How Virtual Reality is Changing the Construction Industry
Virtual reality, for many, sounds like something from an old sci-fi movie, not something that’s becoming commonplace in modern-day businesses, but that’s exactly what’s happening and this new way of doing business is taking many industries by storm. Virtual reality is, and will soon be for most businesses, an indispensable tool that drives productivity and sales like nothing that’s ever been seen before.
What Is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality is a computer-generated technology that provides an immersive experience using projection technology, 3D glasses, or 3D headsets to show lifelike images, sounds, and other sensations to reflect an actual presence in a virtual reality or imaginary environment. This technology will provide anyone the opportunity to see how a product or service will look and function before it has been completed.
How Is Virtual Reality Changing the Construction Industry?
Virtual reality will help construction teams with building information modeling (BIM) to see what a finished project will look like when completed. This technology works by collecting a wide range of images using 3D laser scanning and drone collected pictures to design a set of vivid, lifelike images which are then used to create three-dimensional pictures.
Other Ways Virtual Reality Is Changing the Construction Industry
Virtual reality is helpful in other ways as well. For example, making changes once a building is under construction is extremely time-consuming and expensive. But virtual reality helps correct conflicts and mistakes because using this technology allows a team to find and correct any issues for free before any type of construction has begun. It can streamline the process of building new construction by providing a concrete vision beforehand of what the end appearance will be.
The Benefits of Using Virtual Reality In Construction
The list of benefits that come from using virtual reality in construction is growing quickly as more and more uses of this technology surface.
Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect when using virtual reality in your construction business.
- Faster decision making and project approvals
- Increased collaboration and positive client interactions
- Greater client satisfaction
- More accurate projections during the course of a project
- Easier visualization of future projects
Common Virtual Reality Applications in the Construction Industry
Construction can be an extremely difficult business because there are so many moving parts that need to be precisely coordinated to achieve the best possible end result. Therefore, any tool or technique that can make the process come together with the least amount of error, the highest chances of success, and the lowest possible cost, is not something that should be considered. It’s something that should be a requirement if you want to become or remain an authority in the industry.
Here are some of the most common virtual reality applications currently being used in the construction industry.
- Training and virtual conferencing
- VR plan reviews
- Communication and improved collaboration
- Leveraging specialized knowledge
- Remote jobsite walks
- Augmented reality worker assistants
- Improving pre-production design and building processes
- Finding and correcting errors and mistakes
- Complete immersion to perfect the flow, workability, and proper placement of equipment or other requirements of a building
- Avoiding duplication and creating shortcuts for better proficiency
Other applications on the horizon that should also be considered are augmented and mixed reality.
Augmented Reality. This is a technology that superimposes a computer image on a user’s view of something real providing them with a composite view.
Mixed Reality. This is also known as hybrid reality and is the merging of the real and virtual worlds in an effort to produce a new environment or visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and ultimately interact in real-time.
The Bottom Line
Virtual reality is quickly replacing the construction of scaled mock-up building models. This trend opens up so many more potential opportunities for any business who jumps on board. And with the numerous virtual reality software programs and apps surfacing, the use of this technology will continue to grow and influence the construction industry in an even bigger way.