UAS Case Study - Curtain Wall

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Monday, November 20, 2017

In 2002, construction began on a 12-story, 1 million square foot in-patient healthcare facility located in the southeastern United States. Progress came to a halt when the prior owners of the facility shuttered the project. The infrastructure, exterior shell, and five floors of interior space were near complete at that time, yet the rest of the building remained incomplete. Over a decade later, a new owner of the facility hired a general contractor to resume construction and complete the project with newly designed interior space. The building’s northwest façade was a large, convex shaped, 12-story, glass curtain wall. This curtain wall was minimally maintained for nearly a decade and its condition needed to be inspected as part of the new construction build-out on the interior. A waterproofing consultant was hired, but the significant cost of inspecting the building with swing stage led the contractor to seek ways in which this curtain wall could be alternatively inspected. Specifically, ways in which light unmanned aerial vehicles could be used to eliminate the need to put personnel in adverse conditions for inspection were to be explored.