Why is the ability to pilot an unmanned aircraft important to a facilities manager or property manager? Drones help Grant Currie, Managing Director of Aerial FM, and his colleagues to quickly and efficiently carry out building assessments and surveys or obtain stunning images that can be used in marketing. When surveying high-level or high-risk areas, drone flying is safer and less expensive than hiring access equipment and calling out a contractor to inspect. Using a combination of high-tech photography, 4K video and thermal imaging, Aerial FM can diagnose and report on roof leaks, storm damage, roof defects and weathering issues quickly and cost-effectively.
Currie has spent over 20 years in the FM sector at a senior level, managing UK-wide shopping centres, commercial office buildings, distribution and storage warehousing, manufacturing plants and retail outlets. Grant worked for Segro Plc and BAA McArthurGlen, before developing and managing contracts with Dalkia Energy & Technical, OCS Integrated Services, Cosmo FM and CBRE Managed Services. He is now channelling his experience into Aerial FM to build a brand that supports the FM sector with a range of quality support services.
We’ve heard about multinational companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon using drones to do jobs such as mapping, providing Wi-Fi services and delivering packages, but what about the FM sector?
An unmanned drone can access the external envelope of a building more quickly, safely and cost-effectively than other forms of access, in terms of obtaining data, they can be a lot easier and more flexible.
A drone can be used to conduct a general video or photographic assessment of the roof to identify any accelerated weathering, dislodged slate or stone tiles, damaged flashing and the condition of guttering and downpipes.
In 2014-15, falls from height accounted for 50% of all deaths in the workplace in the UK, according to HSE statistics. If we are able to remove the need to initially access a roof for inspection, remove additional access expense and assess the roof more quickly using unmanned aircraft technology, then we make it easier, quicker, cheaper and safer to assess fragile and unsafe roofs, chimneys, guttering, building fabric, glazing and roof mounted plant.
Aerial thermal technology is now widely available for unmanned aircraft that allows energy assessors and landlords to obtain detailed thermal assessments of their building’s energy loss, and assist with the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) process. The ability to fly over a building at height and scan the thermal properties of the roof, building fabric and glazing is another significant advancement within our industry and makes for a quicker and less intrusive assessment.
My hope is that we will continue to see this incredible technology being widely used throughout our FM sector to advance our industry and make it significantly safer.