Digital transformation in the AEC sector is happening at a rapid pace. Moving from 2D, it is fast adopting 3D BIM Modelling, topping it up with advanced technologies like AR/VR/MR. The reasons for these transformations are worth exploring.
Moving beyond gaming and entertainment, Augmented Reality is creating waves in construction. It is helping the stakeholders to achieve excellence in all phases of a project’s lifecycle, right from project planning to communications. It is helping in winning projects, achieving better collaboration with team members and even improving safety.
AR/VR enables architects, designers, engineers, project managers, service providers and other stakeholders to create a virtual copy of what they are planning to create. It involves placing a 3D model of a proposed design onto an existing space using mobile devices and 3D models. With the help of AR and 3D models, designers and architects can effectively evaluate designs for feasibility, function, and aesthetics.
3D virtual tours allow client to have direct access to site progress without getting mud on their boots! A virtual walkthrough leads to more meticulous planning, such as deciding where materials should be laid, where walls should meet and where doors should be placed. Walkthroughs can also help in understanding the routing services such as HVAC ducts, water pipes and electrical conduits better. AR can help in early identification of the design issues, thereby saving time, cost and efforts.
BIM when coupled with AR largely aids in inspection of projects. Visual comparison between the ‘as-designed’ and ‘as-built’ can pinpoint the gaps and corrective actions can be taken before moving to advanced construction stages. AR can also significantly help in identifying hidden infrastructure —beams and other structural members, ducts, conduits and pipes. Many construction hazards can thus also be avoided.
A construction project involves multiple teams working together towards the accomplishment of the common goal. These teams need to collaborate continuously for the successful completion of the project. AR can help in achieving good collaboration between the teams without the need of everyone being present on the site at the same time. Errors can be reviewed in real-time and consensus can be achieved in a better way using AR/VR. Users can take notes and share video views of issues and send the information to any remote teams in real time. This kind of enhanced visualization and coordination lead to better decision making. Timely decisions lead to huge savings in time and cost.
By integrating AR into BIM, companies are able to more accurately document key construction achievements in an interactive format. They can also communicate about the progress of the project to the stakeholders more effectively. This leads to higher transparency throughout all the phases of a project.
The construction job sites are rapidly changing. Digital transformation is becoming an integral part of infrastructure. Coupling 3D modelling with extraordinary technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, leaders in the AEC are scaling up the projects immensely. Blurring the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds, these technologies are helping construction teams to achieve more efficiency in their projects.
Walkthroughs facilitated by AR/VR provide extraordinary site view experiences for clients as well as architects, designers, engineers, project managers and other stakeholders. As the technologies continue to mature, they will become invaluable tools for AEC. Highly accurate 3D models, which we specialize in developing, form the base of world class infrastructure. Add to that the capabilities of AR, VR or MR and the possibilities are just limitless!!