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3 min read

Hidden Problems Are Revealed Through Drone Surveys

Apr 6, 2022 11:13:59 AM

Often when people see drones flying nearby, they think of a kid's toy, of commercial flyover footage and blockbuster movies, or maybe even search and recovery missions. What most people don’t recognize is how useful drones can be when added to an arsenal of data capture tools. Existing Conditions uses a variety of technologies to meet its clients' needs, including remotely-piloted aerial vehicles such as drones. At its most basic level, a drone survey allows you to see your building from a new perspective.

Many companies in the architecture, engineering, and construction fields utilize drone surveys to capture data about their projects. Professionals in the industry can get real-time, valuable information about properties and structures with Existing Conditions drone surveys.


Existing Conditions deploys the technology that is best suited for each specific project. In addition to laser scanners from Leica and FARO 3D, we use NavVis systems and drones from DJI. Drones have expanded the definition of what we can offer our clients. We can now provide drone surveys and other data capture services that were once beyond our reach.

“We’re excited about drones and yes, as an Air Force veteran, I've always wanted to have my own Air Force. What could be more fun than that?” said Existing Conditions CEO and founder Kurt Yeghian. “You know, there are confusing and overlapping local, state, and federal regulations on flying drones. We’ve worked with drones for a long time and really know the ins and outs. When we started using drones it was such a new groundbreaking technology and that excites me. I like being able to offer a new and more efficient way of helping clients. The old ways don’t work anymore.”

Once the project kicks off, the Existing Conditions team obtains the right permits and approvals. We have a number of FAA licensed pilots working full-time at Existing Conditions to survey properties safely and effectively. There are many buildings we work on where it's critical for a client to understand the roof and how it pitches, or the roof structure. There are some circumstances when we encounter access issues, where we cannot get on the roof or the environment is unsafe. The drone technology allows us to capture and provide our clients with information that would be otherwise unattainable. Drones allow us to reduce the client’s risk on projects and enhance their awareness. By using a drone, we provide the client with a physical perspective that would otherwise be impossible without millions of dollars of scaffolding, a boom crane, or a helicopter. 

The drone cameras are high quality and able to provide comprehensive facade surveys, detailed roof surveys with photographic information that can complement the laser scanner. Sometimes a project requires laser scanners and drones to provide what the client needs and we have the expertise to offer that holistic approach, it’s the EC approach.



The DJI Mavic Air 2 drone offers advanced features and superb image quality. High-performance image sensors produce HDR video with light and dark levels captured separately and layered to create a colorful and detailed picture with high color accuracy. It has an 84-degree field of vision, a lens aperture of f/2.8, and can capture images at up to 48 megapixels

Here is an example of drone data capture, modeling, and our drone data delivery platform.

HubSpot Video

 “We're not just sending you a folder with 500 images and saying good luck. We're delivering all of our drone surveys and the images that accompany them through a free cloud interface that any of our clients and their project teams are able to access. You're able to see exactly when and where each photograph was taken from that drone, the altitude and its position relative to the building. That's really useful,” said Yeghian.”If we come back three months later, we can perform the exact same survey and you can compare the two. How has the building continued to deteriorate? Were our assumptions correct? What's happening over time?”

Trust Our Expertise

Whether you are designing, managing, or buying a building, Existing Conditions gives you a comprehensive view of your most valuable asset, and gives you awareness that you otherwise may not be able to achieve or afford to achieve (if it requires millions of dollars in scaffolding).

Our team is ready to help with your facade or roof survey and provide you with the data you need to make clear-headed decisions. Gain the awareness you need when you need it, learn more about drone surveys, and how Existing Conditions can help your business save time and resources

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Jared Curtis

Written by Jared Curtis

President, Existing Conditions