Building Inspection, Maintenance and Facility Management

Autonomous Inspection of Building Façades

Challenge Statement Owner:

DP Façade (DPF), with its team of highly experienced and specialised consultants, architects, engineers and designers, are equipped with extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of façade and building maintenance unit (BMU) consultancy. DPF has significant records of accomplishments in projects of all sizes and complexities across various countries and regions.


Periodic façade inspection (PFI) is mandated by BCA for all buildings older than 20 years and taller than 13 metres. Approximately 30,000 buildings in Singapore are to be inspected every seven years – or around 4,000 buildings a year. This regulation may in future be extended to newer buildings, further increasing the number of buildings that have to undergo routine PFI.

At present, for buildings with mechanically-fixed cladding, there is no way to verify the condition of the cladding framing, bracket, and anchors without manually removing individual panels, particularly for metal cladding, for which scanning methods do not work. This is a time-consuming and costly process.

In this picture: Where the cladding has not been installed, the concrete wall and the supporting steel structure can be seen. Once all the (orange-red) cladding panels are installed, it will no longer be possible to see the steel frames, brackets, and anchors, and their conditions. 
A close-up of a wallDescription automatically generated
Cladding panel cavity
A close-up of a concrete gutterDescription automatically generated
Cladding panel bracket (typical localised obstruction)
A bolt in a metal surfaceDescription automatically generated
The panel fixing image taken with a borescope through a cladding joint, which is not as clear as if the panel can be removed for the inspection.

DP Façade is exploring ways to overcome this challenge with PFI with automation – something that would be extremely useful to the hundreds of façade inspectors in Singapore. There is also potential to market the solution to overseas users.

The Challenge

DP Façade is looking for a solution to automate façade inspection, one that is capable of visualising the condition of the framing, brackets, and anchors located behind mechanically-fixed cladding.


The solution should: 

  • Allow a human operator to view a video stream or take photographs to view the condition of the cladding framing, bracket, and anchors, and examine closer for issues;
  • Be able to move autonomously or via remote control;
  • Be able to move on both horizontal and vertical surfaces;
  • Be able to access narrow cladding cavities, which generally range from 50mm to 150mm; and
  • Be able to navigate obstacles within the cladding cavity, for example, rainwater down pipes, brackets, runners, lightning protection tapes, etc.

Proof-of-concept (POC)/Pilot Support

DP Façade will provide testbed site(s), at either a construction site or an existing building undergoing PFI.

Upon a successful pilot, DP Façade is willing to work with the solution provider to commercialise the solution, as well as adopt it under a leasing model.


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