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Last edited 17 Nov 2023
Virtual reality in construction
The term 'virtual reality' (VR) refers to a simulated environment in which an interactive computer-generated user experience can take place. It typically uses VR headsets or multi-projected environments, as a means of generating images, sounds and sensations that can simulate a real environment that a user can observe or interact with.
VR is distinct from augmented reality (AR), which is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by virtual computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or information. In other words, AR is a blend of the real environment with the virtual in which the former is enhanced in some way by the latter.
While VR was developed predominantly for the gaming and entertainment industries, it has started to be used in the construction sector. Primarily this takes the form of simulating a building, structure or space in which users can immerse themselves prior to it being constructed in reality. This enables designers and other construction professionals to test ideas, components and features before committing to them for construction. It can also help identify potential conflicts or problems before construction work has started and alterations become more costly.
In addition, VR can be used to simulate workspaces for the purposes of providing training and health and safety guidance. By exploring, gaining familiarity with, and practising in, a simulated environment, knowledge and skills can be developed without any of the potential real-world consequences.
VR can also greatly benefit the client by being able to experience the project in a virtual realm, enabling them to review the design and decide whether it meets their requirements. Small details can be picked up on that might be overlooked in a traditional computer-aided design (CAD) model or with building information modelling (BIM). It is therefore useful at the earlier stages of the design process but also at the later stages. VR is also increasingly also being used as a tool for training purposes such as site as building safety, fire and construction knowledge.
- 3D MOVE: Mobile Immersive Visualisation Environment.
- A brief history of virtual reality.
- Advanced construction technology.
- Augmented reality in construction.
- Big data.
- Computer-generated imagery (CGI).
- ConTech in a post lockdown, pre-vaccine economy.
- Customised virtual reality health and safety training.
- Eyeware app.
- Immersive Hybrid Reality iHR.
- Information for the buildings of tomorrow.
- Mixed reality.
- Spark framework RM6094.
- Virtual construction model.
- Virtual reality and big data disrupting digital construction.
- Virtual reality and manufacturing.
- Virtual reality construction experience for students.
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