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Metaverse and Architecture

Metaverse and architecture: a new way to validate architectural design

Metaverse viewing technology can push architectural design methods and communication to a whole new level from directly within the BIM model. Find out how.

Do you often hear about metaverse? What is it? What advantages does it offer to construction professionals?

In this article we will see a practical example of the metaverse technology applied to the architecture. I will explain you how to carry out virtual inspections and periodic project meetings with your work team, directly within the 3D model, thanks to an online construction in the Metaverse software.

It may seem like science fiction, but it is actually a reality widespread in all sectors and is gathering more and more support because it is easy to use and it offer enormous advantages.

applicazione del metaverso all'architettura con usBIM.reality

Project validation with usBIM.reality

What is a Metaverse

The concept of metaverse was introduced in ’92 from the world of cyberpunk storytelling. in attesa di possibile modifica

It is a completely innovative idea and somehow is still difficult to explain. It starts from the social networks world and the internet but evolves to become a real three-dimensional virtual environment where it is possible to “live in” with an avatar also with the use of a VR viewer.

It is a digital universe, parallel to the real world, a habitable space where you can carry out any activity in first person (through a custom avatar), just like in real life: meet other users, go to concerts, participate in conferences, travel, work, etc.
It does not identify with a single specific technology, but rather with a combination of multiple elements: virtual reality, augmented reality, social networks, online gaming and 3D modeling.

Architecture and Metaverse

In the construction and architectural representation environment, the first real technological breakthrough was represented by CAD which constituted a huge jump ahead towards the digitization of the construction sector.

The development of 3D modeling allowed greater control of volumes, spaces and all design choices.

Next, the BIM mindset has revolutionized the process of design, realization and management of the works, introducing the concept of digital twin and adding to the 3D model all the information necessary for each phase of the building’s life.

Today new panorama are opening up, even more surprising: the application of metaverse concept to BIM and architecture that transforms the 3D digital model into a “real” building, usable and livable by digital users.

The advantages and application are multiples: from the possibility of improving communication and teamwork (basic concepts of BIM and design) to the exchange of information between interested users.

The metaverse offers the possibility to integrate all the data produced within the 3D model, without losing useful information and facilitating its reading and use by all the professionals involved.

Everything becomes possible and at the same time simple. Just think of the possibility of meet people within the digital model, holding meetings, carrying out checks and have confrontation with the work team, directly in the model.

Thanks to a direct visual feedback of the design choices and information we obtain:

  • greater awareness of the solutions adopted;
  • better coordination of the work team;
  • more organic interdisciplinary confrontation;
  • optimization of design times and costs.

In addition, there are many advantages for training, project presentation and collaborative working.

In summary, we can group the application of the BIM metaverse into:

  • design review (project stage);
  • client presentation (project presentation phase);
  • workers training (execution stage and maintenance of the asset);
  • risk management (execution stage and maintenance of the asset).

The high flexibility of the metaverse give us new scenarios and remains open to continuous developments in each sector. It Has potential yet to be explored and it is up to us to use them to the best of our ability to meet our needs.

The BIM metaverse therefore has what it takes to revolutionize the construction sector. It provides better ways to interact with BIM models, simplifies project verification, improves knowledge transfer, and allows to manages large amount of data.

Advantages

Summarizing the many advantages of the metaverse for architecture, we have:

  • greater control over the design;
  • better coordination of the work team thanks to the interaction and confrontation in an immersive way within the BIM environment;
  • general and field training of the construction site team through specific simulations such as those relating to the use of PPE or construction site machinery;
  • support of the work on site with simulations of the procedures to be implemented in the construction phase;
  • optimized workflow and management of the construction process thanks to the speed, clarity and simplicity with which it is possible to exchange information about the project.

How review a project directly within the BIM model

Among the many applications of the metaverse, we now see how to deal with the design review, the stage in which the design choices are verified and discussed. We will do this by organizing a group meeting between colleagues virtually within the BIM model.

How we can do that? Obviously using a BIM metaverse application.

We have often talked about virtual reality applied to the world of architecture and BIM and the possibility of “living in” the project before its realization but with the metaverse you can do even more. You can experience a new way of working in teams, directly in the virtual world and even within the digital model.

This is an effective way to tackle the most complex projects and to collaborate without spending money and time even with geographically distant team members.

All users working on the project can see each other, interact, talk, discuss issues and explore the 3D model in an absolutely realistic way.

What do you need to work in it? All you need is:

  • a device connected to the internet (PC, smartphone, tablet);
  • a VR headset (HTC VIVE, HTC VIVE PRO, HTC VIVE COSMOS, Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest 2);
  • the 3D model of the project to be navigated in open format (IFC) or proprietary (Revit, Edificius, etc.);
  • the usBIM.reality online application.

Now imagine having to arrange a coordination meeting with your colleagues to verify the correctness of the project choices. There would be no better way than meet together in the virtual model and verify first-hand and with your own eyes the consistency of all the choices made, walking and observing the details and spaces that conceived by yourself. Through the use of virtual reality you can detect any interference between the project elements and you can highlight it to the whole team simultaneously, significantly increasing the level of understanding of the problem and its resolution.

metaverso architettura: come revisionare il modello 3D con usBIM.reality

How to review the 3D model with usBIM.reality

It seems impossible but with usBIM.reality, the online tool that integrates BIM and metaverse, all this becomes possible and also easy to implement.

How do we do this?

First, log in to usBIM with your credentials, create a new folder, upload the project template file (in IFC format) for verification, and share the link with colleagues who need to attend the online meeting.

Follow these steps:

  • open the file by clicking on the screen icon and choose Edit;
  • select usBIM.reality from the drop-down menu at the top left;
  • click on the headset icon at the bottom;
  • wear your headset;
  • uses controllers to navigate and interact with the model.

Users can choose to navigate the 3D model using the headset (taking advantage of the VRi and living an immersive, realistic and immersive experience) or in real time using the browser of a common device connected to the internet.

Each team member has his own avatar. Through it you can move freely in the digital twin and observe any detail of the building, as if it were already realized.

Each user sees the other avatars present in real time in the model and can decide to move independently or share their view with other colleagues, in live mode. In addition, you can highlight any element of the model (a wall, a window, a piece of furniture, etc.) and make the selected object appear to your connected colleagues. To improve collaboration and also have a verbal communication with the users connected to the model, you can also use usBIM.meet, the application of usBIM meetings and conference calls online.

Here’s what you can do while browsing in VRi:

  • walk freely in the 3D model and realistically experience the interaction with the model;
  • carry out model measurements;
  • moving objects;
  • delete objects;
  • change the weather conditions (rain, sun, clouds);
  • save a view of the template for later use;
  • share their view with other colleagues connected to the model and guide them in the virtual tour;
  • select an object and share the view with interested users;
  • detect interference through visual checks or by performing a clash detection;
  • view the avatar of all logged in users;
  • take advantage in real time and through immersive virtual reality, of all the features of usBIM.browser (clash, checker, modification, etc.) to better coordinate the different disciplines thanks to a visual feedback of all the design choices.

 

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