Virtual realty provides an unparalleled spatial sense for visualization at a lower cost than full-scale replicas. Today, VR is being used heavily in preconstruction to align owner expectations and educate design team stakeholders. For those already employing BIM solutions, coordination can be made much more effective by leveraging existing design models with very little added cost.
As anyone who has tried a VR headset before can attest, the ability to accurately perceive spatial relationships in design cannot be replicated through traditional 2D media such as screens or paper. VR solutions also have the ability to iterate rapidly. These technologies are linked to BIM, providing real-time feedback as the design changes. This is in stark contrast to traditional full-scale mockups and offline renders, which are cumbersome and time-consuming to update with design changes.
Substantial benefits without a hefty price tag
Budget limitations and ROI are always a concern with emerging technology. Fortunately, VR comes cheaply with BIM production. These solutions are significantly less expensive than full-scale mockups and far more efficient when compared to longhand sequencing explanations and esoteric detailing of complex designs. Even the most elaborate VR setups are a fraction of overall construction cost, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the level of adoption.
Reprinted courtesy of Spivey Lipsey, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.