As our world constantly changes, technology drives forward to match the challenges of today and tomorrow. World populations are growing and more and more people are living in city environments. Designing and constructing buildings efficiently to be long-lasting, cost-effective and sustainably operable is more important than ever. Augmented reality will greatly change how we design and build our cities.

What is augmented reality? AR takes electronic data and overlays computer generated images over the physical space of the real world through a medium (such as a tablet or goggles). The medium will use a camera to display what it is seeing in the real world and then overlay what information is needed for easy viewing.

AR has implications in all stages of building construction, from marketing to design and construction. While marketing any new project, conveying the vision of the end product to the client and respective parties is imperative to getting the project off the ground. With AR, developers do not need to frame the vision of the proposed building, they can show clients and teams what the building will look like in a real world space. By using a tablet, all respective parties can go to the proposed project site and see not only what the building will look like but how it fits into the relative space, even if a current structure is in the space. AR will speed up the decision-making process for proposed buildings.

How will AR change the design of buildings? The designing process is very detailed, collaborative and long. AR apps will allow designers to bring plan sets from the 2D realm into 3D. AR will allow designers to see building plans as 3D models. Allowing these models to be more accessible to design teams and early on in the design process will allow for quicker revisions and a smoother design process.

The construction phase is most impacted by AR. Anyone will be able to walk onto a construction site and be able to view the building layers easily at any stage of construction. With AR, contractors can view constructed walls are matching up to designed dimensions. Contractors can make changes in the building plans and easily see end results without physically making the changes. Contractors will be able to see where plumbing and electrical lines are, even if they are below the poured foundation or behind finished walls. Even quality assurance processes will be easier and quicker. For example, while viewing an installed window, an AR program will display the size and model of the designed window over what is installed in the physical world. Checking the correct product was installed correctly without having to reference a large book of building plans in less favorable environments will dramatically change the construction process. As a result, AR will make the building process quicker, cheaper, safer, and more sustainable.

For more information on sustainable features for your building, contact VCA Green below:

Moe Fakih, Principal


Contributing Writer: Michael Glincman, LEED AP Homes