augmented reality in architecture model design

Augmented Reality in Architecture and Construction Projects

What is Augmented Reality?

What is the fuss about augmented reality in architecture and construction? Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer generated image on a real world view resulting in an augmented composite view.  Augmented reality has been deployed in video gaming and media entertainment to enable a real image to interact with computer graphics for decades.

Unlike virtual reality which replaces the real world with a simulated reality, augmented reality takes the real world and supplements it with a 3D model of architectural design.

With the help of advanced augmented-reality technology such as computer vision and object recognition, the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and can be digitally maneuvered.

Augmented Reality in Architecture and Construction

augmented reality in architecture model designThe 10 trillion dollar construction business has plenty of room for automation. Augmented reality can be used to increase efficiency and ensure that more projects meet budget requirements and and run on schedule.

Augmented reality in architecture and construction projects involves superimposing a 3-D model of a proposed design onto an existing space.  Contractors show clients proposed designs in the context of existing conditions using  mobile devices on an existing construction site. The technology is now available on a per-project basis for small businesses.

Augmented reality can be used to analyze designs and point out conflicts by virtually traversing the complete model. An architect can present the model to engineers and builders onsite before construction begins. They can then point out potential issues and mistakes while they are easy and cheap to fix. The architect and contractor can also collaborate about the changes between design and construction due to construct-ability issues. For example, they could  see that practical implementation of various pipes would not correlate with the design. Having uncovered the issue ahead of time, the company could now ask the supplier to provide the right pipes, saving money, time and aggravation.

Amar Hanspal, a senior VP at the software company Autodesk, believes that builders could ultimately use augmented reality wearables at construction sites “and see in real time, ‘Here’s what the building should be and here’s what it actually looks like.’”

Augmented reality even supports the prefabrication of building components. After the 2011 Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake, city planners and engineers used augmented reality to visualize the buildings that were destroyed. Augmented reality is now used extensively in Australia for construction and earthquake investigation.

Augmented Reality in Architecture Made Easy

Transferring design model to augmented reality format is often complex and time consuming. AUGmentecture enables the end user to view any document in 3-D by creating a unique marker in each individual document. AUGmentecture streamlines the setup and simplifies the printing and processing of the models. It’s like printing a PDF in the augmented reality format.

The Next Augmented Reality Frontier

The next frontier will involve detecting hidden components and representing them dynamically to users even when they are excluded from the model. Augmented reality will leap into the cusp of X-ray vision.

Ultimately, users could maneuver an element within a virtual mockup with their hands and see how the change impacts the design in real time.

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