AEC industries embrace VR

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VR in architecture, engineering and construction is going through a significant period of ‘rapid’ adoption, according to Italian architect Fabio D’Agnano.

D’Agnano is director of the postgraduate masters course in digital architecture at the IUAV, in-formed XR delegates on Tuesday that at least two thirds of architectural practices are now experimenting with VR, according to his research.

The architect added that adoption tended to be higher among the larger practices, who have the time and resources to commit.

For those who have used VR, most have applied it to more than five projects and were using it across the design, construction and maintenance stages.

In terms of how far away these new technologies are, for many job, such as 360 rendering, it is now and is ‘no more effort than a standard 3D render,” said D’Agnano: “You press the same button.”

He went on to estimate that real time rendering, which would enable architects and clients to go on a virtual site visit, is less than “a couple of years away” and what is likely to happen in the interim is that a blend of both 360 and virtual reality technologies will be used.

D’Agnano added that one of the challenges the sector faced was adopting the technology.

Companies such as MatrixWorks are addressing this by working on collaborative platforms, he added. Other near future applications included integrating VR with BIM data so that projects can be tested on site.

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