Surveying the parts surveyors can’t quite reach!

Date 6th February, 2019
james drone

Technology is helping to transform surveying for the better, according to Chartered Building Surveyor James Barron – in fact, it’s taking it to new heights.

Over the last year, James of Barron Surveying Services Ltd,  has been making use of drones to help him access areas that he may otherwise have been unable to inspect.

Recently, he was able to properly survey a corrugated asbestos factory roof hidden behind parapet brick walling and check the condition of a sheet metal roofing over a block of flats run by a major social housing provider in Plymouth. 

“Drones do provide an excellent and a very cost effective way of inspecting high level parts of a building, which would not usually be accessible or even visible from the ground,” said James.

“There is also the health and safety element to think about too. As a surveyor, you have to get into some very high and awkward spaces so where there may be a risk of a fall or injury, let the drone do the work for you if you can.”

Recognising that the use of drones for surveying and mapping is becoming more commonplace, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned that its members must ensure they operate within the current legal framework.

To help members comply, the RICS has produced a lengthy advice guide on its website and as a Chartered Building surveyor with the Institution, James ensures his use of a drone meets current legal requirement at all times.       

James believes that, while the technology has its limitations, it does have a role to play in assisting the surveyor in giving a more complete picture of a building’s condition.

“Hopefully the technology won’t develop to such a point that the drone can carry out the complete building survey itself. I am pretty confident the experienced eye of the surveyor will always have a role to play.

“I can still get to the majority of places I have to with my good old trusty ladder!”

For more information on James’ services visit