Virtual reality delivers major benefits for construction projects
Date: Monday 23 March 2015
MTC conference demonstrates cost and speed benefits of using virtual reality and 3D modelling within construction projects
The kind of virtual reality and computer simulation used routinely when planning factory processes can deliver major benefits to the construction industry, according to experts at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).
More than 70 construction consultants, project managers, architects and facility managers attended a special conference at the MTC’s Coventry headquarters to hear how virtual reality and simulation can take significant costs out of building projects while shortening timescales.
Delegates heard a presentation by construction consultants Gleeds, the company which project-managed the construction of the new Aerospace Research Centre at the MTC. They had the opportunity to see virtual reality at work in the MTC’s CAVE VR suite, and heard presentations from virtual reality software suppliers ESI, HoloVis and Autodesk as well as the MTC’s virtual reality and simulation experts.
MTC chief executive Dr Clive Hickman said virtual reality simulation was a routine part of factory planning, but it had potential benefits across all construction projects.
“It provides the opportunity to reduce costs by making decisions earlier in the project life, it identifies any problem issues early in the design process, it speeds up decision-making and generally helps communication across the whole project life cycle,” he said.
Gleeds director Sarah Davidson, who spoke at MTC event, said:
“The technology helps us to manage the flow of information and intelligence from design all the way through to building operation. Though the IT that sits behind the model is complex, you don’t need to be an expert to make it work for your building or construction project. It all boils down to putting the right management processes in place to ensure virtual models record the data you need them to.”