Why Virtual Reality (VR) Is Gaining Popularity in Construction

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has significantly improved the Architect, Engineer and Construction (AEC) industry with data by saving time & money, and reducing error while increasing productivity. However, as much as BIM is a powerful process for AEC professionals, it still lacks certain aspects. One of which is the ease of collaboration and coordination with stakeholders who aren’t equipped with in-depth knowledge of BIM software.

That’s where virtual reality (VR) can enhance the BIM framework.

How VR Plays A Part

In VR, you’ll be able to view, walk around and interact with your BIM model in an immersive environment. In a way, you get to see the entire virtual building in a 1:1 scale right before your eyes.

Hence, the adoption of VR is an important part of the entire BIM process, from design evaluation and proposal showcase to detecting and resolving clash issues before construction begins.

Benefits Of VR In BIM

VR is rapidly growing as more people understand its benefits. Some of these benefits include better coordination and design visualization, interactive immersion with 1:1 scale, and lower budget cost.

Better coordination and design visualization

Design visualization is a key aspect for your end-users and stakeholders to understand the project. VR allows everyone to better communicate and coordinate without having in-depth knowledge of BIM software.

For example, software like VRcollab, give a VR tour of the BIM model while coordinating with architects in real-time. Sieve out errors only an architect can detect and add comments to the issues. You can review them after the session ends and resolve them before construction begins.

Interactive VR immersion

Architects focus on the architecture, landscape and way-finding of a building that a VR immersive environment is perfect for. With a virtual tour of the 1:1 scale model, architects can get a better sense of space, allowing them to make precision decisions.

If you’re not an architect, you might wonder what the use of a VR immersive environment is for. Well, as we’ve mentioned: you can give a virtual tour of your building to potential clients or when you’re bidding for a new project.

Stand out from the crowd who still uses 2D rendering and be one level higher in providing a VR tour.

Lower budgeting costs

VR helps to identify errors before construction begins. With more data, you get to make more informed decisions. You will be able to make changes before the costly construction takes place, reducing costs for reworks and the manpower needed.

Future Of VR In BIM

As BIM usage increases, so will the implementation of VR. In fact, with the uprising trend of VR, we will see it being a norm in the AEC industry.

VR won’t simply be a “good to have” technology that makes BIM better. As more companies use VR to provide better BIM, it will be a “must-have” technology. Augmented reality (AR) will be another rising technology that can be beneficial in AEC. We will see VR being packaged together with AR to provide a wholesome solution to BIM.

Previously published on Medium.com.

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Photo credit: By Laurens Derks on Unsplash

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