Photographer: Russell Kutach, President, iSky Professional Drone Services
Submitted By: Lisa Michaud, Gilbane Building Co.

On March 9, Gilbane Building Co. completed the mat foundation placement for Hines’ new 48-story Block 58, also called the Texas Tower, located in Houston. For 28 days leading up to the pour, crews installed 3 million lb of rebar. Then, over the course of 22 hours, teams placed 14,000 cu yd of structural concrete across the 1.8-acre site, using six pumper trucks, 1,400 concrete trucks and 120 crew members on site.

“We flew [a drone] from the top of an adjacent parking garage, and we flew missions every 15 minutes over the site to get a photograph so that they could do a time lapse of the entire 22-hour process,” Kutach says.

To do that, the team used software to assign the drone a mission.

“We [would] send the drone up, and it goes back to the exact latitudinal and longitudinal location at the same altitude each time, and we snap the photo. We’d bring it back to home base, offload the footage and end up with [the multitude of photos needed] for the time lapse they wanted,” he says.

“Because it was 22 hours straight, it took two pilots” working across two shifts, Kutach explains.

Kutach used a Phantom 4 Professional drone, which is capable of shooting 4k video at 50 frames per second and taking 21 megapixel still shots.