There is no doubt that modern technologies are impacting positively on today’s building inspections. It is now easier, quicker, safer and more cost efficient to perform inspections on regular, complex and large buildings. Technologies such as Unmanned Aerial vehicles, or drones, have completely improved the inspection processes. These have not only reduced the costs, but also the time it takes to complete the job.
Need for Building Inspections and Challenges
Building inspection is one of the best ways of checking the condition of the asset and ensure that the structure meets the safety, national, as well as local building codes and regulations. It also helps to identify whether there are defects that require repairs or upgrades.
Building inspection reports are useful to a wide range of industry players, including the marketers, lenders, insurers, construction firms, prospective buyers, building owners as well as the maintenance companies.
Insurance companies and lenders often require knowing the building’s condition, while prospective owners may also want to know if there are repairs or upgrades to do after purchasing the property.
Traditionally the building inspectors could pay on-site visits and perform the inspection using a variety of expensive and non-convenient equipment. This, at times, may cause a majority of people, and especially those who have to meet the cost of the inspections, to avoid the actual exercise. But with more affordable technologies, it is now easier for anyone to perform comprehensive inspections and get the accurate state or condition of the building.
Modern Technologies for affordable and better building inspections
The high costs for equipment, professionals, workers and insurance, and let's not forgetting the risks involved, have for a long time made people avoid building inspections, or take shortcuts. But with the modern technologies, that reduce the costs, time and risk associated with the traditional methods, more people are not only able to perform the inspections, but also obtain better reports.
Other than inspecting the complete buildings, the modern technology has several benefits in the construction sites over the traditional methods. The benefit of carrying out the work with the drones includes reduced workers, time and resources. This enables the building inspectors can carry out several projects at the same time. In cases requiring only the drone pilot, the building inspectors can be located elsewhere where they have access to the inspection data through the internet or other real-time technologies.
Other benefits of the modern technology come from software analytical tools, better sensor technology, wireless networks, virtual reality and others. The drones and sensors enable capturing of lots of data, while the analytical and reporting tools analyze and produce comprehensive reports for a variety of professionals in the building industry.
The cloud, wireless and virtual reality technologies help in transmitting the inspection data in real-time and enable sharing among the various people working on a project.
Here is how some of the modern technology is changing the way we treat building inspections
The drone technology
Drones are able to access almost any part the building without much effort and capture high-quality images or videos. In addition, they can capture the thermal image that helps in identifying leakages in the insulations. The drone systems together with all necessary sensors are still far way cheaper than the traditional methods that often require heavy and expensive climbing gear.
Equipping the drones with Wi-Fi allows it to upload the inspection data to the cloud or the internet where other people can view them. This makes it easier, quicker and convenient for everyone to see the images as the inspection is progressing, allowing them to even request for a repeat of some areas of interest almost immediately.
The drone can access areas which are difficult or impossible for inspectors to reach, hence providing a more accurate picture of all the parts of the building.
Most of the today’s inspections can be performed using the drones and other emerging technologies. However, there are times when the inspector needs to go to the site. This becomes necessary when there is need to determine the strength or mechanical properties of structures such as shingles and others.
The modern technology though, is making it easier for more people to access affordable building inspection services. The affordability and better inspection reports are changing the way everyone treats the building inspections, and for the better. As such, more building owners, construction engineers and teams, insurance companies, maintenance teams are able to carry out the a building inspection whenever there is need. Companies are also able to perform better and high-quality inspection services that benefit all stakeholders in the industry.