Today’s research is tomorrow’s design. Doggerel is asking researchers within Arup and beyond to describe their work and its potential applications. Here, Josh Treuhaft and Felix Weber describe their investigations of drone façade studies.

What are you studying?

We want to understand if drones can be used to inspect building façades in dense urban environments. We recently conducted a test flight in a busy Brooklyn neighborhood, partnering with drone company Measure.

Why is this important? What are the potential implications for the built environment?

Many cities require the owners of multistory buildings to regularly inspect their façades, looking for problems that may lead to injury or property damage — loose masonry at risk of crashing to the sidewalk below, for instance.

These investigations are typically conducted in two stages. In the first, inspectors located on the ground or in adjacent buildings use binoculars to conduct a visual inspection. In the second, they study the façade up close, performing physical tests as needed.

Read the full interview here at