A Case for Drones – In a Post Grenfell Landscape

A Case for Drones – In a Post Grenfell Landscape

The Grenfell disaster which claimed the lives of 72 people was not a one-off event, absorbed and grieved over before everyone moved on. The repercussions of that night are still with us and continue to be significant for residents of high-rise buildings across the country. And, indeed, for the landlords, housing associations and local authorities responsible for those properties.

The task facing the nation’s property managers is huge. They have to survey an estimated 1,700 high rise blocks, remove the cladding and make them safe to live in. And they need to do it quickly.

The Government has pledged £1.6bn towards these remediation efforts but it is a complex system, one that has come under attack for its perceived inaccessibility. But perhaps more pressing is the view held by the Housing, Communities & Local Government Committee that this £1.6bn will only be enough to repair a third of the properties currently considered unsafe.

Which presents a huge fiscal challenge for everyone involved, not least local authorities. 

It has been estimated by the same Committee that the cost of making each building safe will be £1.7m, covering everything from initial inspection, to the removal of cladding, to finishing the job. While it is clear that cutting corners or looking for cost savings in materials isn’t a viable option, there remains a pressing responsibility to keep costs down to make that fund stretch as far as is safely possible.

One part of the process where costs and timescales can be significantly reduced is in the inspection and survey of all these buildings through the use of drones. Not only can they do what a human can at a fraction of the cost, they can do it faster and with a greater degree of safety.

Drones are often viewed in extremes – either as a hobbyist’s toy or as a weapon of war. They are of course both, but increasingly, they are making their presence felt in the commercial world as more and more organisations wake up to their flexibility and adaptability. And one such area is the surveying of inaccessible properties.

Using High Resolution RGB imaging, drones can inspect the condition of a high-rise property (at a distance), in minute detail, in a fraction of the time it would take to do so manually using scaffolding, cherry pickers or ropes. The High Resolution RGB imaging is then translated into a 3D interactive model of the property which can be inspected in detail (up to 20mm) highlighting even the smallest amounts of damage to the outside and, when using thermal imaging, investigating anomalies such as damp ingress and thermal efficiency of the fabric of the building.

If LIDAR is incorporated increased levels of accuracy can be achieved down to 10mm and below.

The whole process, from instruction to inspecting the model, can take two or three days rather than the weeks and months required with traditional methods, and it is the speed with which drones can conduct surveys that should have landlords and local authorities sitting up and taking notice.

One of the problems facing property managers is understanding, in detail, the scope of the risk posed by their property portfolio and with the safety of tenants paramount, they need to understand it quickly.

Drones can help them do that as several inspections can be conducted in one day or over a period of days, providing the local authority with a quick, comprehensive view of their portfolio, including which properties pose the highest risk.

From here, the triage process begins, and drones are a speedy, cost-effective way of streamlining it, allowing the local authority to act quickly on its most vulnerable properties.

Drones can also act as a quality control tool to monitor and assess the ongoing work, and that governance role extends to post-work inspections to ensure the property has been re-instated as required.

If used properly, drones could and should act as the start and finish point of this remediation work and while they are not, of course, a catch-all solution for the many problems dogging the remediation programme, they do have a crucial role to play.

If the current remediation fund will not, as has been suggested, be sufficient to complete all the necessary work, then it is vital that any safe, reliable and proven cost-cutting measure be embraced as soon as possible.

In common with much of the commercial world, local authorities are at the early stages of exploring the possibilities presented by commercial drones. And in common with their private sector peers, it is those that recognise the opportunity earliest and act first, that will gain the most.

And that means giving tenants up and down the country quicker and more certain reassurance that they and their families are safe in their home.

Rebecca Jones is CEO and co-founder of Iprosurv

This and other articles can be viewed at LocalGov

Posted in Drone Tech, General Interest, Information

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Iprosurv Secures place on £8 million Government Framework Agreement

Iprosurv has again established itself as one of the UK leading supplier of drone services, with the successful award of a place in the £8m contract in conjunction with YPO and the Home Office national framework agreement.

