By now, you’ve likely come into contact with VR gadgets fresh to the consumer market. If you’re like me and have only had a few encounters, you’re probably just as blown away. Sure, benefits of standing in Philadelphia and looking out into a device to see scenery at the peak of Everest are mainly for entertainment—but what if this could be used to make your life a little easier? I’d make the stretch to say a good portion of construction managers would be intrigued.
Believe it or not, there are several benefits of virtual reality and augmented reality in construction already being seen. Kim Smith of Render 3D Quickly has expanded on these points below. Whether it makes sense immediately for your team or not, the future should be interesting to watch unfold (whether through a VR lens or with our own eyes).
(1) Real-Time Visualization of the Projects
This means that an architect will be able to look at the site where the project is going to be and hold up their smartphone with the camera towards the building, then they will be able to see a full scale of the building on display before all of the work on the building begins. This is also going to show the owners and the contractors all of the details and design of the project. These details will be done in the form of 2D drawings, scale models, and building information modeling.
(2) Enhanced Collaboration and Communication Throughout the Project
This is one of the key things that will be needed in order to have a successful project. The augmented reality will allow the contractor or project manager to walk around the construction site and be able to see an overlay of building information modeling on top of the already constructed areas. This will allow for a comparison of two while the contractor will still be able to access any changes or documentation about the construction that has come through. The walkthrough also allows the project manager to take pictures or record a video so that they can send it back to the design team if any problems arise that might need some clarification.
(3) Increased Safety
On every single construction project, safety is always going to be a priority. This means that a more detailed safety plan might need to be developed or the contractor could be trained on being able to use the actual heavy equipment on the sites of the project. A safety checklist can be provided by the contractor at the touch of a hand, or the contractor could also have a recap of the safety meeting that happened that morning. All of this information will be displayed on a 3D model of the work.
(4) Better Visualization
A small-scale building information modeling model can allow the contractor to look at the construction site and check on the construction site to see the if any changes have been made or needed to be made. The contractor can look at the environment with the overlay of the building information modeling on top without having to look at anything else. Most of the time, it is going to be in the form of a CAD or a 2D architectural drawing.
(5) On Time, Within Budget Delivery
Contractors can create a plan for logistics as far as the staging areas, materials, delivery of the supplies, and the storage for the equipment. The contractor will be able to save a lot of time by being able to order the remaining building materials that might be needed in order to finish up the project by cross referencing all of the materials that are left. They will also be able to figure out where the closest distributors are, the prices of the materials, and if the materials are actually available when they are needed. Sometimes the materials will be available immediately so they might be able to be delivered on the day that they are ordered by the contractor.
About the Author:
Jason Vander Griendt is the mechanical design engineering expert behind Render 3D Quickly (http://www.render3dquickly.com/), a company specializing in three-dimensional architectural renderings and visualizations. With years of experience in the field of 3D rendering and animation, Vander Griendt has established a global reputation for the exceptional insight and expertise he has regularly provided to architects, builders, contractors, designers, homeowners, and real estate companies from all over the world.