Benefits of implementing Virtual Reality into the AEC-industry workflow

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Throughout time, humans have used visual-based methods to increase the efficiency of learning and memorizing information. All the way back from cave drawings leading up to modern day illustrations and videos. As research suggests, humans retain more information and are better able to apply the learnings done through VR into the real world use cases.

Published 03/09/2020 by Torbjørn H.

VR, which is a sub-topic in the Mixed Reality genre, has gained a lot of attention. But it's now finally beginning to come of age after surviving through the hype cycle over the past few years. It is simply put a way to visualize graphics, its goal being to block out the real world and put you as a user inside the experience, making you feel like you are physically present in it.

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Therefore, VR is not only a logical step forward, but also the right step forward. especially in design-driven industries where visual presentations is of the essence. University of Maryland conducted research on if and how people recall information better through Virtual Reality, where many of the participants said the immersive “presence” while using VR allowed them to focus better. This was reflected in the research results: 40 percent of the participants scored at least 10 percent higher in recall ability using VR over the desktop display.

All 40 participants said that they were completely comfortable—and adept—in navigating a desktop computer to access information, yet all but two said they preferred the immersive VR environment as a potential learning platform. (People recall information better through Virtual Reality, Says New UMD Study. University of Maryland. 2018.)

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VR – A COLLABORATIVE TOOL FOR THE AEC-industry

As the adoption of VR into the professional work for companies in the AEC-industry (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) is ramping up, a series of new use-cases is also discovered, and welcomed with a smile!

Previously we wrote about one specific use-case which we discovered, namely how VR can drive impressions, and potentially aid companies in winning more tenders.

Numerous reports and studies have been conducted to try and put things into order when it comes to how VR can benefit the AEC-industry. We would like to introduce you to a few of these benefits.

Supporting Design

Poor quality in design, design delay and design change are major risks that should be focused on avoiding. VR can be a helpful tool for designers to address those issues regarding visualizing conceptions of the designs, facilitating collaborative design and speeding up design review.

VR can allow designers to make selective reinterpretations and immediate evaluations of their design thinking and take full consideration of design elements properties, abstract representation, and component assembly. VR will also facilitate collaborative design and speed up the design review.

In particualar, it is much more efficient and economical to evaluate design options in a virtual environment than building or modifying a physical model, As an effect from this, VR has been used as an effective tool to test hypothetical design and compare design options

Facilitating owner’s involvement

VR can facilitate owner’s involvement. As it lowers professional thresholds and delivers excellent visual effects. Therefore, VR is essential for addressing the crucial issue that owners are often short of technical and professional knowledge in construction, which always impedes owner’s involvement.

VR allow owners to closely review design in virtual environments and helps in bringing a real sense of what construction production would be, not only for individuals directly up towards the project, but also for stakeholders who have interest in the project. Also, many studies suggest that a key advantage of VR in design involves end-users’ feedback to improve design performance, scope the project and ensure owners’ satisfaction

Reduce cost and time spent

Less traveling time and cost by having the chance to bring what you need into a virtual meeting where participants can join from across the globe, you would commonly see results regarding lowered travel cost, as well as the meeting becomes more streamlined and focused on the objects that matter.

When using VR in early-project reviews, one can quickly and more effectively determine what changes to conduct, and can potentially decrease the cost for material that was not needed in the first place, ultimately this can drive down the material cost, as well as traveling cost (as we discussed above) and will in the end support and aid in lowering the overall co2 footprint from the given company.

VR is evolving fast, and is already good enough to provide massive benefits as it is today.

If you are ready to try this out, Dimension10 will be ready to walk you through it from purchase of hardware to setup and workshops enabling employees to be vr superusers.

Please feel free to contact us If you have any questions.

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Interested in learning how much your company can save on VR?

Abdelhameed, W. A. (2013). “Virtual Reality Use in Architectural Design Studios: A Case of Studying Structure and Construction ”. Procedia Computer Science, 25, 220-230.

Koutsabasis, P., Vosinakis, S., Malisova, K., & Paparounas, N. (2012). “On the value of Virtual Worlds for collaborative design”. Design Studies, 33(4), 357-390.

Niu, S., Pan, W., & Zhao, Y. (2015). “A Virtual Reality Supported Approach to Occupancy Engagement in Building Energy Design for Closing the Energy Performance Gap ”. Procedia Engineering, 118, 573-580.

Woksepp, S., & Olofsson, T. (2008). Credibility and applicability of virtual reality models in design and construction: Elsevier Science Publishers B. V.

Chen, C. Y. (2011). “Managing projects from a client perspective: The concept of the meetings-flow approach”. International Journal of Project Management, 29(6), 671-686.

Portman, M. E., Natapov, A., & Fisher-Gewirtzman, D. (2015). “To go where no man has gone before: Virtual reality in architecture, landscape architecture and environmental planning”. Computers Environment & Urban Systems, 54, 376-384.

Fu, M., & Liu, R. (2018). "The Application of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Dealing with project Schedule Risks" Construction Research Congress 2018.