Small mistakes and erroneous calculations made in the design phase of a construction project can become big and expensive problems for the project. But with VR Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, you can find and correct any design errors right from the drawing stage – before they reach the construction site.
Mikael Johansson and Matthias Rupe from the Department of Architecture and Construction have developed a user-friendly VR interface that can be connected to digital information models of buildings, the so-called BIM models. With VR headphones included, it allows the user to virtually log in and walk around the construction project model, alone or with other users. In this way, the various professions within the production staff, which have the knowledge gained from the design stage, can review and improve their work before moving on to the next step. The method has been tested by professionals, designers and employees of the site management of six different organizations and projects, where design and production are carried out in parallel.
“The evaluation showed that the method is very effective when it comes to identifying opportunities to improve and enhance the quality and safety of construction. Participants found pure design errors and were able to identify opportunities to streamline procedural rules between disciplines and find alternative solutions to progress, ”said Michael Johansson, a research engineer in the construction management department.
Participants emphasize the fact that the model is experienced on a 1: 1 scale as a great advantage, as it gives a completely different understanding and sense of real proportions, spaces and details compared to watching the model on their ordinary computer screen. The ability to collaborate and discuss solutions in the so-called multi-user regime was another factor that consumers felt better understood and improved communication.
The experience gained during the pandemic has accustomed us to work from different geographical locations, and the multi-user mode allows design and manufacturing participants to connect and collaborate within the model, as well as in their different professional roles and areas of responsibility – and from different places “, says Matthias Rupe, Associate Professor in the Department of Construction Management.
In addition to downloading the software, the user needs a gaming computer and a set of VR glasses, which makes the technique quite easily accessible. The study showed that VR technology combined with BIM not only provides great value to the industry, but also that the method is mature enough to be used in projects.
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The final project report is available in Swedish: “Can VR set kunskapsåterföring from output under design?”
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