When talking about VR technology, there are many areas within the construction industry where value can be added by integrating VR technology as an enterprise tool. This involves adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) within the organization. This entails architects using 3D modelling to depict proposed projects before construction begins. This helps in identifying problem areas and make significant improvements in the plans. More traditional methods of 3D modelling are mostly being used in the industry today. However, VR can bring 2D models and renderings to life in a way that other approaches cannot.
There are various areas where VR can be used to bring improvement in the construction industry.
VR models save time compared to creating physical 3D models. Physical 3D models can also become obsolete quickly when dimensions of the plans change during the modelling process. On the other hand, VR models can adjust to revised requirements or plans and can continuously account for how the building changes. A high level of accuracy can be achieved in interior and exterior mapping which can be another significant advantage. This kind of accuracy and precision is usually very hard to achieve with physical 3D models.
Research suggests that only, 37% of projects utilize BIM modelling from start to finish. 30% produce a model that is software dependent and only 16% pass on the project to the construction management responsible for finalizing a project.
Decision making process
Experiencing a proposed construction project through VR modelling can help resolve and set aside many issues that may arise in the future. This may help instigate feedback regarding the project which can speed up decision making in the future as less issues will be expected to arise.
Seeing Finished product come to life
Developers selling residential or commercial buildings can both benefit from VR which can help improve their selling process. VR can be used in hotel construction, office buildings, hospitals, retail centers, malls, convenience stores and other types of projects. Developers of these properties can see from beforehand what the finished product will look like which can help make the building process smoother. VR can help bridge the gap between a 2D plan or mock images and the finished product.
Putting the Customer first
VR can have a huge impact on end consumer experience and it can help construction firms to anticipate issues before its too late to fix them. Creating a simulation of a physical environment, especially large commercial buildings, can help visualize consumer journey and assess how a building will work in practical terms. It can address issues like whether there are enough toilets within walking distance, will the layout be easy to navigate etc.
It is highly likely that many different
businesses will start adopting VR technology in the near future specially players within the Commercial Construction industry. As the technology continues to improve, players in the VR industry continue to increase. Current key players in the market include Oculus, HTC, Sony and OSVR. VR is expected to be more accessible in the future and software developers may start making industry specific tools.