Why Do Builders Use Drones?

Written by

Phantom 1

In late June, a Seattle woman was shocked when a drone flew past her window as she was getting dressed. It turns out the drone operator had been hired by a developer wanting to capture panoramas of the surrounding area. Once he had been located, the drone operator apologized to the resident, assuring her he was not a peeping Tom.

Not only did this play right into people’s concerns about the potential invasiveness of “unmanned aerial vehicle” armed with cameras, it also raised the question of why the building industry is increasingly using them. DnA talked to David Martin, design principal at A.C. Martin, the venerable Los Angeles architecture firm that designed City Hall and the DWP building.

Among current projects is Wilshire Grand, currently under construction in downtown and to be the tallest tower in the West. Martin talks about using a drone to examine views from Wilshire Grand and how the experience prompted mixed feelings about the new technology.

To kick off the segment, we hear briefly from Jared Shier, an architectural designer at Gensler and owner of the DJI Phantom 2 plus, held aloft, above (find out on a future show about his efforts to fuse drone technology with 3D printing.) And we learn from KCRW’s Program Director Gary Scott talks just why the station has obtained its own DJI quadcopter.

How do you feel about drones? Please fill out our survey.