FAIRHURST ESTATES is taking to the skies in an innovative approach to building surveys.
Senior chartered building surveyor Jonathan Hyde is the firm’s fully qualified drone pilot qualified to carry out commercial work for the chartered surveyors and property consultants.
Jonathan is accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority and can fly the drone, complete with video camera, over large commercial buildings, churches and other buildings that are hard to reach without scaffolding.
Fairhurst, based at the Acorn Business Park on Heaton Lane, says drone surveys are a quicker and cheaper alternative for its customers.
In addition, the high-definition images and video footage can be given to the customer.
Jonathan said: “Setting up the drone takes less than 20 minutes and the average inspection time is around 30 minutes.
“A large area can be covered in that time, viewing specific sections of the building from a variety of angles.
“The drone can be flown to a maximum height of 400ft – about 120m – and a distance of 500m, with the pilot maintaining a clear line of sight with the drone at all times.
“The aircraft can be operated within large properties and can also manoeuvre in tight locations. All flights are planned in advance and carried out with strict pre-flight checks and risk assessments.”
Jonathan, 35, has been a surveyor for 12 years and says he spent ‘many hours’ practising with the drone before his exams.
He added: “There is a theory test and then a practical exam, a bit like the driving test.
“Once you have passed that all the papers are sent to the CAA.
“One day all firms will have this type of technology – it’s great we are at the forefront.”
Fairhurst says issues can be instantly identified and client presentations and reports are improved. Inspection times, costs and safety risks can also be significantly reduced.
Jonathan added: “Fairhurst believe this technology can open up new opportunities for many businesses and deliver numerous commercial benefits.
“Building surveys, maintenance inspections and schedules of condition on commercial and industrial property should all include a thorough inspection of the roof and high-level fabric of the building.
“However, carrying out a visual inspection of difficult to reach and fragile structures is time-consuming and expensive.”
Other services offered with the drone include; pre- acquisition surveys, life-cycle analysis, and aerial marketing and promotional photography.