An aerial survey and condition report for factory roofs

An aerial survey and condition report for factory roofs

This case study demonstrates how Skyhook Industrial conducted a highly detailed drone survey of multiple industrial sites, and partnering with our expert roofing surveyor, produced a comprehensive Condition Report.

Skyhook Industrial
Identifying multiple maintenance issues

Our Facilities Management client and their assignment

Our client Imtech Inviron is a technical Facilities Management company. They needed to assess their client’s factory buildings (an aerospace parts manufacturer) in order to ascertain the condition of the roofs, and the amount of work required to repair them.

Imtech’s struggle was primarily budget oriented – they needed to gather and deliver this information in a quick and financially viable manner. Due to the unstable nature of the roof itself, a manned inspection was not an option due to unacceptable risk. Cranes and MEWP’s which they have used before, would have added multiple days and large cost implications onto the project, not to mention disruption to the ongoing business of the site.

Having researched the options, Imtech concluded that a drone survey was by far the safest and most cost-effective way of proceeding.

The account manager contacted Skyhook based on our previous inspection experience. Our engagement was secured once he discovered that we offer a comprehensive Condition Report – an end product which can be presented to their client directly. Had we just given them a large folder with hundreds of photos, further work would have been required on their part to make sense of the data before delivery.

Our engagement was secured once he discovered that we offer a comprehensive Condition Report
– an end product which can be presented to their client directly.

The inspection process

Due to the size and complexity of the location, a pre-survey site visit was required for this project. The primary objectives of pre-job visits is to:

  • Meet the site team and confirm access to the site’s different areas
  • Tour the site and identify the areas of roofing to be inspected
  • Be shown particular problem areas which will require a closer look
  • Learn which roofs contain asbestos, helping the surveyor to factor this into the report
  • Obtain site plan drawings and existing building number sequences to enable correct referencing in the report.

By conducting this recce a week prior to the shoot we were also able to start the ball rolling for additional site security, minimising paperwork time on the flying day. We arranged for the Site Manager to issue a ‘notification of UAV flights’ to their neighbouring businesses who were within 50 metres of our flight area.

On the day of the inspection we started flights bright and early with the accompaniment of the on-site Facilities Engineer. After years of seeing the site from ground level, he was thrilled to be able watch the live feed from the drone’s camera on a separate monitor, and direct the pilot to particular locations as required. Seeing the otherwise inaccessible roof in such a high level of detail he also discovered some previously unknown issues… some of which would require immediate attention.

Whilst we captured some video, our flights were mainly used to shoot still images of the roofs, using the skill of the pilot to position the aircraft and photograph key areas from multiple angles. We made good use of the zoom lens on the drone’s camera, to get a close-up view of certain points whilst keeping the drone at a safe distance from the building and any obstacles such as chimney support cables.

We used the camera’s zoom lens to get a close-up view of key points whilst keeping the drone at a safe distance from the building.

A delighted Facilities Engineer and final report for client

The Facilities Engineer found it valuable to have attended the survey in terms of having a first hand understanding of our findings, thus making it easier to source and instruct contractors for the maintenance work itself.

Working alongside our partner roofing surveyor, Skyhook delivered three separate condition reports (one for each site), which contain observations, annotated hi-res images and repair recommendations categorised in terms of urgency.

Both Imtech and the client were delighted with their reports. Imtech specifically on the basis of the costs saved and risks avoided compared to using traditional methods. The client in terms of having a clear communications tool for managerial meetings, and for sourcing contractors who can quote accurately for the required maintenance work.

Having seen what’s possible by using drones for building survey and production of condition reports, Imtech Inviron are keen to implement Skyhook’s services at further locations, both for this client and others. Skyhook has enabled them to exceed their clients’ expectations, whilst reducing the cost and risks of elevated inspection, and providing a high-quality end product.

To view an example of the Condition Report email us at and we’ll send you the PDF

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