Technology is often understated as an advancer of many things. Technology is what enables societies, industries etc. to evolve and reach new levels of innovation. What we have seen over the last 20 years is a rapid increase in the levels of impressiveness that can be seen when viewing new developments made. Developments that challenge minds, create new patterns of thinking and ultimately improve quality of life in ways we could never imagine previously. In this blog, we are going to discuss the role of virtual and augmented reality in construction and how it is used for planning, design and visualisation
In construction, tech is part and parcel of operations and delivery of projects. Of course, as time has gone on the physical aspect has largely remained and is a mainstay of construction. Human capital is key to ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget. But ways to reduce the amount of work people do by ramping up the use of technology are becoming increasingly evident.
It makes sense that construction is constantly looking for ways to implement technology in operations. The industry’s impact on society is unprecedented. From private to public construction, there are works completed that almost everyone uses. Timelines of managing these projects can be difficult especially considering the sheer size or magnitude. For instance, planning the construction of a major apartment block. But what if there were ways to make the entire process more efficient?
The key lies in usage of technology where appropriate. Every process does not need to be upended as this would not make sense. Rather, what would be better is applying it to ensure productivity goes up.
Two types of technology that are peaking right now are virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). VR is a simulated experience where the scenes and surroundings presented appear to be real. AR is a little bit different as it combines the real world with computer-generated imagery and video. When people think of VR and AR, they generally associate it with video games and entertainment. However, they have useful purposes in working environments and the like.
Construction certainly has capacity for the use of virtual reality and augmented reality. The aspects of both technologies lean heavily into the ability of construction professionals in ensuring projects are delivered with quality and care.
In this blog, you will find out the role of virtual and augmented reality in construction, and how it can be used effectively.
Virtual reality and augmented reality (VR and AR) are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry as a means of planning, design, and visualisation. These technologies allow architects, engineers, and builders to create immersive, 3D representations of buildings and structures, which can be used for a variety of purposes, including planning and design, construction, and maintenance.
One of the main advantages of using virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) in construction is that it allows for more accurate and efficient planning and design. By creating detailed, 3D models of buildings and structures, architects and engineers can more easily identify potential problems and make adjustments before construction begins. This can save time and money by reducing the need for costly changes during the building process.
When architects and engineers use VR and AR to create 3D models of buildings and structures, they will be able to detect issues that could arise when looking at 2D drawings or blueprints. For example, VR can be used to create virtual walkthroughs of a building, allowing architects and engineers to identify issues with the layout, such as poor flow or inadequate natural light. AR can be used to overlay virtual information on real-world environments, allowing architects and engineers to see how a building will look and function in the context of its surroundings.
The ability to identify potential problems early in the planning and design process can save time and money by reducing the need for costly changes during the building process. For example, if an architect or engineer identifies a problem with the layout of a building before construction begins, they can make adjustments to the design, which can increase efficiency and production by reducing the need for costly changes during construction. Additionally, by identifying potential issues early, architects and engineers can prevent costly mistakes that could delay the construction process or even result in the building not meeting building
In addition to planning and design, VR and AR can also be used during the construction process itself. For example, VR can be used to create virtual walkthroughs of a building, allowing builders to see the space and determine potential pitfalls that may be borne from mismanagement, therefore getting off to a good start before they begin construction. This can help to reduce errors and improve the overall quality of the finished building.
AR, on the other hand, can be used to overlay virtual information on real-world environments, allowing builders to see how a building will look and function in the context of its surroundings. This can be especially helpful for large-scale construction projects, such as skyscrapers or infrastructure projects, where it can be difficult to visualise how the finished product will look and function.
One aspect of the building and construction industry that has deep importance is quality and safety. Because of how much of what is done is physical, there is the worry that projects not completed to effect will be unsafe or unfit for use. Therefore, training construction professionals in this regard is imperative to ensuring each individual understands what is expected of them to successfully deliver an engagement.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are incredibly useful tools for educating construction professionals on how to act and respond to situations where high-risk is involved. They can be run through simulations which allow individuals to practise potential situations where hazards are present, and find ways to mitigate the risks. They can also put knowledge of rules and regulations to the test in potential scenarios that will solidify their understanding of risk management.
Both VR and AR can also be used for maintenance and repair, allowing builders to easily identify and address issues with a building or structure. For example, a virtual walkthrough of a building can be used to identify areas that need repairs, such as leaks or structural damage, and AR can be used to overlay instructions on the real-world environment, guiding workers through the repair process.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are pieces of technology still relatively new, however they will inevitably have a telling impact on future generations. As the technology evolves and the science around how they operate, it will mean people are better able to take advantage of the features. In construction, it will aid professionals to plan more effectively, design with greater accuracy and flair, and idealise projects before they even begin.
From another perspective, it will also help to train professionals to a point of accountability and responsibility; after all, with the importance of safety in construction, what better way to leverage this need than to implement augmented and virtual reality to simulate scenarios that will help professionals respond better to a variety of potential issues that could arise in the delivery of building and construction projects.
Overall, virtual and augmented reality are powerful tools that can greatly benefit the construction industry. They allow for more accurate and efficient planning and design, can help to reduce errors and improve the quality of finished buildings, and can be used for maintenance and repair. As technology continues to improve, we can expect to see even more widespread use of VR and AR in construction in the future.