Virtual reality has the capability to revolutionize the construction industry by improving collaboration and design, financial management, construction worker safety training, project coordination, site management, and much more. Virtual reality is set to continue it's rapid growth as the technology becomes more accessible. One main detractor in the implementation of virtual reality into certain spaces is the lack of understanding of its benefits and uses in the industry. The more the benefits and real-world applications of virtual reality in the construction industry are made available, the faster the technology will catch on and be used in these spaces.
How Does Virtual Reality Relate to the Construction Industry?
Virtual reality merges the virtual and physical worlds with sensors used to track movement from the user that is then relayed back to the heads mounted display (HMD), creating a loop between the user and the virtual environment. This creates an accurate visual connection between the user and the simulation, leading to more accurate projections for the physical world. The applications for VR technology in construction and the necessity for tech that streamlines development and implementation of a project is prevalent in the industry, By creating virtual reality software with construction in mind, there will be less time lost and less disruption in towns and cities, while making the landscape exactly what we need it to be.
The Benefits of Virtual Reality in Construction
The reason virtual reality is gaining such rapid recognition in the construction industry is because of the benefits that VR technology provides with its immersive capabilities. Virtual reality training uses repetition and accuracy in order to train workers better. It's distance collaboration enables the users to communicate in a virtual setting. Overall, virtual reality technology enables the construction industry to operate better and more efficiently.
Save Time and Money-With safety training, the speed and efficiency of everything from design to the actual construction process, and better buyer projections, virtual reality can help many construction companies save both time and money. Virtual reality streamlines many processes within the construction timeline, furthering the development of projects.
Increase Engagement and Involvement- One of the big draws to virtual reality is its gamification of the every day operations in the work environment. With the immersive nature of the technology, virtual reality increases worker engagement and involvement in every part of the process.
Safer Training- Virtual reality safety training is one of the most effective ways to train construction workers in every facet of the job. Its immersion levels allow more focus and the realistic nature of the training simulation enables workers to use heavy equipment, follow company procedure, and learn what to do in an emergency situation before ever stepping foot on-site.
Enhanced Communication and Collaboration- The collaborative nature of virtual reality within a simulation is key in rapid design and implementation. Within a simulation, architectures, engineer, and project managers can work together to find design flaws or enhance certain features instead of passing the design from one person to another; a process that can take weeks to months to complete.
Real World Applications of Virtual Reality in Construction
Virtual reality can be implemented into every facet of the construction process. From design collaboration, to materials maintenance, and investor input, virtual reality streamlines the entire project. Let's look at where virtual reality helps in each phase of the construction process.
Employee onboarding- Virtual reality can help streamline the employee onboarding process, in every step the worker takes towards employment, from applicant sourcing to interviews and safety training. VR technology provides a novel way to familiarize a new employee with the standard operating procedures of a company with repetitive and engaging information.
Reduced training time and costs- In a simulated environment, the user has less of a tendency to distract themselves with outside stimuli and more opportunity to focus on the information at hand, enabling them to train swifter and more accurately than traditional training methods. This leads to a lower cost of training operations, even though virtual reality tends to have a higher upfront cost than other methods due to the necessary and unique hardware and software involved.
Project Planning- With the 3D design capabilities of virtual reality, the technology has become instrumental in project planning. The project can be constructed again and again and finetuned in the simulated environment, which can help create a plan of action, detailing which step would be best to complete first, the amount of material involved (with surprising accuracy), as well as the impact the project will have on the surrounding community.
Budget maintenance- With the fluctuation in materials, time, and money necessary to do these projects, budgeting with the virtually simulated project in mind helps eliminate variables, like weather, change in cost, and even changes in workforce, that can negatively impact the project itself, helping maintain the budget as well as is possible.
Increased safety- Virtual reality increases the safety of a construction environment by training employees to better handle adverse conditions. The immersion levels of virtual reality help workers remember crucial information that translates directly to the work environment. With repetitive use, the virtual simulation helps them learn how to operate heavy and dangerous equipment in the risk-free scenario and gives them more experience before heading out onto the floor.
Selling and Purchasing- Virtual reality showcases the features and benefits of the building to potential buyers before the project is even complete. This leads back to the reduction in time as well. Virtual reality gives an accurate representation of what the finished product will look like, enabling interested parties to make informed decisions early on in the process. With accurate financial projections, virtual reality benefits stakeholders and investors by giving accurate cost projections as well.
Client Relationship Management- Virtual reality's major benefits lie in the immersive and realistic nature of its environments. Because of the accuracy that it provides its users, the environments give an effective representation of the end result, as well as each step of the building process. By documenting and collaborating well, project managers are able to address client's needs, desires, and potential issues they might have in real time, before the project has gone too far. Virtual walkthroughs make it easy for distance collaboration.
Better construction management- Overall, the construction process is managed far better with virtual reality than with traditional methods. By using virtual reality technology, managers can tweak designs, make adjustments to worker's fields, gain accurate projections of material weathering in a given geographical location, and create a more efficient working environment th the construction industry.
Virtual reality has amassed a large number of advocates for the technology in construction. The truth is that virtual reality is reshaping the way that just about everything is done in the industry for the better. At XR Guru you'll find support from our next generation learning and training application. You can save time and money, enhance communication and collaboration, increase engagement and involvement, and provide better safety training with customized XR packages on the XR Guru app. To find out more, explore all our XR solutions for the construction industry