Virtual reality has given architects alternative ways to work. Paired with real-time visualization software, it offers a robust tool with endless capabilities for your design workflow. It can help develop the design, address needs, and win over clients. Here are four key reasons why you need to implement VR into your design workflow.
The benefits of virtual reality in architecture
1. Offers a memorable client experience
One of the most significant benefits is engaging in an immersive 3D environment. Using VR lets you immerse your clients in a design experience they won’t forget. They’ll be able to walk through the proposed building in a life-like simulation. This will give them a better understanding of what the building will look like once constructed and give them a deeper connection to the project.
When using VR hardware with real-time visualization, you can set your client’s height in the headset, and they can view the project from their perspective. Simply being able to move their heads toward where they want to explore and seeing the building design from various aspects can make it a memorable design experience.
“Our clients always react with great enthusiasm at being able to experience their project years before completion. It is reassuring to them that they are walking around in the actual model from which we will create the working drawings,” shares Steve Fong, BIM Specialist at Overland Partners.
2. Provides a better understanding of space
Using VR in architectural presentations offers a 360-degree view of the project. Clients are unlikely to have as much technical knowledge as you, and using VR offers them information that may not be as easy to comprehend in another format, such as 2D drawings.
Having the ability to experience the actual scale of the space makes it easier to discuss details, exchange feedback, and make better design decisions faster. A better understanding will also enable you to manage expectations to avoid unwanted surprises during construction. This can prevent expensive re-work and delays from happening.
3. Easy to operate
You don’t have to be a VR expert to use it with real-time visualization software. Just a couple of clicks and your VR headset will start displaying your model, allowing you to experience your building before it’s built.
Adding VR to your design and visualization process makes it easy to conduct design reviews with your team and other project stakeholders. Viewing the building model in a virtual space can make it fast and easy to spot errors and fix them before construction begins, reducing costs and time, so the project has a higher chance of staying on schedule.
“With literally two clicks within your building modeling software, you can be in VR and explore your model. This technology offers a new opportunity for the design team to verify and review the design internally as well as a more natural way for a client or stakeholder to explore and experience the proposed design,” explains Dan Stine, Director of Design Technology at Lake|Flato.
4. Stay ahead of the competition
In architecture, embracing new technology lets you stand out from the competition as you can offer something others can’t. VR allows you to transform imagination into reality. Clients can experience their proposed building in a 3D environment instead of a 2D drawing, which gives you a competitive advantage.
VR hardware is more affordable than you think. Hardware such as the HTC Vive is widely used, provides great quality, and comes with great positional tracking. Investing in VR hardware can win you more clients, which will in turn pay for the headsets themselves.
Experience your architectural project in virtual reality
Enscape is a real-time visualization plugin that was created with the vision that one day every architectural project can be experienced in VR. Visit Enscape3d.com for more information and sign up for a free 14-day trial.