Virtual Reality and its impact on Design
It’s still early days, but virtual reality technology is already having an impact on the design and construction industries. Being able to tour a design virtually immersed in the building has great benefits for both the client and the designer. Clients are able to better understand the space and design far easier than they could from plans and elevation drawings. By using VR technology to tour both the exterior and interior of a building, people are able to fully understand the design from their virtual point of view.
Recently here at CEI, we received a developer’s kit from IrisVR that includes an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. IrisVR is a new company developing software that will offer full native support for many common 3D file types including SketchUp, Revit, Blender, 3ds Max, ArchiCAD, and IFC.
We are already using this technology to show clients for design validation. It’s a great opportunity for us to get instant feedback on the design and workability. By allowing our clients to tour the space virtually it allows us to validate the design concepts and use this tool to explain the aspects of one design over another. Virtual reality is yet another technology that can take advantage of the building information modeling process that CEI has fully embraced, allowing us to yet again take the process of architectural design to the next level.