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Welsh council uses drones to drive energy efficiency

19 June 2018

Increasing use of drones for the inspection of facilities is continuing to develop, with the Vale of Glamorgan Council the latest to announce their use.

It has announced the use of drones with high-definition cameras to inspect and assess its housing stock.

Operational manager of building services Andrew Treweek said the use of drones has solved "a huge access issue", as inspections would have otherwise required the cost of scaffolding and included "significant safety issues".

In addition to these benefits, the use of drones is also providing the council with an easier method of completing energy efficiency surveys of its housing stock.

Mr Treweek said the savings provided by the use of drones has been dramatic, according to the statement.

The action has assisted with weather-proofing its houses and also overcoming the issues caused by cavity wall insulation, which has allowed water to penetrate to inner walls using the insulation as a bridge.

It previously used SAP ratings to determine when remedial work was required, using the rating of 65 as a minimum requirement and ordering work on properties falling below this.

However, Mr Treweek said the work cost around £10,000 per home and was not always effective.

The council now calls for a drone inspection before agreeing the best solution.

"We can now be confident that the remedial work undertaken is tailored to a specific property," said Mr Treweek.

"That means we know exactly what we have to order in the way of products, the scope of the work, how many people we will need on site - it drives efficiencies throughout the workflow," he said.

Drone services are provided to the council by property investigation provider CIT.

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