The ways in which you can interact with the model in VR is almost infinite:
- Activate layers from all disciplines – ARK, RIB, RIE and so forth.
- Twist and turn objects and elements as you would in the real world.
- Curious about the ceiling? Simply look up.
- Scale the model as you please – even full scale.
- Save and share views, add comments.
- Invite anyone else in – from anywhere.
- Look at other media, like PDFs, while in VR.
Meeting up in a building that doesn’t yet exist? No problem.
New software, like Dimension10’s, enables multi-user collaboration in VR.
This is where it gets really interesting. Because, unless you’re putting together a backyard patio or a playhouse for your kids:
Construction projects are multi-person projects.
The true magic happens when we collaborate. Thus, single-user VR obviously has its limitations.
Multi-user VR, however, mimics how engineers and architects work out issues in the real world – visualizing and discussing 3D models – except in VR, they’re completely immersed and interacting with a level of precision that can only be compared to the finished built environment. They can grab the model, twist it, turn it around, zoom, go full-scale, measure, comment or ride virtual lifts – you name it.
“Poor project data and miscommunication on projects is responsible for 48% of all rework in construction in the U.S., meaning that it will account for a total of $31.3 billion in rework in the U.S. alone in 2018.”
From the report “Construction Disconnected:
The High Cost of Poor Data and Miscommunication”
And that is just pre-construction.
Mid-construction, at regular intervals, they can overlay the 3D model with real 3D scans from the construction site and assess any deviations, as the project progresses. This makes it possible to address budding mistakes proactively, or at least correct them at an early stage, rather than reactively when the walls and ceilings are closed up and users already populate the building.
As the estimated rework expenditure in 2018 amounted to a cool $538 billion, the business case for added precision in construction should be a no-brainer. Multi-user VR can help tick many of the boxes that currently lead to a mismatch between what we intend – and what we actually build.