VR and AI have arrived at our doorsteps and they’re here for the taking. These technologies are no longer used just in gaming, VR has spread to almost all industries. Wherever you point your finger, you can find VR being used and construction is no different.
In the next decade, the construction industry will move to adopt VR and AI completely and use them in a wide range of applications to save time and money throughout projects. With the highest level of immersive experience that VR provides, it’s simply perfect for the construction industry.
On the other hand, AI can be applied almost anywhere today. Wherever there are computers and programs, it can be used, and we all know that computers are everywhere. Construction companies have been able to see great benefits from these technologies and the potential to improve their operations in the future.
When it comes to construction, the only possible way to look inside a house, building, or whichever facility is going to be built, is through small models. However, these small model designs aren’t that practical, as construction managers can only see a small portion of the whole construction and they can’t have a full overview.
The design models of a construction can be a lot different than the actual construction and this is where problems happen. A building's viability might be amazing on paper but once it’s transformed into a miniature there are many issues that can happen, and they often do.
With these issues all projects constantly require adjustments and revisions that cost a lot of money and during these changes, it often happens that the building looks completely different than the initial designs planned it to.
With the implementation of high-quality VR constructions, these issues can be fixed. This technology allows architects and designers, but also the people on the field to spot deficiencies in design on time and ensure that they are not built and become the deficiencies of the building itself. Reworking various issues means increased labor costs, but this will completely remove the need for this.
When it comes to the final build, this technology contributes to greatly reducing errors, stops downtime, allows projects to meet deadlines, and improves the overall quality of the construction.
A lot of VR software solutions for construction are designed to perform various actions so that architects or construction companies can get incredibly creative with their designs.
Some of the actions that can be done with VR software available at the moment include stress testing various components of the building, changing materials, and assessing what their use will be, going throughout the construction to visualize it and really be able to understand it before it’s even built.
Apart from builders being able to use their VR on site to recognize issues and do their jobs more effectively, this technology can also be used by designers and architects. 3D modeling is very important at the beginning of a project, as the architect won’t have to redesign things over and over because they didn’t work out well in reality.
However, 3D modeling is also used differently in construction projects. With sophisticated 3D models, it’s now possible to demonstrate closely to customers, builders, or investors what the building will look like in the end. It’s difficult to establish whether a building will look the way it’s imagined from 2D plans but 3D models with VR visualization can allow anyone to do this.
With virtual reality, builders or anyone else can work with structures in their natural size through the VR environment and spot difficulties, logistical issues, or simply mistakes that were made. This is a significant improvement compared to having to scale physical or computer models.
Even though a lot of creation and design are done in construction, a large portion of it is also about actually building structures. This means that there are many employees working on a site where there are a lot of materials, machines, and dangers lurking around. A certain level of danger is always there and depending on the building, it can be lower or higher.
With VR technology, it’s possible to give greater protection to all the employees on the site. Combined with AI and VR, employees can wear technology that can give them warnings when potential risks to their safety are detected. Additionally, construction workers can have smart badges, which are small and convenient, to provide real-time data and show where all the workers are located at a given moment.
All of this means that the number of potential injuries is greatly reduced. The helmets that workers wear can also benefit from VR. With a constant information flow from workers to the office, they can get information about the risks that surround them, sudden temperature spikes and reductions, unseen threats, laser scans, and data sensor information.
The prospect of engineers, architects, and the investor being able to collaborate on the same project with designs and plans is simply amazing. Additionally, the builder can easily see what is required and easily assess if that is possible or not, provide accurate quotes while having an easy option for suggesting improvements.
It’s not just the people behind the project that can give input in the virtual space but also the people who will be using that building and spending time in it. If we are talking about a hospital, nurses and doctors can give valuable suggestions on what can be useful.
VR has great potential in terms of collaboration. The better the VR is, the more options there will be. Multiple people can work in a virtual space at the same time, make changes on the spot, discuss them, and offer valuable suggestions that they can instantly put to test.
At the moment, only a handful of companies are using these new technologies to improve their construction processes. However, their number is continually growing, as companies are starting to realize the vast amount of benefits these technologies provide. AI and VR will not only improve the quality of their construction work but also customer satisfaction.