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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.

Research applications

One BCIT student benefiting from this data is a Building Science master’s candidate who is analyzing the impact of construction noise through the lens of public health and urban planning. The student has access to 30 models of the site captured between October 2019 and March 2021, allowing him to numerically evaluate the impacts of construction noise on the community over the course of construction.

3D model of construction site for Health Sciences Centre
3D model of construction site February 2020 / Image credit: Eric Saczuk
3D model of construction site Health Sciences Centre Oct 2020
3D model of construction site October 2020 / Image credit: Eric Saczuk

Read about other internal research and instruction at BCIT.

See also collaborations with industry partners.