Virtual reality is usually implemented in the construction industry to enhance the design, safety, and training and avoid expensive overruns.
Without a doubt, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has importantly enhanced the Architect, Engineer, and Construction (AEC) sector with data that saves time and money, decrease error, and improves productivity.
Though, BIM is an active process for AEC professionals, but, it still has a deficiency of the ease of collaboration and coordination with stakeholders who are not fully equipped with a comprehensive knowledge of BIM software.
Presently, as mainstream virtual reality is seen as a tool for video games and entertainment purposes, developers and construction professionals are discovering practical applications for the technology in their field. Implementing virtual reality in construction has opened various means for enhancing design, pitching projects, and improving training and safety. These aren’t just ideas for the future; lots of companies are already implementing these ideas.
Television and movies have always theorized how virtual reality would strongly influence society. What was referred to be science fiction is science fact, particularly with virtual reality in construction. The majority of the applicable technology is several years away from commercial consumption.
Although, most of the demonstrations, tests, and case studies revealed that there would be a permanent place for it within the construction sector. Virtual reality is gradually making a significant effect on the construction industry and will surely be an essential tool in most construction companies’ toolbox very soon.
How Virtual Reality in Construction Works
Virtual reality is the latest technology eminent in gaming, entertainment, and gaining popularity in construction. Virtual reality uses computers to design a three-dimensional simulated world. The aim is for people to explore and manipulate the computer world as if they are present. Most people likely set a couple of diverse products with virtual reality.
The headsets are the most common methods for virtual reality in construction. Whether connected to a computer or a phone, this method is more traditional and correct virtual reality. Another typical product is augmented reality.
Augmented reality joins a computer-generated element to already existing features. Users can still see their present location, but designers overlay details on top of the image. It still needs people to wear some helmet, glass, or phone to work effectively.
Virtual reality in construction is mostly implemented in the design phase, while augmented reality is common in the construction phase. Designers implement virtual reality to display their plans and get input from clients and consumers. Construction managers, superintendents, and supervisors use augmented reality on job sites to discover how the next phase of construction will perfectly fit into what has already been constructed.
4 Ways VR is Making an Impact in the Construction Sector
Designers and Designs
Right from the commencement of a construction project, one of the first areas experiencing an influx in the implementation of virtual reality in construction is design. Designers are already using virtual reality technology to assist clients, and potential clients visualize how the project is supposed to work. Using BIM, or 3D models, designers can give tours of the spaces. Also, collaborators can use the tools to figure out whether the design is constructible or not.
Virtual reality in construction stands to be a strong force, especially for hospital renovations and other projects where space and placement are of utmost importance. In 2015, Boston Children’s Hospital carried out a series of cardboard mock-ups.
Doctors and nurses had to undergo surgeries and other daily tasks to determine whether the plan would work effectively. Due to their work, the doctors and nurses were able to offer beneficial feedback on the plan. This produced an improved building, ultimately.
Project managers and designers use virtual reality to achieve similar projects or services. Doctors and nurses can be brought into space for hospitals and use virtual reality to figure out whether it will work. Using virtual reality in construction can prevent rework or additional projects to fix unexpected problems with a building.
Project managers boost accuracy by using virtual reality in construction. Many construction companies have been able to use a fusion of virtual reality and augmented reality to enhance project accuracy. Some companies use drones and other improved photography techniques to photograph the complete site on a regularly. This enables them to use a recent simulation of the project.
By overlaying that simulation with the original plan data, they can figure out how the project is shaping up to the plan. For example, a company saw that the team broke ground just short of where the plan formerly stated. By identifying this error, they corrected the rest of the project and prevented extra misalignment.
A company in Rhode Island was able to use augmented reality to prevent rework. They discovered that the steel beams ordered were massive for the building. They found this by using augmented reality at the site, overlaying the planned steel beams with the existing structure.
When they did this, they discovered that the beam wouldn’t fit properly, and they had contacted the manufacturer to have them fixed. Because of augmented reality, they were able to prevent potential problems and delays at the site.
As implementation of BIM increases, so also will the implementation of VR. Actually, with the uprising trend of VR, we will perceive it is a norm in the AEC sector.
VR won’t longer be a “good to have” technology that makes improves BIM. Just as many companies are using VR to provide better BIM, it will be a “must-have” technology. Augmented reality (AR) will be another trendy technology that can be useful in AEC. We perceive VR being packaged together with AR to provide a sound solution to BIM.