ConstructionDive.Com: Drones, Reality Capture a ‘Natural Fit’ for Ambitious Mortenson, AECOM Project

To meet an aggressive schedule on a 563,000-square-foot specialty hospital complex in Rockford, Illinois, the natural way forward for Mortenson Construction was to integrate technology into every step of the process. The AECOM-designed, six-story Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital and four-story Physician Clinic-Riverside opened last month after just 28 months of construction.

From the earliest stages of the $505 million project, a drone was used to choreograph the movement of material and labor around the site, Joel Jacobson, told Construction Dive.

Every other week, a pilot flew a scripted, gridline pattern over the 70-acre plot to generate an orthomosaic map, or Google Earth-like aerial view. This biweekly data was not only used as a baseline for developing crane lifting plans and access routes, but also “became the primary medium for our superintendents to communicate the real-time conditions of the fast and ever-changing site,” he said.

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