AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF DRONES ON THE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN NAIROBI.

ABSTRACT
The construction industry in Kenya, especially Nairobi is advancing rapidly with projects of varied nature being developed. These include residential, mainly apartments and flats and commercial buildings which are very large. There are also civil works such as road construction. This paper focuses on how the technology of drones, sometimes referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles can be used in the various phases of the construction process of the projects. Drones are already being used in other sectors such as the media industry where it is used to take mostly aerial oblique photos and videos which are so good in details that might not be easily achieved on the ground.
The research was aimed at investigating the impact of drones on the construction of buildings in Nairobi. The study was guided by the following objectives: To identify the current situation of Kenya‟s construction industry, to determine the roles and effectiveness of using drones in the construction of buildings in Nairobi and to determine the challenges and constraints encountered in adopting the use of drones in construction projects in Nairobi.  The research involved a descriptive study which targeted the Quantity Surveying firms, Civil and Structural Engineering firms, Architectural firms and NCA1 Construction firms which were sampled in Nairobi county. Data was retrieved from 36 firms who responded by filling the questionnaires administered to them. Data was then analyzed and the findings were interpreted to draw valid conclusions and recommendations. The study revealed that the construction industry is male-dominated as most of the respondents were male. Many of the firms in the construction industry have employees ranging from 5 to 10 and most firms have been operating for more than 20 years. Most of the firms had not adopted drones yet but a large percentage of them were intending to use it in the future while most of the respondents might consider using the technology. Internet was the major source of information on drones for the firms in the construction industry.  Most of the respondents were motivated by the belief that adopting this technology production would be enhanced. The cost of adopting was a key determinant of the intention of firms to use drones however the benefits that would accrue were revealed to be so many. Most of the firms that had already used drones in their construction projects claimed that they were satisfied. The research, therefore, recommends the firms in the construction industry in Kenya to take up Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in their construction activities, especially for the large projects so as to benefit in the long run from this technology.