Virtual Environmental Site Assessment

RPS Pivots to Accommodate Client’s Covid-19 Travel Challenges through Virtual Site Assessments

Covid-19 travel challenges have presented a difficult strain on routine property site assessments that support acquisition due diligence requirements. With RPS’ growing client concerns about how to complete assessment work without risking personnel safety, RPS professionals quickly pivoted to offer digital solutions through drone-based virtual site assessments.


A national industrial property investment company (an existing RPS client) who has traditionally mobilized its own staff to tour properties during its acquisition due diligence faced this exact challenge. With possible health risks and travel restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, this Boston-based client approached RPS’ Facilities Group about the possibility of recording drone-based photos and videos of the subject property (building interior, building exterior, site exterior).

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RPS has internal staff with the proper credentials and expertise who can be mobilized nationally to work directly with project managers on data collection, desired content, and production of the property footage. This saves time and money compared to contracting a 3rd party entity to conduct these activities. RPS can provide the drone capabilities in tandem with other due diligence assessment services contracted for on behalf of the client.

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Quick Mobilization

The Chicago RPS office contacted the Training, Technical and Advisory Group in the Houston RPS office to strategize when and how they could deploy their drone fleet and a certified pilot to meet the client’s needs. In less than 24 hours, RPS was able to provide the Client with a service proposal including timeframe for the work. Only a few days afterward, a Houston-based drone pilot met a Chicago-based project manager at the subject property in a Chicago suburb. The project manager provided the pilot with direction on property features to be captured and assisted as visual observer during the various drone flights.

Over 30 gigabytes of videos and pictures were acquired by two drones in a span of just over two hours. The smaller drone was used to capture footage inside the subject building’s warehouse, which required careful operation due to confined spaces. This same drone was also used to record footage of the building’s roof. The larger drone was used to capture video around the building’s perimeter and overflights that provided the client with a bird’s eye view of the entire property, including paved parking and landscaped areas.


Absolute Delivery

RPS' ability to mobilize quickly and efficiently, saves clients valuable time during their due diligence period when timeframes are very tight.

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Efficient, High-quality Footage

Having qualified and certified personnel, the proper equipment, and the ability to quickly mobilize, RPS successfully met the client’s needs and exceeded expectations:

  • The client was provided with a wealth of high-resolution, high-quality footage for their remote virtual tour of the property;
  • The drone footage proved to be an efficient use of the client’s time and finances;
  • The client’s health and safety were successfully managed; and
  • The client’s carbon footprint was minimized.
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Solutions for Environmental Site Assessments and Property Condition Assessments

RPS offers drone enabled virtual assessments as a value-add to consulting services. Our clients can save money through this comprehensive service offering rather than hiring a 3rd party drone pilot to collect the photo and video footage. RPS is here to make site assessments as easy as possible, even during times of restricted travel.

Summary Details

Project name

Drone-enabled Virtual Site Assessment



National industrial property investment company



Chicago, IL

Services Provided

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment and Property Condition Assessment

Talk to us about your upcoming site assessments

Jonathan Barber | RPS

Jonathan Barber

Manager T: +1 404 643 8399 Email
Atlanta | US
Michael Dimario | RPS

Michael DiMario

Manager 1 T: +1 312 262 4357 Email
Chicago | US

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