Iprosurv tendered for one part of a four-lot contract to deliver drone services through their nationwide platform of CAA approved drone operators and associated services to the public sector organisations, in particular the blue light organisations and the emergency services, the contract runs for 2 years until 2022 with a further option to extend for a further 2 years until 2024.

Iprosurv will be on the YPO government framework agreement delivering a fully managed inspection service, along with bespoke services including immediate response for blue light services wishing to deploy drone technology where they have no or limited in house capability.

The award of the contract is testament to the continued success of Iprosurv and platform of dedicated professional pilots, in conjunction with flight safety and client service at its core.

Iprosurv attended the Bank Building – Belfast, Northern Ireland

Rebecca Jones CEO of Iprosurv commented, “We are extremely proud to have been awarded a national framework agreement with YPO, in conjunction with the Home Office, to provide associated services. Throughout 2019 we have supported over 50 organisations where they have no or limited in house capability. Increasingly we have seen deployment for major incidents on the rise through our existing partnerships in instances such as fire and floods and its not an uncommon for Iprosurv to assist the emergency services with vital aerial data insights whilst the pilot teams have been on site. Its evident drones are becoming a vital tool to collect fast and accurate data whilst improving public safety. To further support both the blue light and emergency services along with the wider public sector is a testament of our award-winning service and demonstrates our niche and bespoke solution of deployment capability is encouraging wider use of safe drone deployment”.  

Iprosurv attended Toddbrook reservoir

Explaining the reasons behind the drone framework, a YPO spokesman said: “We were approached by the Home Office to discuss a gap in public procurement. Explaining the reasons behind the drone framework, a YPO spokesman said: “We were approached by the Home Office to discuss a gap in public procurement.

“Naturally we are very excited to be working with the Home Office and on a framework that incorporates drone technology, but we are also really pleased to be working closely with the police and fire and rescue teams.”

They concluded: “After much discussion and healthy deliberation, a lot structure was agreed, believed to be fit for purpose for all public-sector organisations, not just police and fire.

“The group involved in creating the framework has a wide knowledge base. This, coupled with different personal requirements, is what will make the framework a benefit to emergency services and the wider public sector.

This follows a recent further award and a place of two lots out of a three part lot of a £1.1m framework agreement – drone services, data modelling to local authorities and housing associations. 

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Drones can add value to Risk Management programmes.

For most people, their home is their biggest asset, but let’s say you are business owner – would it be fair to say that the business is your biggest asset. When we say asset we mean of course it’s people, it’s buildings, it’s machinery and it’s stock. Progressive use of drone technology means it is now much easier to ensure all aspects of risk to any asset of any business are improved. To put it more simply drones can protect people and businesses. 

We look at an example below where drone imagery played part of a larger customer proposition providing greater insights for the broker, customer and insurer tailoring a policy around the customers requirements and assisting with an inherent building defect which, once identified and rectified led to an improved underwriting risk. 

Aston Lark Case Study: Risk Management – Aerial Drone Survey

A book printing client in Suffolk has grown dramatically over the past 150 years, having grown from a single building to an array of buildings covering a 600,000 sq ft area. The buildings have been constructed without access to roof spaces and therefore inspecting the condition of their roofs and guttering was extremely difficult and dangerous.

Aston Lark carried out an aerial survey using the latest drone technology. We were able to offer our Client a close-range inspection of their roof and other areas of their buildings not easily visible or accessible from the ground. 

Watch the video to see how we work closely with our clients to manage risk.  

Following the aerial survey, we provided the client with high-definition quality footage and stills which are presented in a 3D interactive tool.  This enables the Client to view the entirety of their building and zoom in on areas of concern to within a foot. This ultimately enabled our Client to identify areas of concern and take remedial action before it caused further problems and cost.

To find out more about Aston Lark’s Risk Management offering and how it can benefit you, click here.

Iprosurv are the UK’s leading drone pilot supply chain facilitating deployment to insurers and related sectors.

Find out more how Iprosurv can assist your business with ongoing property management, risk consulting or claims adjusting. www.iprosurv.com

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Drones Are Revolutionizing Agriculture

Drones aren’t new technology by any means. Now, however, thanks to new software and better understanding by industries-it seems their time has now arrived.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—better known as drones—have been used commercially since the early 1980s. Today, however, practical applications for drones are expanding faster than ever in a variety of industries, thanks to robust investments and the relaxing of some regulations governing their use. Responding to the rapidly evolving technology, companies are creating new business and operating models for UAVs. 

