Could drones be the next big tool for construction workers? Students at SA1 Swansea Waterfront have been finding out.

21.03.2017

A fascinating insight into the use of drones and laser scanning in the construction industry was demonstrated to students at a live event hosted by UWTSD, The Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) and Kier Construction at the University’s new SA1 Swansea Waterfront development.

Tim with students explaining how to use drones

Supported by CITB Wales, CIOB Wales and Images at Altitude, attendees heard how the use of aerial drones and laser scanning technologies can help construction workers keep tabs on their productivity, track their materials and monitor how their projects come together. These new technologies are an innovative and cost effective way of surveying a range of construction works from heritage to modern buildings and civil engineering works.

The site at SA1 Swansea Waterfront is a learning hub, drawing students from local schools, the university and surrounding colleges to experience real challenges and rewards of working in the construction industry.

The event also captured some breath taking footage of the SA1 Swansea Waterfront development, which has shown rapid progress, and is having a transformational impact.

Drone demo

Phase one of the University’s new £300m prime waterfront development is well under way. The scheme will provide a new home for the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, Faculty of Education and Communities, as well as new library facilities, ready for September 2018.

Students from UWTSD were joined by 2nd Year Btec & Extended Diploma in Construction & Built Environment students from Neath Port Talbot College; and Foundation Degree in Construction Technology & Management students from Coleg Sir Gâr for the day-long event.

Gerald Naylor, CWIC director said: “The drone event is an excellent example of collaboration between education, industry and pioneering companies. With CWIC funding, Kier Construction hosting and the CIOB supporting this innovative event there begins a much bigger engagement with the ‘Learning-Site’ initiative CWIC and Kier are developing on the UWTSD SA1 Swansea Waterfront development.”

Howard Monsen, Kier Senior Project Manager said: “The Drone Presentation was well attended by students and graduates. Drone technology will bring tangible benefits to the construction industry and can be used for everything from measuring quantities of materials / stock piles of aggregates, to optimising topography, to real time mapping of earthworks and construction operations and eventually linking up with machine control technology.”

The Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) is a unique all-Wales Hub & Spokes training facility funded by the CITB with its Hub situated within University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s SA1 Swansea Waterfront  development. The Hub, which opens in September 2018, will offer specialised training and include a purpose built scaffolding centre.  Training will be delivered from each of the Spokes from September 2016 throughout Wales.

The University’s vision for SA1 Swansea Waterfront is to create a neighbourhood with academic activity at its core to attract companies to collocate with the University to exploit knowledge, develop skills, support existing companies and attract new investment into the region.