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Six must-have construction tech tools

by CW Staff on May 17, 2015

Drones can be used to monitor construction sites. Image Courtesy: Siemens
Drones can be used to monitor construction sites. Image Courtesy: Siemens

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The year 2015 will be remembered for the rise of building information modelling in the GCC, with pioneers from the UAE and Qatar pushing for the software’s uptake across their local building markets over the last year.

BIM will undoubtedly enable engineers and designers to deliver smart city ambitions over the next decade each of the countries, but BIM cannot do the job alone. Construction Week rounds up six construction technology tools that could aid BIM in providing technologically-sound and intelligent construction in the GCC’s over the next few years.

Drone Surveying

Remote-controlled unmanned aircrafts have come under the scanner in the UAE following the global surge in the popularity of drone technology.

UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) regulates the use of drones for security concerns, and as such, operating drones for recreational and commercial purposes near airports, residential, populated and restricted areas is not permitted.

Nevertheless, the UAE’s, and more specifically, Dubai’s government agencies have started to see the benefits of drones for construction site surveillance. Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai’s most active proponent of incorporating technology into its construction processes, conducted a sensible test run by flying a drone to monitor project progress across various sites in October 2014.

The UAE’s Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash launched a remote-controlled drone in 2014 to support the inspectors’ squad at the ministry during their field campaigns, especially for recording violations at construction sites during the midday break periods.

Drones are picking up pace with the GCC’s private sector too. Benjamin Lehmann, founder and CEO of Lehmann Aviation told Construction Week in October 2014 that his company’s drones are being used by construction firms in the UAE, mapping firms in Kuwait and public agencies in Oman.

“We believe that the Middle East market will grow significantly in the coming years since there is plenty of construction [and] oil & gas needs for aerial monitoring for safety reasons,” Lehmann added.

An example of using drones to survey construction work can be viewed here: