Paragon, the independent building and project consultancy, has launched what is believed to be the UK property industry’s first in-house drone service.
The new service is already being used to produce condition reports on commercial and retail buildings in industrial estates, city centres and high streets.
It aims to provide faster and more cost-effective data, as well as easier access to properties than access hoists.
Drone surveying works by combining high resolution GPS-tagged photographs, 4k video and photogrammetry software to create 3D models, site mapping, fly-over videos and roof surveys.
Paragon expects footage from drones to be used by clients to create marketing videos, giving them a commercial advantage when selling or letting an asset.
During construction projects, drones will be also used instead of time-lapse cameras to give accurate and real-time measurements of the mass of the site, helping to avoid disputes about progress.
The launch comes after the consultancy hired an experienced aerial surveyor, Elliott Garrett, who has travelled the world planning Grands Prix infrastructure and conducting precision GPS surveys of racing circuits using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), laser scanners and drones.
Garrett is fully insured and has all relevant permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority.
John Munday, Paragon’s joint managing director, said: “When it comes to surveying, the property industry is a dinosaur that still uses slow, archaic processes. Embracing drone technology will be to the benefit of surveyors, developers, property funds and contractors alike.”