Drone (UAV) Photogrammetry and Surveying

CTLGroup now offers photogrammetry and aerial drone services as a new, efficient, and detailed method for surveying buildings and façades.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, controlled by CTLGroup’s FAA certified UAV pilots can access hard-to-reach areas without the use of scaffolding or hands-on measurements, saving our clients time and cost. Often times a building can be fully documented in a single pass.

Using the images obtained through the drone, CTLGroup utilizes specialized photogrammetric software to produce as-built CAD drawings, dimensionally accurate 2D & 3D models, and custom animations to share “big picture” information with stakeholders. These surveys can be useful for performing façade inspections, administering repair programs, providing documentation for record, and producing marketing material.

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Access to hard-to-reach areas without the use of scaffolding or hands-on measurements

CTLGroup demonstrated this technology with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL. Since the completion of a façade restoration in 2017, CTLGroup has conducted follow-up facade evaluations using digital imaging and UAV-enabled photogrammetry technology to create a 3D model and to geo-tag and correlate photographs of the façade conditions to the CAD drawings.


  • Obtain as-built drawings efficiently
  • Document present condition
  • Gain quantitative information on difficult-to-reach areas
  • Prepare condition survey (including NDE) work products
  • With planning, could automatically overlay quantitative NDE results on orthomosaic or drawing
  • Comprehensive full-field measurements, fast
  • Scalable to large buildings and small details alike
  • Quantitative, and less vulnerable to measurement errors due to difficult access, cold, fatigue, etc.
  • Invulnerable to transcription errors
  • Supports exports to familiar work products as well as novel visualizations

Use Cases

  • As-built drawings unavailable (e.g., lost, destroyed, never existed)
  • As-built drawings not already in CAD (e.g., most buildings on earth)
  • Obtain as-built and condition survey information and satisfy multiple deliverable requirements in a single pass
  • Develop synoptic view – otherwise, typically not possible in dense urban environment (other buildings in the way)


  • Orthophotos / orthomosaics (annotated)
  • CAD drawings: As-built drawings, Base sheets for field annotation
  • Instant condition survey work product, Estimate repair quantities directly from orthomosaic, Total length of cracks, Total area of delamination, etc.
  • Advanced animations, etc., for “big picture” explanation
  • Dimensionally accurate photorealistic models for stakeholders

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