The total addressable value of drone-powered solutions in all applicable industries is significant—more than $127 billion, according to a recent PwC analysis. Among the most promising areas is agriculture, where drones offer the potential for addressing several major challenges. With the world’s population projected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, experts expect agricultural consumption to increase by nearly 70 percent over the same time period. In addition, extreme weather events are on the rise, creating additional obstacles to productivity.

Agricultural producers must embrace revolutionary strategies for producing food, increasing productivity, and making sustainability a priority. Drones are part of the solution, along with closer collaboration between governments, technology leaders, and industry.

Use Cases for Agricultural Drones

Drone technology will give the agriculture industry a high-technology makeover, with planning and strategy based on real-time data gathering and processing. PwC estimates the market for drone-powered solutions in agriculture at $32.4 billion. Following are six ways aerial and ground-based drones will be used throughout the crop cycle:

1. Soil and field analysis: Drones can be instrumental at the start of the crop cycle. They produce precise 3-D maps for early soil analysis, useful in planning seed planting patterns. After planting, drone-driven soil analysis provides data for irrigation and nitrogen-level management.

2. Planting: Startups have created drone-planting systems that achieve an uptake rate of 75 percent and decrease planting costs by 85 percent. These systems shoot pods with seeds and plant nutrients into the soil, providing the plant all the nutrients necessary to sustain life.

3. Crop spraying: Distance-measuring equipment—ultrasonic echoing and lasers such as those used in the light-detection and ranging, or LiDAR, method—enables a drone to adjust altitude as the topography and geography vary, and thus avoid collisions. Consequently, drones can scan the ground and spray the correct amount of liquid, modulating distance from the ground and spraying in real time for even coverage. The result: increased efficiency with a reduction of in the amount of chemicals penetrating into groundwater. In fact, experts estimate that aerial spraying can be completed up to five times faster with drones than with traditional machinery.

4. Crop monitoring: Vast fields and low efficiency in crop monitoring together create farming’s largest obstacle. Monitoring challenges are exacerbated by increasingly unpredictable weather conditions, which drive risk and field maintenance costs. Previously, satellite imagery offered the most advanced form of monitoring. But there were drawbacks. Images had to be ordered in advance, could be taken only once a day, and were imprecise. Further, services were extremely costly and the images’ quality typically suffered on certain days. Today, time-series animations can show the precise development of a crop and reveal production inefficiencies, enabling better crop management.

5. Irrigation: Drones with hyper-spectral, multi-spectral, or thermal sensors can identify which parts of a field are dry or need improvements. Additionally, once the crop is growing, drones allow the calculation of the vegetation index, which describes the relative density and health of the crop, and show the heat signature, the amount of energy or heat the crop emits.

6. Health assessment: It’s essential to assess crop health and spot bacterial or fungal infections on trees. By scanning a crop using both visible and near-infrared light, drone-carried devices can identify which plants reflect different amounts of green light and NIR light. This information can produce multispectral images that track changes in plants and indicate their health. A speedy response can save an entire orchard. In addition, as soon as a sickness is discovered, farmers can apply and monitor remedies more precisely. These two possibilities increase a plant’s ability to overcome disease. And in the case of crop failure, the farmer will be able to document losses more efficiently for insurance claims.

Credits PwC analysis

Posted in Drone Tech, Information

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https://iprosurv.com/2020/09/25/a-case-for-drones-in-a-post-grenfell-landscape/A Case for Drones – In a Post Grenfell Landscape

https://iprosurv.com/2020/01/24/iprosurv-secures-place-on-8-million-government-framework-agreement/Iprosurv Secures place on £8 million Government Framework Agreement

https://iprosurv.com/2020/01/07/case-study-risk-management-aerial-drone-survey/Drones can add value to Risk Management programmes.

https://iprosurv.com/2020/01/02/drones-are-revolutionizing-agriculture/Drones Are Revolutionizing Agriculture