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YEN Auckland have their reality augmented by VR Tech

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Reported by Jerrin Pius

The Auckland YEN event on Digital Engineering and VR in the Built Environment last month and was well received with a great attendance of around 40 young professionals across the industry. 

In the construction industry "VR" and "digital engineering" is percieved as complex and expensive. This event was organised to showcase the potential, innovation and effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) and digital engineering by experts in the industry. Since we are in living in the epicentre of a digital world with cloud computing and smart devices, utilising its capabilities for the built environment has to be promoted to young professionals of today.  
Heath Simone from Beca, Simon Mobley from asBUILT and Eliot Blenkarne from Warren and Mahoney were invited to present a range of real world application, capabilities and design processes. 
Heath talked about the applications and limitations of virtual reality and augmented reality. The use of photogrammetry has been a game changer and it's integration with VR to create a virtual environment has opened up many applications. Such as measuring services without going to site. Another useful application is verifying designs with clients, such as reviewing access and maintenance of equipment in plant-rooms. 

Simon showed examples of point cloud scanning and scan to BIM technologies that provide 3D models with 20 mm dimensional tolerance.
His key message was the power of data and how the benefits of it can create new revenue streams for a business.

The application of AI in construction sites is advancing, from automatic recognition of PPE worn by workers to delivery vehicle number plate scanning to measure how long sub-contractors are taking to unload materials on site.
Eliot presented a few project examples of Warren & Mahoney’s virtual reality experiences for both in-house use and clients. The use of game engines in the AEC industry is becoming more popular to produce realistic visuals and models. These models provide additional benefits for the project team that cannot be gained from a standard BIM model. He delved into the design process using VR and how that adds value to the project and for the client instead of just producing a pretty picture.

You may also be interested in  Use of Augmented & Virtual Reality to Improve Delivery of Bldg Services Systems available to download freely from the CIBSE Knowledge Portal.