STAP2 scaled 1200x600 - Cromhall Church - Bristol

Feasibility Survey Cromhall Church - Bristol

29/12/19 - By Daniel Jordan

Skymatics undertake feasibility survey to help church provide sustainable energy.

The Challenge.

Skymatics were asked if it would be possible to provide an accurate aerial survey of the roof of a church, nestled in the countryside of the tranquil village of Cromhall, Bristol. The ambition from the church is to understand the feasibility of installing solar panels on their roof to provide a greener and more sustainable energy source. A task we were only too happy to help with.

A cold and misty start to a day in December 2019 arrived. We set to work against the elements in unfavourable survey conditions of low, bright sunshine followed by waves of dense fog. However, we were still confident in being able to provide an accurate result.

The Solution.

Firstly, we installed a network of ground control and checkpoints around the boundary and surrounding grounds. Our drone was then deployed, and the aerial survey was complete in no more than two hours. Capturing hundreds of geotagged images at different altitudes and angles would provide enough information to enable us to reconstruct a digital model of the church.

The photogrammetry report revealed just how accurately we managed to complete this aerial survey. The independent checkpoint residual errors were more than satisfactory of the church. Using  more advanced software, we’re able to create 3D polylines within the digital model which represents the profile of the roof. As you can see from the images the roof is certainly characterful, and is by no means uniform!

Once complete, we can then export these 3D polylines to a format universally recognised by architects and engineers to ascertain whether the roof profile is suitable for solar panels, and if so, how many can be potentially installed.

The Results.

Utilising a drone meant that this work was successfully completed without putting someone at risk by making them physically climb up to survey the roof and working at height. Given the age of this historic building, it would potentially create a hazardous environment for anyone to work in. In this case, our drone was certainly the right tool for the job!

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