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Virtual Reality in architecture, 3 case studies

Virtual Reality in architecture, 3 case studies

Virtual Reality in architecture is the technology with which users can interact in a virtual architectural model. Discover 3 cases where it can be used.

Three-dimensional models, animations and rendering have always been tools used by architects and designers to express the development of a space, whether internal or external. But nowadays this is no longer enough: creating a detailed 3D model or a perfect rendering will never transmit and communicate the sensations and atmosphere of a building.

The application of virtual reality to architecture represents one of the greatest innovations of recent years: thanks to it, it is possible to create an engaging and immersive 3D experience, able to better present your ideas.

It is necessary that all architects introduce it in their design process so as not to be left behind and to take advantage of the numerous benefits that it can offer to their workflow. If you also want to start using virtual reality right away, I recommend trying usBIM.reality, a completely online VR platform that allows you to browse your 3D projects directly from your browser, without having to buy any software.

What is Virtual Reality in architecture?

Virtual reality in architecture is an immersive technology that projects the user into any interactive 3D architectural environment, by simply connecting a 3D viewer device to the computer or smartphone.

This technology has the ability to immerse the user in a new environment, a space or a particular room.

In this way you can explore the building as a whole or analyze all its construction, architectural or furnishing details, taking advantage of a real-time presentation made by the professionals who created that specific setting.

Creating a 3D model and being able to navigate it, offers professionals and customers a much more accurate and representative feeling, providing them with a true sense of scale, depth and spatial awareness.

Virtual Reality in architecture

Virtual Reality in architecture

How is virtual reality used in architecture? Here are 3 use cases!

Virtual reality can be used in various phases of architectural design:

  1. Design phase and design analysis;
  2. Project review phase;
  3. Project presentation phase.

Let’s see how beneficial this can turn out to be in more detail.

1. Design phase and design analysis

In the initial design phases, the use of VR allows technicians to express their creativity in a simpler and more innovative way.

Simply immerse yourself into the model to:

  • design the overall shape of the building works;
  • outline the organisation of spaces;
  • explore spaces proportions;
  • analyse the different views of upper storeys;
  • compare technical elements;
  • choose furnishings;
  • compare materials, textures, colours;
  • etc.

This allows to achieve a more realistic perception of designed spaces and leads designers to try themselves through the conception of more innovative and less conventional spaces.

Virtual reality can also be used for project analysis purposes enabling project members to detect risks well before the construction process, saving concerns and misunderstandings that could arise along the way.

Project with Virtual Reality

Project with Virtual Reality

2. Project Review Phase

Reviewing a project before the execution phase through the use of VR devices makes this delicate phase easier and faster.

Imagine that you have to review plans, elevations or sections ni order to identify errors and wrong choices, don’t you feel a  little anxious?

Imagine instead that you can perceive and analyze all the details and aesthetic characteristics,  walk in your virtual construction while exposing your perplexities to your team in real time.

This offers the possibility of having an immediate feedback of the design choices, guaranteeing the development of a more conscious, collaborative and “realistic” workflow.

Team in collaboration with Virtual Reality

Team in collaboration with Virtual Reality

3. Project Submission Phase

Presenting and communicating design ideas has never been easier: an architectural virtual reality experience not only amazes customers, but offers a better understanding of design by emotionally involving them in the project.

Thanks to a headset, a customer can be easily transported in a 3D representation, look around and explore spaces; his vision of that world corresponds, almost completely, to what he would see while moving in the real environment.

By providing the engaging feeling of actually being inside a building, it is easier for the designer to clearly communicate the design intent and for the customer to understand and validate it.

With these tools, the customer will immediately approve the elements that they like and quickly identify those that must be modified, valued or eliminated. As a consequence, the technician will work on the changes more consciously, avoiding future misunderstandings.

Project presentation with VR

Project presentation with VR

Virtual Reality in architecture: how the use of virtual reality is changing architecture

Virtual Reality in architecture is making tremendous progress allowing designers to experience their visions in real life through a 3D model created with a BIM software.

There are many advantages associated with using virtual reality in the architectural design process:

  • low startup costs: introducing a suite of VR tools such as headphones, controllers or headsets has relatively low costs and the benefits will be quick;
  • customer growth: the use of VR ensures better customer appreciation with subsequent increases in earnings;
  • increased communication and collaboration: virtual reality allows the team to interact in the architectural models created, even remotely, and this reduces misunderstandings and the time dedicated to the conception and design phase;
  • reduction of revisions: revisions on the project created will be fewer and faster, because it is already possible with a single virtual tour to view and resolve design doubts;
  • identification of critical issues in the design phase: the observation of every detail before the construction phase of the work is important because it allows to identify and avoid interference that would cause delays and greater burdens;
  • become an industry leader: with VR, you keep up with the technological curve by becoming much more competitive. When choosing between two projects of the same level, a potential customer will be enchanted by a virtual representation of the building, in which to walk and interact. With their eyes closed, they will consider an immersive virtual reality experience more appealing than a display redirected to the PC and will surely convince themselves to accept your professional offer.

Some software like Edificius allows you to have virtual reality technology integrated into architectural modeling. Through this integration you have the possibility to always have a clear perception of your projects while you are modeling. You can try the trial version of the augmented reality software for architecture for free and experience just as much as all the advantages that this technology offers!

To learn more about how to use online viewing with virtual reality, I recommend reading the article “ usBIM.reality: The importance of VR in Architecture.