VR has already revolutionized many industries by bridging the gap between virtual models and reality. One such field is construction, which depends a lot on the proper sense of scale and space, making it a perfect place to apply VR potential. To bring this idea to life, we have partnered with IDA Technology, a forerunner in the field of AEC digitalization, to work on a collaboration tool for BIM applications.
IDA Technology: Company Profile
IDA Technology is an affiliate company of ID Architects, a construction industry veteran known for embracing digital transformation solutions in the sector. IDA Technology was created in response to the growing interest in capabilities of the digital economy and strives to make virtual design accessible and viable for use on par with other construction best practices.
To achieve this, the company has launched the Digit Alpha project – a suite of software and training solutions designed to bolster the adoption of virtual design best practices in the AEC industry. With improvements in assessment, roadmap formulation, deployment of solutions, and evaluation of outcomes, IDA Technology aims to increase efficiency, expand collaboration capabilities, and promote innovation.
Construction Business Challenges
Historically, the main challenge in the domain of architecture and construction was the gap between concepts and reality. To bridge this gap, people have come up with various ways of visualizing their designs and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses before moving to actual construction. For a long time, this was done through mock-ups on paper. Once it became clear that digital technology can be used to boost employee efficiency, various CAD solutions emerged, creating what is known as building information modeling (BIM).
While BIM has streamlined the design process and enhanced analytical capabilities, it remains fairly abstract. Despite providing a semblance of a 3D environment, it does not offer a sense of place anywhere near the actual presence in the building. Because of this, the completed product often feels quite different from the model seen on the screen or the client’s initial vision.
To mitigate these constraints, designers use mock-ups and physical models that are cumbersome and costly to build and still do not offer a complete experience. Not only does it slow down the development process, it doesn’t reveal issues that may come up during construction, introducing additional expenses down the line.
The Solution: BIMatrix
With digital transformation in full swing, more and more industries have embraced the potential of VR and AR solutions. Nowadays, virtual reality is successfully used in many domains, from aiding the automotive design and production to creative advertising and marketing campaigns. In this light, BIM is a perfect place to apply VR’s potential, both from the clients’ and contractors’ perspective.
Sense of Space
The main strength of CAD software is the ability to model objects and test their properties to determine the design’s viability. However, such analysis is done through mathematical formulas, so while it’s accurate, it doesn’t provide a believable experience of any kind. Virtual reality has the advantage of combining the non-restrictive modeling of BIM with an immersive spatial understanding. In fact, it has been highlighted as one of the key reasons behind the technology’s growth. In addition to being believable, such an approach also allows for seamless interaction with the model, like measuring its size, marking the issues, and intuitively navigating annotations.
With 5G promising to boost Internet connectivity to the next level, VR may soon become the preferred way of remote collaboration. And, in the case of CAD applications, this is an invaluable opportunity.
First, it allows the entire team to assess the design at any level, from floor plans and elevations to minor interior details. Second, and, perhaps, more importantly, it opens the possibility for clients and other stakeholders to be included in the process no matter where they are. This is particularly valuable for international collaborations, where such an arrangement would require much more time and resources. Finally, VR offers complete control over the project’s appearance, highlighting areas of interest and eliminating misunderstandings.
Aside from being a major quality-of-life improvement, VR can actually save a lot of time and resources, as was successfully demonstrated in numerous business domains. One of the features of BIMatrix is the support of Revit’s BCFier, which offers a quick and easy way to update the design and save valuable time. Not only that, skipping on real-life modeling reduces the amount of waste generated by printing and pinning up multiple iterations of the project. Combined with savings on travel thanks to non-local collaboration, VR helps make the work both productive and sustainable.
Join SwagSoft Expanding Application of VR
Throughout its history, VR has evolved from a curious novelty into a powerful instrument for various applications in research, design, and marketing. With extensive skill and expertise in the field of VR and AR development, SwagSoft is ready to bring the technology’s potential into the construction industry and other domains.