Difficult Access and Drone Survey


"Our Difficult Access Team and drone capabilities provide clients with a solution to inspecting locations that are inaccessible through conventional means."

— Jason Kamman, Director of Safety

Buildings, bridges, and other structures require periodic condition surveys and, occasionally, emergency inspections. Traditional access methods—such as visual inspections from grade or the use of suspended scaffolding, supported scaffolding, aerial lifts, or crane-suspended platforms—may be impractical or inadequate given the configuration of the structure, its location, historic sensitivity, or time and safety constraints. Faced with such conditions, we employ our industrial rope access team and drone capabilities to provide clients with the answers they seek.

Our Difficult Access Team (DAT) is often called upon to provide access to hard-to-reach locations on buildings and other structures. Employing established industrial rope access techniques, our DAT engineers, architects, and technicians perform close-up visual inspections, materials sampling, and nondestructive testing. The DAT enables us to evaluate problems within arm’s length of the work.

Our fleet of unmanned aircraft systems—or drones—is operated by more than thirty-five FAA-licensed drone pilots. These WJE professionals conduct precise and efficient architectural and structural inspections, collecting high-resolution video and photography to record and assess minute details at otherwise inaccessible distances and angles. From this documentation, we develop 3-D models and photogrammetry to better assess the whole structure.

These access methods offer safe and effective solutions to the limitations of traditional access methods. Often, these methods can be deployed in a shorter period of time and potentially at less cost, allowing us to efficiently respond to issues.

  • Access to hard-to-reach locations
  • Access to special access and controlled air space
  • Facade assessment
  • Visual inspections and condition surveys
  • Photogrammetry
  • Energy audits with FLIR thermal imaging
  • Materials sampling and nondestructive testing


Watch an exclusive webinar titled "Utilizing Drones to Assess and Maintain Your Structure's Integrity."