Skip to main content

The nation watched as a condominium tower collapsed on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. The tragic loss of nearly 100 residents was the result of long-term corrosion and degradation in basement-level structural supports.

The Florida Legislature passed new regulations on condominium buildings in May 2022 to help prevent a similar tragedy from happening in Florida again.

As the deadline for these inspections looms, engineers and inspectors will be faced with the challenge of meeting a high demand in a limited window. There are not enough engineers and consultants available to meet the inspection demand. We will cover what these inspections entail and how drones can provide a tool to assist in meeting the demand.

Phase One Milestone Drone Facade Inspections

In Florida, the Phase One Milestone Inspection is an important step in ensuring a condominium association is taking the necessary steps to identify any structural defects that could affect the building structure. This is required of every condo three or more stories tall in Florida built before 1992. Locations within three miles of the beach require the inspection for condos built before 2002 with the same height requirements. These drone facade inspections must be filed with the local building department.

As of July 1st, almost 1 million condominium buildings in the region must have a Phase One Milestone Inspection by the end of 2024.

The Inspection & Drone Value-Add

When it comes to such critical inspections, it’s important to hire a structural engineer experienced in forensic and structural inspections. The engineer will examine problem areas and take note of if further inspections or testing are necessary. Those issues will be further investigated in the Phase Two Milestone Inspection.

With an inspection demand of nearly 1 million, structural engineers may find themselves overwhelmed in order to accommodate so many buildings and have actually begun a waiting list. One solution to the labor shortage is to deploy drone pilots with data analytics software to provide a virtual walk of the building exterior. This is much faster and less expensive than deploying scaffolding, lifts, moving chairs, etc. These automated flying cameras are able to access hard to reach areas, cover an entire building enclosure in a day or less and provide a virtual inspection that can be reviewed by a structural engineer without leaving his office. Additional experts and estimators can also work remotely, performing a virtual walkthrough online via drone data.

This process provides engineers and inspectors with the resources and opportunities to better identify deficiencies and develop the plans necessary to address and fix them. With limited labor to perform facade inspections currently, drones are a supplemental tool that are both cheaper and faster than attempting to pull from a limited pool of experts.

Inspectors can perform Milestone Inspections in only a fraction of the time by leveraging drone deployments. The boost in efficiency, reduction in travel time, and cost savings can be significant. Roof consultants and structural engineers can offer faster turnaround on facade inspections and an increase on the amount of projects they can take on.

Choose the Right Drone Facade Inspection Partner

Drones are becoming an increasingly common tool in construction, roofing, tower and facade inspections for facility owners and managers. Drone imagery without analytics provides only a small piece of the solution. The real ROI starts with what you do with the acquired ​​data. Pointivo is the only AI-based exterior facility inspection solution on the market with advanced tools and AI.

Pointivo’s full suite of patented asset drone inspection solutions digitize and automate traditional manual pencil and paper processes, revolutionizing the way companies make key business decisions at scale. Request a demo or reach out to us today to see how supplementing your team with drone automation will impact your business.

The Digitization of the Tower & Roofing Industry

Want to see how augmenting your resources with drone automation will impact your business?

Pat Lien

About the Author

Pat Lien is Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Pointivo.

Pointivo is the leading AI analytics platform for digital twins and physical asset inspection. Pointivo was founded eight years ago with the vision to automate analytics using its patented AI and computer vision platform. As Pointivo has been at the forefront of the commercial drone industry, Pointivo has focused solely on providing digital twins with advanced analytics in support of customers and partners transforming their industries. Pointivo has grown to be #1 in telecom, roofing, and facilities analytics generating digital twins for over 200,000 assets, and is expanding to energy, utility, and infrastructure markets. Given its early entry in the space, Pointivo’s extensive patent portfolio gives it broad ownership of many of the enabling technologies required to drive the growth and future of digital twins and automated asset inspection.