Tim Butler Chartered Surveyor and Owner of Call the Butler Ltd On Taking to the Air Over Property

This Article Sponsored By

In the fight to save and maintain old buildings the latest technology has been a boon. Drones have really come into their own especially in areas difficult to access for searching out problems early. I have been speaking locally about the use of remote controlled drones or more correctly Unmanned Ariel Vehicles, to inspect buildings both internally and externally.

I’ve really found adapting and adopting the new technology of remote controlled drones so much easier than I thought it would be. This whole process brings significant savings to owners of any building, but especially to those in old or historic properties as it often removes the use of scaffolding or towers from the inspection process.

There are some high-powered organizations using this technology as well.
Historic England is also a fan of the new technology and with them being the organisation that looks after the historical monuments and heritage of England from Palaces to Memorials and Gardens they are really benefiting from drones and thermal technology. I can see from the research I had been doing that Historic England put a high value on the use of drones or more correctly UAV’s, (Unmanned Ariel Vehicles) in their conservation and maintenance programmes of monuments and ancient buildings.

In fact, since using them the organization soon recognized that the images in still and/or video format along with the data they can capture using UAV’s can add considerable value across all manner of applications in their work. This would typically include things like the monitoring of a property’s condition; or for use in presentations and displays which they can use in their own multimedia advertising and information delivery, not to mention training and upskilling.

Then add to the benefits activities like carrying out surveys, area and terrain mapping, recording and reporting data for historic value and information dissemination organisations can find significant cost savings compared to how they would have had to carry out the work previously.

The beauty of the mix of technologies and processes has much to offer property owners large or small, not just in the repair and maintenance of homes or palaces, but also in assessing the energy we loose from our buildings and the ever-increasing costs associated with heating and lighting. If we know where we are losing heat, we can do something about it.

The UAV offers us the nearest thing to that mythical “sky hook” we have sought for years and the ability to view inaccessible areas of buildings, roofs, chimneys hidden valleys and gutters from the safety of the ground. Drones are becoming an indispensable tool in establishing the condition of hidden areas particularly in period properties.

The Thermal Imaging Camera in particular affords us the opportunity to accurately establish the current condition of a property at a specific point in time. From there we can create a meaningful base to develop and implement a proactive maintenance regime to maintain a property to its best advantage.

Locating problems at an early stage and dealing with their repair will enable timely maintenance to prevent small faults becoming larger problems (before they normally become apparent) making them more economic to repair. This will ensure that damage to the fabric of the building is minimized as part of a sensible maintenance regime.

This is particularly important in period properties with solid stone walls because damage from dampness can very quickly seriously affect the fabric of the building. Ingress of damp means that walls, timbers and fabrics will degenerate rapidly and take much longer to dry out to a satisfactory safe condition should faults be left undetected.

David Birchall

Dave Birchall is an Amazon best-selling author, a former Soldier and Police Officer and he has worked with the European Union, University of Salford, University of Central Lancashire and Manchester Metropolitan University as well as many other Non-Governmental Agencies where he designed and delivered Business Development Programmes focusing on Growth and New Product Development where he helped a number of businesses win up to 1 Million Euro of project funding to develop new products under the EU’s Framework Programs.

He was on the Strategic Board of the Cumbria Digital Development Agency in the UK and more recently was a member of the Interim Board and working group that put together the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership where he represented the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Recognized expert speaker in Influencer and, Authority Marketing, Personal and Corporate Branding and is a contributing writer to “Business Innovators Magazine” and a Host on “Business Innovators Radio”.

Dave has represented the Federation of Small Businesses on many occasions in sessions with Government Ministers, Local Government, Further Education and Higher Education. He has represented and appeared for the FSB at Government Select Committee Hearings and with the former Regional Development Agencies.