The Reality of Building Information Modeling: Exploring what’s next in facilities management (Part III)
Nelson Weeks

Now let’s explore the modern use of visualization in construction and facilities management, Augmented Reality. Showing information overlaid on the real world is likely going to be more significant than Virtual Reality, particularly for this specific part of the industry.  A maintenance technician wearing a headset, looks at the ceiling and with the naked eye sees nothing but ceiling tiles. With augmented reality, the ceiling tiles are overlaid with models of the pipes, ducts, etc. that are otherwise hidden from view.  A piece of equipment requires routine maintenance. A technician walks into a room containing several identical units, the headset helps identify the specific unit to service and shows the steps required to perform the maintenance. Or in an emergency, the technicians’ headset shows the emergency cutoff location and initiates a call to the appropriate service provider for follow up action.

The applications of the technology grow by the day.  Lowes is developing VR to assist customers in learning Do-It-Yourself projects (virtually lay tile), Georgia Tech researchers created Virtual Vietnam to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by desensitizing the user with repeated reenactments, Lincoln Electric developed VR to teach welding…and maybe more timely, the NCAA basketball tournament will broadcast all games from the sweet sixteen to the final four in VR.

For AECOO, Virtual Reality promises more functional buildings by giving a better understanding of space to inform the design, greater understanding of the design intent during construction, and a more accurate and detailed view of the existing conditions for long term facilities management.

Jury Assembly - Our Heery Orlando design team used Enscape VR software for renderings of the renovation project for the new Snohomish County Courthouse.

Snohomish County Courthouse new lobby (rendering).

Snohomish County Courthouse new lobby 2 (rendering).