Case Study | HSBC Abingdon

The Brief


HSBC Abingdon is housed in a Georgian mid-terrace, four-storey property in Abingdon High Street, one of Britain's oldest towns.  The Branch occupies a narrow, terraced building extending between the High Street and Lombard Street.  It has the added complication of having a bus stop at the front of the bank.  

There is a tandem pitch roof with a valley housing a glass lantern roof light.  The front pitch is higher than the rear.  The is an access hatch to the lantern skylight and valley between the two slate pitch roofs so some maintenance is possible without scaffolding.

The Objective


HSBC's maintenance company wanted aerial drone-based roof inspection and survey to:

  • give a clear photographic record of the roof's precise layout and condition, plus inspect and record the precise condition of:

    • the two / three set of chimneys, only one is shown on the plans

    • pitched roof ridge tiles

    • roof tiles

    • flashing

    • valleys

    • top 8 - 10 brick courses on each elevation

    • side, rear and front walls, coping and gullies

    • newly replaced flat roof (rear of building)




The benefits to HSBC's facilities management company

  • Significantly reduced costs both in financial outlay but also in resource to manage the project in terms of scaffolding, the various permissions to erect scaffolding in this busy high street location and resources to carry out the inspection to meet the various health and safety requirements needed.

  • Much reduced health & safety risk.

  • Non-invasive process with no risk to damage to the Georgian structure.

  • Eliminating the need to have scaffolding at all in this case on the basis of the information provided by the inspection & survey work.

  • Minimal disruption / footprint to the bank, its staff and customer plus the bank's neighbours and local residents / general public - Thames Valley  Drones was able to precision fly from the very small footprint available from the flat roof at the rear of the building.

  • Reduced survey time (40 minutes flying time in total) as opposed to man days to have an inspection team on site to provide the same information.

  • Provided greater access to areas where scaffolding would be extremely costly or impossible to reach.

  • High quality / High resolution imagery that would not be possible even with scaffolding.

  • The ability to zoom in on specific areas in individual images.

  • Ongoing resource for facilities management teams to use long after the drone survey is complete

  • Easy to repeat for this site and to replicate for other similar sites.

  • Environmentally-friendly solution.

Project Method Statement


Click here to see the full project method statement for this project

Client quote

"We are so impressed by what the drone aerial imaging can achieve and the quality of the images we get from it and with so minimal a footprint, it will give our facilities managers all they need and MORE' - HSBC Contract Manager

The results​​

360 degree view of the site


Fly-through of the site


Single Chimney Pot & Coping



Front Elevation, Coping & Gulley


Double Chimney Pot & Coping / Flashing


Roof Tiles & Ridge Tiles



New Flat Roof


Rear Elevation


Flat Roof

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Aerial Photography, filming, inspection & surveys for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Wiltshire & the Thames Valley

Thames Valley Drones:

2nd floor, Afon Building, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1TL
phone: 01628 436 494 | email:

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