From a travel perspective, meeting in VR was more sustainable, less time-consuming and less costly than a traditional meeting which could involve between 8 and 20 people needing to make a return flight from Oslo to Kristiansand. Despite this flight being just under an hour, the disruption in terms of time due to preparation, airport procedures, and local transport is at least 5 times that per person. All factors considered, the financial cost of each trip per person is $1,000 to $1,500.
To put this all together, for a team of, say, 15, to make this journey would require 75 people hours, cost nearly $20,000 on average, and output approximately 3 tonnes of CO2. This is for a single meeting which could last only a few hours. By using VR, the time spent would be contained to the time of the meeting, the financial cost reduced to nil, with a comparatively negligible impact on CO2 levels. Understandably, just over 80% of the users agreed that conducting these design review meetings in VR are effective enough to forgo the need to travel to and from the project office. The remaining 20% of users were based on-site at the project office so the question was not applicable to them. No users disagreed with the statement.
From a return on investment perspective, and from a purely financial standpoint, the cost of the hardware and software employed was recouped after only a handful of meetings.
From April 2019 to November 2019, the number of sessions hosted and the hours spent in VR for such meetings increased from 16 to 34 and 6 to 32 respectively, representing an increase over the period of 113% and 433%. This significant and sustained increase in the use of VR technology for collaborative design sessions is a strong indicator of the benefits that it provides.