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Enhance Construction Workflows & Collaboration with Extended Reality (XR)


Technology has changed the face of the AEC (architecture, engineering & construction) industry. 

Reality technology, in particular, looks very promising for the construction sector, assisting teams with better communication and collaboration both on the job site and in the office, as well as accuracy and confidence throughout planning and construction. At the moment, technologies like mixed reality (MR), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) are applied in construction workflows. They are collectively known as extended reality or XR. 

At first, the world of virtual architecture & construction software can appear intimidating. AEC businesses that are just starting with digital design software, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) face the challenge of transitioning and adapting to new technology. 

However, the early movers and adapters say that AR/VR has helped their organization with simplified design workflows, made it easier to collaborate with clients and co-workers, and eliminated time-consuming paperwork. 

Many companies are incorporating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into their presentations as soon as possible. It’s no surprise that more and more AEC design firms are beginning to use these cutting-edge technologies. 

XR (Extended Reality) in Construction 

The study and development of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry have a long history, illustrating the benefits of these technologies for a wide range of stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of buildings. Although prior research in a variety of AR/VR sectors in the AEC industry is relatively rare, it is distributed, and certain fields have benefited more than others. 

The construction sector relies on visual imaging systems to accurately communicate information about form, functions, and performance. Due to time and money limits, convenience, health and safety concerns, and logistics, employing virtual solutions in this situation may be significantly more practicable than deploying actual prototypes. 

As technology advances, reality takes on new forms and meanings, opening up fresh perspectives on various things, places, and surroundings. Utilizing “reality” technology, a wide range of enterprises and sectors are enhancing, growing, and promoting their operations. 

Employing Extended reality (XR) on a construction project aids in the elimination of bottlenecks, the improvement of collaboration, and the implementation of lean delivery. 

Extended Reality Facilitating Cross-Functional Collaboration in Construction 

Architects are responsible for the entire design of buildings, which includes its objective and material selection, shape, and integration into the environment. 

In order to translate a building design into a constructible structure and to recommend ways to make designs more efficient and cost-effective, engineers are typically in charge of fixing technical problems. 

In the conventional design-bid-build process, architects and engineers are usually kept apart, which creates counterproductive processes. 

Technologies like AR/VR and BIM unite engineers and architects around shared objectives and methods of accessing a project, creating new opportunities for project streamlining and improving outcomes. 

Successful and sustainable building design depends on establishing a vision for a project and looking into ways to realize it “Together.” 

AR in Construction 

The use of AR varies according to the stages and departments of a construction project. The most popular and obvious technology to use in a building project, according to several researchers, is augmented reality (AR). Unquestionably, augmented reality will play a significant role in the construction industry’s transition to a completely automated sector in the near future. 

Any user with a smartphone device can utilize augmented reality technology to bring complex data sets to the field and display, share, and study them simply in a user-friendly style, boosting workflows and communication. 

Consider a site meeting, for instance. Using the AR application on their own devices, designers, engineers, contractors, investors, owners, and even non-technical community stakeholders may see what a project will look like via a 3D model. People can raise issues, ask questions, and immediately resolve issues while viewing the model overlay on the actual construction site. 

Users can quickly and comprehensively grasp the project from their devices, and in much more depth than they could with a 2D data collection, as opposed to swarming around paper plans. 

Users may understand what they’re seeing without having a technical background or years of expertise reading or analyzing designs. 

Users of the AR tool can also record notes, measurements, and images while on location. To guarantee effective follow-up, team members can establish tasks before the meeting ends and assign them to other team members. The ability to exchange and observe updates from the field from the office strengthens the connections across teams, workflows, and data. 

The construction sector will greatly benefit from augmented reality (AR) software’s ability to view and understand the outside world in real-time while projecting visuals onto it. 

3D designs assist the project teams to identify problem areas and identify faults before construction activity starts. Teams can quickly understand where ducting, pipes, columns, windows, and access points are located. This makes it simpler to make changes before, during, and after the project. 

VR in Construction  

Construction efficiency is of growing importance, which puts further pressure on architects and designers to identify potential problems early in the planning stages of the building process. Virtual reality technology also offers a useful planning and rendering tool. It is extensively used by developers to examine actual 3D realizations of architectural projects. 

Architects and designers can obtain a better sense of a space before it is ever built and can therefore better plan their approach to developing it by combining BIM technology and immersive VR headsets. 

Additionally, the VR technology enables companies to provide a stronger argument when competing for a new project: rather than presenting a 2D depiction or a model, they can take the stakeholders on a virtual tour of the future area. 

Since VR provides a fully immersive experience, it is a particularly effective tool for design teams, contractors, and owners to review and approve plans as well as understand sites and spaces. The VR application controls the entire environment that the user sees, resulting in a one-of-a-kind, detailed, and dynamic individual experience. 

Owners are able to fully immerse themselves in a building’s proposed design and watch the idea come to life. 

A team member who might not be on the Jobsite but wants to understand the conditions there might virtually visit a scanned 3D model of the site in the office, improving communication with workers there. 

Construction companies can also utilize VR to instruct staff members on specific jobs in a secure setting, such as how to operate heavy machinery or install electrical wiring. 

Autodesk to Boost its XR (Extended Reality) Capabilities 

According to Autodesk, virtual reality can aid in improving worker resilience and distant cooperation, both of which have seen significant increases in the aftermath of the global pandemic. XR solutions offer a method to electronically keep teams together and projects moving despite physical distances and ever-changing travel restrictions. 

Autodesk stated that it is investing in XR for a variety of reasons, including: 

  • Resilience – As a result of the global pandemic, the need for increased workforce resiliency and remote collaboration has grown significantly. With physical distances and ever-changing travel restrictions, XR solutions provide a way to virtually keep teams together and projects moving. 
  • Accessibility and Affordability – Professional-grade VR/AR equipment was previously out of reach for many people. Most smartphones now support AR, and headsets cost a few hundred dollars instead of thousands, putting the power of XR in the hands of anyone, anywhere, at any time. 
  • Sustainability – In-person collaboration frequently necessitates costly travel, which contributes unnecessarily to harmful carbon emissions. Furthermore, when teams are unable to meet to work through design issues together, costly rework and significant material waste are frequently the results. Teams can save time, money, and materials by using cloud collaboration that is streamlined, instantaneous, and immersive. 

Learn More >> Autodesk to Boost its Extended Reality (XR)

The Future of Construction – Embracing Extended Reality  

The use of extended reality technologies is improving how construction companies operate. Project teams may operate more precisely and efficiently, make better judgments more quickly, collaborate and communicate more effectively, and enhance physical realities with digital material. 

Although XR has many applications in the construction sector, each individual technology is similar to any other tool in that it has certain considerations and works best in specific situations. Understanding virtual, augmented, and mixed reality more thoroughly will make it clearer which technology to use in certain circumstances. 

For any user or stakeholder, VR, AR, and MR solutions simplify the complicated by bringing data and designs to life and making digital content immediately clear and actionable, whether in the field or the office.  

Early adopters and adapters of Extended Reality technology like virtual reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), or Mixed Reality (MR)in the AEC sector are poised to disrupt numerous global sectors. 

Follow INDOVANCE Inc for AEC Industry Updates, CAD Tips, and Global Construction News. 

INDOVANCE Incwith its exclusive delivery hub in India is a global CAD technology partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. At INDOVANCE we focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free. 

We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology. To deliver long-term engineering and business strategies, we align with your culture and processes to create an unbreakable partnership.  

For more queries regarding any of the above-mentioned topics, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com or contact us on +1-919-238-4044

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