While virtual reality has been making inroads into research and manufacturing as a valuable tool, it is increasingly seen as having key benefits for the construction industry.
Construction projects involve decision-making and collaboration, two essential elements that can add time, and costs, to construction. How can the use of VR CAVEs help streamline decision-making and increase efficiency in project management, helping cut costs?
Design and Building
“Virtual reality is a very adaptable technology,” explains John Mould, Commercial Manager at Antycip Simulation. “When construction firms embrace it they can find that it helps improve the speed of project approvals.”
Project management can be complex and, consequently, slow. There are issues around communication and ensuring that people at every stage of the design and building process are up to date with developments, and that they have approved any changes, phases, or milestones.
“VR CAVE simulations can present information in a context that makes it feel very immediate, while providing an unprecedented level of detail and clarity,”explains John. “This helps with decision-making, and with the ability to make decisions earlier on in a project’s life-cycle.”
“Imagine a situation where structural changes must be made. These are more likely to be spotted, analysed and approved early on if the kind of detailed VR modelling provided in the VR CAVE environment is available”
Managing the Information Flow
The UK Manufacturing Technology Centre has emphasised the major benefits virtual reality can offer the construction sector. While the technology itself is complex, using it can be straightforward, making it supremely adaptable.
“With the growth in mobile devices already transforming the construction industry, employing the advanced technology of virtual reality spaces is a logical extension of this, taking it to a whole new level of interactivity,” suggests John.
“With VR CAVE technology, you can feed into the flow from design through to implementation, providing a level of insight that bridges the gap between the theoretical and the physical,” John continues.
VR CAVEs have a useful role to play at every stage of the construction process, including fitting-out.
“When it comes to building for large institutions or organisations, a hospital for example, then VR provides the opportunity to test the use of space for functionality and efficiency. Even down to things like where power connections should be, and how to aid the flow of people through a space”
As more construction companies explore the possibilities of VR CAVEs, so this technology’s practical advantages in delivering cost benefits will become more widely known, leading to an overall improvement in performance.