flexiblefullpage
billboard
interstitial1
catfish1
Currently Reading

Augmented reality: 12 applications for design and construction professionals

Augmented reality: 12 applications for design and construction professionals

AEC professionals who have studied and applied augmented reality pinpoint applications that are ripe for the technology.


By David Barista, Editor-in-Chief | September 4, 2013
Augmented reality allows AEC professionals and facility managers to see behind w
Augmented reality allows AEC professionals and facility managers to see behind walls and above ceilings. Photo: McCarthy Building Companies

Building Design+Construction reached out to AEC professionals who have studied and applied augmented reality and asked them to pinpoint applications that are ripe for the technology. Here’s what they had to offer:

1. Business development. Three-dimensional models are great for communicating your vision for a building project, but imagine the impact of being able to take potential clients on a walking virtual tour of a design scheme while on the site. For instance, some luxury condo developers are testing AR for use by their sales teams for virtual tours during the preconstruction and construction phases. And some high-end homebuilders are using the technology in their physical model homes to better demonstrate upgrade options. 

2. Design visualization at all phases. Any time there’s data to be visualized, there’s a good case for AR, says Autodesk’s Dace Campbell, AIA, LEED AP. “Photo-matching is a common practice for many designers, using tools like Photoshop to show ‘what if’ scenarios overlaid in a real context,” he says. “AR supports the rapid study of design alternatives, with real-time photo-matching from any viewpoint, and at full scale.”  

3. Survey and layout. “Whether you’re surveying the real world to gather data to put into a virtual model or are doing layout with survey tools, to me that’s a strong case for augmented reality,” says Campbell. “If we had accurate, dependable position tracking, arguably you wouldn’t need a tape measure. It would be the next generation of the total station, where the virtual projection shows you precisely where each component of the building gets installed. Except, unlike with a total station, layout is done intuitively and in real time.”  

4. Design analysis. With AR, virtually any analysis a Building Team already does on screen—seismic analysis, acoustic performance, structural modeling, etc.—hypothetically can be performed in the physical space. “We can already do that with today’s CAD and BIM tools, but AR will enable us to perform analysis at full scale while walking around a project site,” says Campbell.

5. Design assistance and constructability review. Being able to perform constructability review in situ during construction with both the architect and contractor standing in the same space has tremendous potential for enhancing communication and confidence, as well as cost and time savings. 

6. Scheduling and site logistics planning. AR can extend today’s 4D scheduling tools to the project site, enabling a real-time look at the actual progress of a construction project compared to the planned progress while team members are touring the construction site. It can also be used to help visualize phased site logistics on complex projects.

7. Prefabrication. “Some forward-thinking contractors are looking at AR to support prefabrication inside a shop,” says Campbell. An advantage to prefabrication is higher quality, since laborers are assembling components in a factory, away from inclement weather.

8. General fabrication installation. Firms can use AR to help guide a building component into place. Furthermore, AR can support the installation effort by augmenting the laborer’s view with specific assembly instructions, specifications, and relevant standards. 

9. Quality control, punch lists, and inspections. Whether it’s a municipality official doing an inspection or a contractor checking construction, quality control is an easy entry point into AR for many firms. For example, an inspector can make sure all the sleeves are in the right location before they complete formwork for a shear wall. Being able to overlay the BIM model of what was intended versus what is actually in place could offer huge benefits for construction teams. 

10. Safety. AR can enable teams to do spatial safety audits, making sure, for example, work isn’t taking place above or below other critical work. Also, hazardous work and critical emergency information could be highlighted in an AR view so that all workers are aware of on-site hazards and remedies. For instance, laborers doing hot work on a roof could be alerted to the location of the nearest fire extinguishers.

11. Commissioning. With AR, you can overlay metadata onto the assets in the facility and extend what has taken place during punch listing and inspections. Agents responsible for commissioning and testing can have relevant information about a building asset available to them in context, without having to search through reports and logs to find or enter a specific point of information. 

12. Facility operations and maintenance. Campbell calls AR the “ultimate stud finder.” Provided that the BIM model is updated to offer an accurate representation of what was built, facilities professionals can use AR to look behind walls, above ceilings, and below floors without ever touching the space. A facility engineer could get a pretty good idea of where building systems reside without performing destructive demolition and surveying.

Read our full report on augmented reality for the AEC field. 

Related Stories

Adaptive Reuse | Jul 12, 2024

Detroit’s Michigan Central Station, centerpiece of innovation hub, opens

The recently opened Michigan Central Station in Detroit is the centerpiece of a 30-acre technology and cultural hub that will include development of urban transportation solutions. The six-year adaptive reuse project of the 640,000 sf historic station, created by the same architect as New York’s Grand Central Station, is the latest sign of a reinvigorating Detroit.

University Buildings | Jul 11, 2024

3 considerations for designing healthy, adaptable student dining

Amanda Vigneau, IIDA, NCDIQ, LEED ID+C, Director, Shepley Bulfinch, shares three ways student dining facilities have evolved to match changes in student life.

Healthcare Facilities | Jul 11, 2024

New download: BD+C's 2024 Healthcare Annual Report

Welcome to Building Design+Construction’s 2024 Healthcare Annual Report. This free 66-page special report is our first-ever “state of the state” update on the $65 billion healthcare construction sector.

Transit Facilities | Jul 10, 2024

Historic Fresno train depot to be renovated for California high speed rail station project

A long-shuttered rail station in Fresno, Calif., will be renovated to serve as the city’s high speed rail (HSR) station as part of the California High-Speed Rail Authority system, the nation’s first high speed rail project. California’s HSR system will eventually link more than 800 miles of rail, served by up to 24 stations.

Government Buildings | Jul 8, 2024

GSA adopts new accessibility guidelines for federal properties

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) adopted a new rule with new accessibility guidelines for federal buildings. The rule establishes that pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way are readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. 

Office Buildings | Jul 8, 2024

Office vacancy peak of 22% to 28% forecasted for 2026

The work from home trend will continue to put pressure on the office real estate market, with peak vacancy of between 22% and 28% in 2026, according to a forecast by Moody’s.

Virtual Reality | Jul 8, 2024

Can a VR-enabled AEC firm transform your project?

With the aid of virtual reality and three-dimensional visualization technologies, designers, consultants, and their clients can envision a place as though the project were in a later stage.

Green | Jul 8, 2024

Global green building alliance releases guide for $35 trillion investment to achieve net zero, meet global energy transition goals

The international alliance of UK-based Building Research Establishment (BRE), the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Alliance HQE-GBC France developed the guide, Financing Transformation: A Guide to Green Building for Green Bonds and Green Loans, to strengthen global cooperation between the finance and real estate sectors.

Codes and Standards | Jul 8, 2024

New York State building code update would ban fossil fuels in new buildings

New York’s Building Code Council is set to include the All-Electric Buildings Act in its 2025 code update. The Act would ban natural gas and other fossil fuels in new buildings. 

AEC Tech Innovation | Jul 4, 2024

Caution competes with inevitability at conference exploring artificial intelligence for design and construction

Hosted by PSMJ, AEC Innovate in Boston found an AEC industry anxiously at the threshold of change.

boombox1
boombox2
native1

More In Category

Adaptive Reuse

Detroit’s Michigan Central Station, centerpiece of innovation hub, opens

The recently opened Michigan Central Station in Detroit is the centerpiece of a 30-acre technology and cultural hub that will include development of urban transportation solutions. The six-year adaptive reuse project of the 640,000 sf historic station, created by the same architect as New York’s Grand Central Station, is the latest sign of a reinvigorating Detroit.




halfpage1

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021