Will you trust your construction project to virtual reality?

UK, July 12, 2017. – Virtual reality technology will be in our hands sooner than originally planned. Technology giants, Google, Samsung, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft are working to market virtual reality products and services for any market. And of course, for the creation and development of construction projects. Here, we recall a Construction Enquirer analysis of this technology.

A Virtual Project Manager app has been launched to highlight construction management careers to young people.Pupils from Edinburgh’s Leith Academy were joined by apprentices from Sharkey Group and First Call Trade Services to launch the app on the Google Play Store.

The app takes youngsters inside an animated 3D world where they are in charge of building new homes. The free app is part of Virtual Reality Careers in Construction, developed through Skills Development Scotland’s My World of Work Live! programme with partners the CITB, Heriot-Watt University and Animmersion UK Ltd.It is one of three mini games available through My World of Work Live! which use Virtual Reality to highlight career opportunities within the construction sector.

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Louise Chisholm, Senior Programme Manager for My World of Work Live! said: “This app immerses young people in a construction environment in a fun and engaging way.
“We hope it will help open their eyes to the wealth of opportunity the construction industry in Scotland has to offer.”

John Keenan, Partnerships Manager at CITB Scotland, said: “Virtual Project Manager is an innovative way of capturing young people’s imaginations about the fantastic opportunities a career in construction can provide them with.

“We hope that it will enable users to experience construction and inspire them to get involved in the development of Scotland’s built environment in the future.”

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Sam Harrison, Director of Animmersion UK Ltd said: “Working on this project with the three partners was a very rewarding experience. We were able to develop innovative new ways of bringing educational messages and content to a young audience and the results are truly remarkable. “The use of virtual reality as a means of educational and training engagement offers boundless possibilities.”

The benefits of Virtual Reality for the construction sector are numerous in the short term. In the following video the main advantages are known with an interesting introduction on the virtual reality:

 

Less enthusiastic opinions with virtual reality

The big disruptive changes from one way of working to another totally different one attracts positive and less positive opinions. The publication Construction Dive here is a less advantageous reaction of Virtual Reality:

Virtual and augmented reality technology is one of the most buzzed-about trends in the construction tech space, as it can enhance collaboration among project stakeholders before building begins.

VR and AR can allow the construction team to detect errors ahead of time and avoid costly mistakes. They also have the potential to improve job site safety, such as letting managers and workers view job site conditions without subjecting them to safety hazards.

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For example, researchers at the Institute for Computation in Engineering at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany are training workers on VR versions of job sites. And in September, construction giant Bechtel joined forces with Human Condition Safety to offer VR immersion safety training.

Klawans sees the potential for combining VR/AR and modeling. “There are other shiny pennies, but I think there’s a ton of value to be leveraged from VR/AR.”

Colonna said that with virtual reality, the “cool” factor is still somewhat outweighed by high implementation costs. “You can see a lot of very sophisticated presentations, but the challenge is with the software platforms today,” he said. “It’s kind of cost prohibitive to use that on a regular basis. It’s in more of early deployment.”