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VR/AR and benefits for Arch viz

What is Virtual and Augmented reality?

These technologies have been trending over the last few years most popularised by the huge industry players such as Meta and their development of the MetaVerse and Niki’s online shopping experiences all in Web3. Simply put however, Virtual reality is one that completely immerses you in a virtual scene in which you can interact and navigate using gear such as the Meta quest or the HTC Vive. Augmented Reality similarly enhances your real world scene allowing you to add Avatars, filters like on Instagram and snapchat using just your phone or ipad and tablet.


By allowing Designers and Architects to experience their creations in full scale, Virtual and Augmented reality are closing the gaps that normal CGI generated imagery never could, The Design Experience where you explore your finished projects before even breaking ground.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are revolutionising the architecture industry by allowing designers to experience their visions in real life through a 3D model. Both technologies offer exciting potential for the advancement of processes and opportunities in the architecture and construction sector.


Augmented reality

How does it work?

Augmented Reality (AR) can provide architects with the ability to digitally interact with their projects past the computer screen by merging a digital model over a physical space. AR creates a 3D version of the proposed model and places it over the physical reality in the project’s real environment. It can even overlay the digital rendering over a current structure that is in the plot of land in real life. The merging of the digitised structure and the physical plot of land allows architects to visualise their proposed space before it is even built.

Why use AR for projects?

AR significantly eases the planning process for designers. The ability to present clients with the proposed structure as a 3D model helps them better understand and decide what they want. Another benefit of AR is that it can also be used for design analysis. Designers and clients can recognize issues much earlier on in the construction process, saving them major headaches down the road. 

AR is most beneficial when used in collaborative team environments. The ability to collectively and cohesively visualise a project keeps everyone on the same page and generates constructive conversation. AR can be used to superimpose ideas and notes onto a project model. This saves time and money that could have gone to waste.

Along with planning and collaboration, AR helps architects and builders at the site of the project. Software can be downloaded onto tablets and smartphones to show the structure in that space. This gives builders the ability to solve problems and make changes quicker than if they couldn’t visualise their ideas.


Architect exploring a virtual apartmentVirtual reality

How does it work?

Virtual reality is making huge waves in the architecture industry, especially as it becomes more accessible to the average consumer and firm. VR is generally experienced by wearing a headset that completely covers the user’s eyes and fully immerses them into a virtual environment.

Why use VR for projects?

VR can bring remote teams together by virtually placing them into the same space, an event that international architects have dubbed “VR jams.” These are virtual meetings where multiple people can “walk” through buildings and rooms together before they are actually built.

VR acts as a communication tool. Rather than trying to describe an idea to a client, they can experience it through the virtual model. This helps the client better understand the concept of the proposed space, and enhances their overall experience, improving customer satisfaction. 

Architect Nsamba Andrew of the Ministry of Works and Transport says, “By building this kind of expertise, firms will revolutionise not only the way they conceptualise designs, but also the way our world is physically built and experienced.”

VR blends the boundary between reality and the virtual world. VR allows architects and engineers to take situations that we can’t see or predict, such as natural disasters, one step further. They can put the structures into the VR simulation to test how it can react in these situations. This gives architects and designers a unique ability to plan ahead.

The technological renaissance is transforming industries in ways we’ve never before imagined. The architecture and building sectors have an immense opportunity to grow with these innovations and implement them to improve existing practices. Companies that utilise these technologies to optimise their processes and bring their visions to life will set themselves apart as leaders in the architectural revolution. If your firm has been toying with the idea of incorporating VR and AR technologies into your practice, now’s the perfect time.