Exploit Drone Technology – CIF Funding awaits

Category: Detect & Inspect Property Defects, Infrared Technology


Exploiting Hot Technology to apply for Condition Improvement Funding

Ray Langford takes pride in adding a very personal service despite being part of the largest framework of Thermographic surveyors in the country. This was evident in a recent survey when an Academy in Blackpool approached Ray after securing some funding for replacement of cladding, but had no evidence to back up the funding requirement for a replacement for the school’s ailing 60 year old roof.

After Ray talked the client through all the services that IRT Surveys could provide, and the following report  commissioned by the Head of Estates and submitted to the funding body, convinced the funder to release further monies for the additional roof refurbishment.

Thanks to Ray, his drone and our patented energy auditing software, Envision the Academy will start work on the £220000 roof refurbishment this summer that otherwise would not have received government funding.

One man and his drone

One particularly inaccessible survey led to the development of a UAV Drone specifically the DJI S900 fitted with a radiometric FLIR E60 BX Thermal Imaging Camera; this now allows Ray to undertake surveys from unreachable vantage points which now, with CAA permissions Ray operates for jobs that otherwise would be difficult to survey within his region of Greater Manchester.

drone view of Unity Academy Roof

How an IRT Surveys Report can help secure funds for Schools

In this particular case, Unity Academy Blackpool had the promise of funding from the Condition Improvement Fund 2014 – 2015 to clad all the elevations but the roof at 60 years old was at the end of life and the extra to refurbish the roof would have had to be found out of their own capital expenditure.

The Education Funding Agency accepted submissions by January 2015 for consideration for the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) for the year 2015- 2016.  IRT Surveys carried out a survey of the roofs at the Academy in October 2014 and presented the report, excerpts of which are below, and clearly show high heat loss areas and ingress.

How the drone and the camera work

The purpose of the survey was to assess the 2 roofs within the campus with regards to moisture ingress and heat loss. The surface materials were dry at the time of the thermographic survey. The equipment we use sees heat instead of light and automatically allocates various colours to different temperatures.

For example red is hot and blue is cold. The hottest colour being white and the coldest being black. 

Drone - Air view Unity Academy

              A Brief Summary of the Infrared Survey Report

A well insulated roof or building in good condition should show consistent temperatures and colours across its surface. Upon thermal analysis of the roof blocks A and B, several significant regions of increased temperature were discovered. These regions of increased temperature are highly suspect and are characteristic of trapped moisture/ moisture ingress and will inevitably lead to damaged insulation as a result.


block view of roof and infrared image

Increased temperatures were found most significantly extending from points of detailing around regions of plant, skylights and at roof edge detailing.


All suspect areas have been included in the full report and are marked on the roof plan, further investigation is advised with a view to repair.


It should also be noted that there were significant regions of ponding across both roofs, most likely due to insufficient/ blocked drainage systems.


infrared image of roof Unity AcademyThis should be remedied as this long term standing water can be a major contributor to damage across the roof.


The next images show significant increased temperatures indicative of trapped moisture can be seen at various points across the roof in red and yellow colours within the thermal images.

Increased temperatures also suggest moisture penetration and degradation of the insulation, most likely as a consequence of poor membrane detailing on the roof around the skylights.

This investigation involved the use of non-destructive methods and therefore the majority of the findings presented within this report are the result of the measurement and interpretation of electromagnetic signals. The full detailed 34 page report can be accessed from our  Resources link.

IRT offer a wide range of services to the building defect and energy industries.

Including –

  •  Flat Roof Surveys
  •  Energy Assessments
  •  Electronic Roof Leak Detection
  •  Envelope Integrity Testing
  •  Air Tightness Testing
  •  SBEM / SAP ratings
  •  EPC Certificates

Uniquely, we are the only Infrared Company in the world that can provide fully quantified images of energy loss. 

Quantified for energy, emissions and financial loss. Ideal for CRC, CESP and as part of your CSR. For more information on this case study or any of IRT Surveys’ services, use the contact link here.


Contacts and Regions supported by CIF. https://www.gov.uk/condition-improvement-fund#contact 

Do you meet the criteria for CIF  for the next round? https://www.gov.uk/condition-improvement-fund

Contact your local IRT Surveyor. http://s205750220.websitehome.co.uk/locations-and-contacts/

Access the full IRT Report for Unity Academy. http://s205750220.websitehome.co.uk/resources/drone-images-help-fund-school-roof-case-study/

More Schools resources in this article. http://s205750220.websitehome.co.uk/blog/schools-energy-efficiency-resources-and-opportunities/

Non-destructive Surveys. http://s205750220.websitehome.co.uk/discover-and-diagnose-energy-inefficiencies/