In order to make the need for home maintenance better and faster insight, the Alliance will soon be the first housing corporation in the Netherlands to deploy drones independently. To this end, the corporation has entered into a partnership with Dronestars and a first employee has been trained as a drone pilot. In the short term, the corporation wants to apply for its own permit for the deployment of drones.


early 2019,

own drone pilot

De Alliantie participated in a large-scale trial, together with a few other housing corporations in which drones were used for the first time to inspect houses. Initiators for this project were software development company Octo, AeroScan and the Association of Metals Windows and Facade Industry.

The collectively developed software — the Facade Service Application (fasa) — that allows data to be merged from various sources and with which artificial intelligence can map the state of real estate, in accordance with NEN 2767. Through the FaSa collective, the help of AeroScan, who was one of the first drone operators in the Netherlands had the necessary additional exemption (STS 2A). In the future, the Alliance also wants to be able to carry out drone inspections independently. To this end, one of the employees has recently been trained as a RPA-L drone pilot and work is being made on a ROC permit in the short term.

“As far as we know, we are the first corporation with its own drone pilot. We think it is important that we are part of this innovation ourselves. This allows us to better investigate how we can use drones to improve our processes and services. In this, we like to engage with other parties to exchange knowledge and learn from each other,” says director of real estate maintenance Maartje Brans.

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Brans, the use of drones offers for the conducting home inspections many advantages over traditional inspection methods. “Inspections by eye take a lot of time and are costly because in many cases we need an expensive aerial work platform. With a drone, we get to everything and see immediately where, for example, we need to replace a roof or get started in a different way. So drones do the job faster, more accurately and cheaper.”

The ultimate goal is to clear the maintenance needs at a much earlier stage than is now possible. “With the information, we can also better determine the costs and the right time of maintenance. That is very pleasant for a large cost as a painting. Our maintenance is therefore more sustainable, because you are not too early and not too late. And that also has advantages for our tenants. What we want most is just ahead of our tenants so that they no longer have to make reports. But that is still future music,” says Brans.

Next step: own permit

The housing association will apply for the necessary permit in the coming period to be allowed to carry out drone flights over buildings. However, that has quite a few feet in the Earth. Brans: “For that, we need an operational manual and we didn’t just arrange that. We’ll be picking this up with Dronestars in the coming period, because they have that specific knowledge in-house.”

After all, it is worth mentioning the Alliance’s choice to still opt for the ‘traditional’ ROC permit. The organisation aims to have the application completed before the end of this year, just before the European drone regulations are introduced. Until the time comes, drone inspections are carried out by a Dronestars drone pilot.

(cover photo: fasa)