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December 3, 2020

Remotely piloted aircraft systems are being used at BCIT to test an increasingly popular application of RPAS technology—monitoring construction progress and documenting the project’s lifecycle.

The new Health Sciences Centre is the site for this research. Every two weeks for the two-year duration of the construction project, a drone will capture up-to-date visual data and turn it into 3D models, digital surface models (DSMs), and orthophoto maps. These map products are being used for different purposes by a variety of stakeholders: BCIT’s School of Health, the Marketing and Communications Department, and the construction company, architects, and surveyors. The data have also been incorporated into a number of courses and student projects. See “BCIT Drone Technology Maps the Development of New Health Sciences Centre” in BCIT News.

Research applications

One BCIT student benefiting from this data is Building Science master’s candidate M. Kibria Shah, who is analyzing the impact of construction noise through the lens of public health and urban planning. Under the supervision of Dr. Maureen Connelly, Kibria is using the drone imagery to identify noise sources from the construction site. He applies the noise data to acoustic software that predicts overall noise propagation from construction sites into modelled residential communities. The overall aim of this research is to investigate mitigation strategies for intrusive construction noise levels, which often exceed recommendations by the World Health Organization and can be detrimental to human health.

A 3D time-lapse of the Health Sciences site created by Dr Eric Saczuk using drone technology. It shows the development of the building since 2019.