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Drone Aerial Photography – Construction Industry Case Study

Drone Aerial Photography offers a fantastic new way to document the progress of construction projects – from the air. Impress your client with unique photographs of your project as it takes shape, and quickly identify potential problems with the build which might not be visible from ground level. Construction sites can look stunning too! 

Drone aerial photograph taken during the construction of Coworth Park hotel in Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire 

Drone aerial photograph of the completed Coworth Park hotel and landscaped gardens in Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire 

One of the most impressive applications of drones is providing an aerial perspective of a building project – there is no better way to appreciate the complexity, scale and layout of large civil engineering projects than from the air. Furthermore, by taking regular sets of aerial photographs from the same angles, the client can build up an aerial portfolio showing how their project is progressing, and the construction company can analyse their project from a birds-eye perspective, highlighting potential problems not visible from ground level. 

Coworth Park Hotel – Ascot, Berkshire – August 2008 to September 2010

Between August 2008 and September 2010, Horizon Imaging was commissioned by two construction companies, Broadoak Construction and GallifordTry Construction, to take regular aerial photographs of the construction of Coworth Park Hotel near Ascot, Berkshire with our drone. The existing, but dilapidated Grade-II listed building would be carefully renovated over a period of 2 years and turned into a luxury 5-star hotel. 
The first stage of construction involved carefully clearing away the plants and trees that had grown up around (and inside!) the existing building, which had lain derelict for some 20 years. After the crumbling brickwork and mortar had also been cleared away, the scale of the task started to dawn on the contractors, who now had to slowly remove all parts of the building which were not deemed safe to re-use in the new hotel. 
As the months passed, more of the original brickwork was removed until, at the building’s bleakest moment, only the front wall and part of a side wall remained (see the gallery below)! The rest of the new hotel’s structure was then painstakingly built around the delicate remnants of the original building. Whilst it would have been quicker to knock the building down and start again, its Grade-II listed status meant that as much of the old building as possible had to be re-used – although this had the side-effect of greatly extending the duration of the project. 

Drone aerial photograph taken during the construction of Coworth Park hotel in Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire 

Drone aerial photograph of the completed Coworth Park hotel and landscaped gardens in Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire

For the entire duration of the project, the aerial photographs we were capturing using our drone were sent directly to the Sultan of Brunei, who was the end client of the project. The diverse range of aerial photographs, taken from the same angles every few months, allowed the Sultan to see exactly how the project was progressing, in a manner impossible using traditional methods of photography. 
When the project was completed in September 2010 there was a great deal of interest in the aerial photographs, particularly from the wide range of sub-contractors that had been working on the project, but also from the companies who would be marketing the completed hotel. Below are some testimonials from just three of the companies involved in this exciting project. 
Documenting this construction project from start to finish using our drone was a fantastic opportunity, and it gave us a glimpse just how useful aerial photographs can be in the construction industry. 
“The additional dimension, coupled with the quality of the images, has generated a great deal of interest in the project from both outside and inside our organisation.” 
“Working with Horizon Imaging has not only helped our marketing needs, but with the aid of the helicopter, they have helped us identify potential problems on the building site as well. We have been able to take shots in confined spaces and also in close proximity to livestock, without causing them any grief. A great user friendly company which I would highly recommend.” 
“I would like to convey that we at the Dorchester Collection are delighted with your service and that we find the photographs very useful and extremely valuable in monitoring the progress of the project.” 


The gallery below displays a selection of aerial photographs taken during the course of the construction of the Coworth Park Hotel from August 2008 to September 2010. They are displayed in chronological order, with the newest photographs first. 

If you have any questions about the use of Drone Aerial Photography in the Construction Industry please do get in touch and I will be delighted to help.