An inspection of a building’s facade for defects is often a tedious process. It normally requires equipment such as lifts and ropes, and is a huge safety risk to the inspectors. Thanks to drones, inspecting a building can be done faster, easier, cheaper and much safer than ever before.
New technology was invented by a company called JTC Corporation that created a platform called H3 Zoom.AI. The H3 Zoom.AI Facade Inspector was recently unveiled. The technology promises to conduct inspections faster, and in a safer and cheaper way compared to human inspectors, and will most likely be implemented in Singapore on a large scale.
The system has been tested on various JTC properties such as the 32-story JTC Summit, and is scheduled to be making rounds next year at JTC industrial parks. The system has cameras that take and upload thousands of high quality images onto a cloud platform for scanning and analysis. Drone inspections may be the solution to many building owners to inspect and scan buildings for potential damage or weaknesses.
Concerns about the potential of building facades falling, have led to the Building and Construction Authority announcing regulations that make facade inspections mandatory starting next year. Most inspections are currently carried out by workers and are costly, tedious, and many times risky. The long process of inspecting building defects, taking photographs from various angles, and writing out a detailed report could take up to two months depending on the dimensions of the property.
The H3 Zoom.AI Facade inspector aims to reduce that time to just a few days as it uses powerful artificial intelligence to mark defects in the building’s facade. The machine is easy to use and only needs a two person team to control it. Due to the ease of use, building owners will be more willing to conduct inspections more often which results in a safer environment for everyone.
Currently, there are no regulations that make facade inspections mandatory. However, the BCA regulations that will take effect next year will require facade inspections to be done every seven years. While drones will make this process a lot easier, there is still a need for some human input. For example, an engineer will be needed to review the drones findings and any defects will need human labor to fix and repair. But these new drone inspections will certainly be a welcomed advancement to all building and construction companies.