can monitor what is going on remotely, cutting down at least 5 hours of meeting time per week and reducing re-work by 25%.
The information synchronization not only smoothens communication across project teams and with sub-contractors, but also helps Beck manage owners and operators of The Arena with enhanced efficiency.
Bill Shaw, Director of Operations at Dickies Arena
“By looking at images of our completed garage, Dickies Arena, and the campus footprint overall, we’ve created what we think will be a more effective traffic flow plan than we would have been able to create otherwise” (Bill Shaw).
As for managing owners, Beck apparently has a very happy owner at Dickies Arena. “Having access to aerial stills and video footage has given us the opportunity to share our progress with the community. People love hearing updates on our progress, and when we’re able to show unique angles of Dickies Arena through drone imagery, the reaction is that much better” says Alissa Cunningham, Director of Marketing at Dickies Arena.
What’s it like to have an in-house drone operations team?
For Grant, Dickies Arena is the 75th project his drone operations team has flown for. Beginning in 2014, using the DJI Phantom 2, Grant initially implemented drones on the jobsite by simply placing “eyes in the sky.” Hagen’s team quickly moved on to leverage more sophisticated applications including the generation of BIM models, creation of 3D site maps, and execution of challenging inspection missions utilizing thermal imaging.
Site planning with photogrammetry , project aerial documentation with pdf overlays, thermal visual inspections
After spending years searching for the perfect solution for his company, Hagen’s experience with drones has grown exponentially, from initially operating early versions of DJI’s all-in-one Phantom aircraft, to more comprehensive solutions consisting of modeling platforms and custom SDK’s and payloads designed particularly for mapping, surveying, and inspection.
Don’t limit your imagination
The Beck Group and other industry leaders will continue to explore cutting-edge drone technologies. For businesses that are considering starting an in-house drone operations team, Grant gives his advice from years of experience,
“Don’t limit your imagination of how these tools can help your project teams. The sky literally is the limit on how this technology can enhance the way we deliver projects. Believe the hype, become a student on what is required to make a successful drone program at your company for your specific needs.”
Quadrocopter has a team of experienced pilots and UAV enthusiasts on staff. We are happy to talk about any ideas you may have and can work with you to tailor a Quadrocopter Solution. Reach out to us today to learn more.
The above article was edited and originally posted by DJI Enterprise news on 09-06-2018 and can be found here ; https://enterprise.dji.com/news