As you start to look at Virtual and Augmented Reality and its applications in construction you may find that jumping first feets may be pretty expensive and tough. That’s why the first thing to do is architecting the vision of it. How would you like to use it in particular?
There are three fundamental revolutions that are happening in the industry right now:
- One is the integration of design, supplier, and subcontractors.
- Second is the adaptation of manufacturing techniques. It allows to prefabricate subassemblies off-site, deliver them just in time. It converts construction site into a place of final assembly.
- The third one is new tech tools that enable companies to effectively implement the change of both integration and manufacturing techniques.
AR and VR facilitate those revolutions in construction. While Augmented and Virtual Reality have a pretty short history they still managed to deliver fascinating results and make an impact on how the industry works.
Use of Virtual and Augmented Reality in Construction
From a technological standpoint AR and VR could help you access knowledge: build faster and better. But you’ll need to focus and pinpoint goals. Here are the most promising areas to start from.
Obviously, the first and foremost advantage of AR is that it allows eliminating the roadblocks in a design decision-making process. If you’re from construction you should know that customers very often don’t talk the language that you speak.
Two-dimensional construction documents don’t necessarily mean something to a coach of the sports team or a nurse. By immersing this person into virtual reality gives him understanding what the design is.
For instance, if we’d take a 1 million sq foot hospital, the administration might want to test the plans before construction begins. At this point you may want to make a presentation right on the construction site. But it’s a pretty expensive proposition, because you’ll have to take doctors away from work. So what you can do is to deploy the presentation locally and give it a run in virtual reality as a series of 3D models.
In addition, using augmented reality in architecture helps to understand the impact of the facility on a place where it’ll be built. You can define a total footprint of that building over a 50-year window.
Sales Cycle Speed Up
We’ve already said that Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in architecture allows testing buildings before they are actually constructed. It becomes especially useful when you construct a hundred million dollar projects and your client wants to give it a test.
That way VR and AR architecture can shorten the sales cycle. Sales team can provide future tenants or suite holders with the view of how their property may look like when the construction in done. This can be very handy while selling premium spaces up-front the construction. So as for the recruiting purposes, AR provides similar benefits. It allows employers to attract prospects by showing future facility.
Additional Information Supply
Unlike manufacturing where you’re building the same car, a typical construction project has too many documentation and what’s important – the documentation is changing constantly.
Every single project you build is basically a prototype. Every single stadium or hospital is different. Construction is a constantly evolving information space. And this information can be delivered days or even hours before you put work in place. In such conditions being able to provide data in a quick manner is invaluable.
What’s more important about virtual reality architecture is that you can plan out and execute construction in advance of physically building them, so that it goes a lot more flawlessly afterwards.
Every construction site has a ton of equipment. You can have hundreds of different moving machines. AR can help recognize where those machines are, how one utilizing them at the particular moment.
Despite a great number of vehicles there are still moments when you have to share machines between different divisions. AR could give the knowledge where those tools are or are those vehicles idle.
Installations Process Speed Up
Augmented Reality in construction is also can be used to eliminate using of tape on projects. AR technology allows using a model-based construction that would allow construction happening at shorter time-frames.
For example, you can use a virtual flashlight that projects augmented information on the physical surfaces. Thanks to such system your workers would be able to cut openings in a dry-wall after the installation, rather than make pre-cutting. From here you can install drywall as a complete system and then use AR flashlight to make openings.
Labour Shortage Prevention
It’s not a secret that construction industry really lacks field labor. It’s getting harder to bring new people in order to support the core of business, which is actually building. The days of kids playing with a hummer are gone. Kids buried in iPad. Everyone is interested in tech.
That’s why the more tech you can bring into construction (like smart helmets), the more people you can attract. As you get towards more types of technological solutions you can draw more craft workers in. Getting augmented reality in construction is exactly what can attract new people into the industry.
Something it is important to understand that VR & AR technology can be used not only by builders. It can be used to do a solar work, construct wind turbines, infrastructure facilities, etc. Thus by committing to these technologies, you open yourself to new markets from a technological standpoint.
Want to get into AR?
Tony Sol is the business development manager of GBKSOFT, overseeing the production of all writings for both internal blog and external platforms. He is technical-driven person always looking for new benefits of merging business and software.
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