A Wide Horizons client with a major live project in Manchester City Centre needed to ascertain the condition of a roof of an 1837 grade 2 listed building, where the construction project was located. Due to its city centre location, and the historical importance of the building, compiling a detailed photographic schedule of condition of the entire roof was an incredibly complex challenge.

The use of articulating booms to access the entire areas of the roof was not possible due to the span of the building as well as access issues to the congested city centre site. As a result, the client commissioned Wide Horizons to carry out the works, and then from the data a plan of works for any areas in need of repairs could be set out.


Working closely with nearby businesses to ensure that they were aware of the project and the nature of what was involved in an aerial survey, Wide Horizons planned an efficient and safe flight plan to ensure all areas of the roof were captured, and therefore a detailed schedule of photos of the roof was possible. A Wide Horizons operation team firstly visited the site to complete a site induction, and undertake their pre-flight risk assessments and finalise the flight plan. Once complete, the survey was then undertaken out of normal working hours to minimise risk and avoid disrupting other operations on the site.

By strategically planning the entire operation before the flight date, the survey was completed within 4 hours of arriving on site and enabled the team to carry out their operatons without road closures or the need for access equipment.


The result of the project detailed above was a highly detailed photographic schedule of condition with over 230 individual high quality images, capturing all aspects of the various roof areas. Some areas of the structure were near impossible to capture, without the use of a UAV to freely orientate around the architecturally complicated sections. From the data captured a realistic and informed plan of works can now be completed ensuring no resources are wasted on unnecessary works.

In conclusion; the entire project was completed without the need to utilise heavy access equipment, and was completed within one day with zero disruption to the hotel and retail developments overall progress on site.

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