Virtual reality is already shaking up the building design and construction professions, and it appears we’re just scratching the surface of this technology’s potential. While still very much in its evolutionary stages, building professionals and their clients can already grab a headset and experience the technology for themselves.
Design mock-ups through 2D drawings and 3D models can often be difficult for design professionals to translate to a client. With VR, the showcasing of a proposed building design can be much more compelling to the lesser-trained eye. Feedback is more easily conveyed as a client can virtually ‘walk through’ a project.
Architects and engineers also have the potential to use VR to aid in materials selection and to address viability. If a building designer can insert his/herself into a virtual version of their building before the foundation is even poured and select materials and modify elements, then is a game-changer in the field of design.
Virtual reality in building design can go much further than aesthetics or top-notch presentations. Per Interesting Engineering:
How the environment may impact a building is something that is usually reserved to CAD, yet it has its limits. With VR you can bring to life some of the environmental factors that may impact your building. With VR you can overlay virtual reality environment data with your project to test safety elements of your project, bringing to life the ideas of safety, sunlight, and heat for a client. Yet, at the same time, you can use environmental data to simply look at how the sunlight looks in a specific room. The possibilities are endless.
VR can also be an excellent tool for collaboration among design professionals. Teams on other sides of the country can examine design proposals together in real time. This is ideal for remote locations or disaster-prone areas. Building operators could also use VR to showcase their building to prospective tenants.