How drones will change environmental design in 2018.

Drones have become useful tools in a wide range of commercial and industrial ventures over the last few years. From mining to surveillance to agriculture, they are able to provide detailed, real-time data that can help make projects and processes more efficient, safer, and more successful. And, in 2018, their reach and application is sure to continue to grow as more industries take note of how drones can impact their operations. This is certainly the case when it comes to environmental design.

Environmental design involves taking into account surrounding natural parameters when planning and building urban spaces and infrastructure. While this consideration does take place in many traditional design projects, environmental design makes this a core focus, across the fields of architecture, urban planning, landscaping, and interior design, with ecological preservation and sustainability being key factors.

Three ways drones can help environmental design initiatives

1. Aerial imaginability

This points to a drone’s most powerful element – its camera. Aerial shots allows for the imagining of a potential city space from on high. This can literally help designers and planners to develop a ‘bird’s eye view’ of a particular site.  While aerial imaging is not something new, a drone camera offers a much wider and more diverse set of capabilities (and hence, shots from different angles and scales) than other aerial filming methods such as manned aircraft.

2. Real-time data delivery

Whether surveying a site once-off or over time, drone technology allows for the delivery of real-time data in an easily accessible format. This places any data right at the fingertips of a project team, even across multiple locations, as well as providing a record of changes to the environment over time. A drone’s ability to capture shifting urban patterns as well as landscape and hydrological changes to the natural environment can have a significant impact on a building site or planned infrastructure project.

3. A cost-effective filming alternative

While manned aircraft can offer an aerial perspective of a potential site and its surrounds, this tends to be a costly and complicated undertaking. A drone, in contrast, costs much less to purchase or to hire, as well as to operate. It’s fast, efficient, and ready to go at a moment’s notice. While there are rules and regulations around operating a commercial drone, it is possible to purchase your own drone and get training or the help of professional drone operators to get the required shots.

With their ever-evolving technology and accessibility, drones have the potential to change so many industries in the years ahead. We work with organisations and government bodies across Africa to help our clients achieve the best possible results through a range of commercial and turnkey drone solutions.

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