Northbrook, Ill. — Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) produced a new video documenting how drone technology can be used for building facade inspections.

Currently, nine major U.S. cities have adopted facade ordinances ( that require inspection of thousands of buildings every few years.

“We believe that drone usage will enable building owners to assess problems quicker and with less risk to the general public and workers,” explained WJE Principal Michael Petermann. “This will become an essential tool in engineers’ and architects’ tool box.”

WJE partnered with First Flight Photography (FFP), an FAA-Section 330 vendor to produce the video that highlights how drones could be used to assess building exteriors safely and expediently. The companies worked together on the two structures highlighted in the video and have proposed on several other upcoming projects. Having multi-angled video or still images enables engineers to see potential distressed conditions that could otherwise be missed from ground analysis.

“We hope that local governments permit the use of drones for building assessment,” said Petermann. “This technology can be utilized today to help avoid potentially dangerous situations in aging buildings across the nation.”

WJE anticipates an increase in demand to perform visual inspections utilizing high quality imagery from drones and is in the process of partnering with select vendors.