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New Technologies in Construction: Augmented Reality

Augmented reality, or AR for short, is a real-time duplicate of an actual physical environment, only the elements are augmented by a computer-generated input. While virtual reality takes the real world and replaces it with a simulated version, augmented reality adds to it instead. If you are an architect, that addition could be a 3D model of a structure you designed.

Augmented reality in architecture and construction projects places a 3D model onto an existing space. It has been used in video games for years but became a tool in construction only recently, when contractors used it to present proposed designs on construction sites.

For a while, AR was confined mainly to construction, engineering, and architecture firms with large technology departments, but now it is available on a project-by-project basis so that smaller companies and entrepreneurs can use it.

SmartReality is a popular augmented reality app that can be used on a per-project basis. Viewable on an Android or iOs device, it places a 3D model where specified and, when users focus their cameras on a given plan file or design, the screen overlays a virtual image of what the project will look like when complete.

Augmented reality has construction and design uses beyond visualization. It can analyse designs and detect problems as well as let the contractor and architect collaborate on changes that must be made prior to construction. It can even help pre-fabricate building components.

Building information modelling (BIM) and augmented reality are two new technologies in construction that allow architectural and construction firms to assess how a structure will hold up over time. Other benefits appear below.

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Help Explain a Building

Augmented reality makes it easier to visually explain the social and environmental impacts of a building. The visuals, combined with a BIM time lapse, can help officials understand its future impact as early as the planning and permit stages.

Present Plans for Clients

Using AR in conjunction with BIM allows construction companies to present realistic and functional models to clients, who can then make any desired changes before construction begins. Engaging clients in this manner early prevents expensive fixes later and keeps their interest in the project strong.

Measure More Accurately

Augmented reality can support more accurate space measurement. AR gear collects information on height, width, and depth and can incorporate them into models. Many companies that use augmented reality take perfect space measurements using drones. Then they use a computer model or building model with an accurate measurement, allowing them to see what the structure will look like.

Augmented reality is rapidly gaining traction in the construction industry, which has obvious uses for it. Construction firms that have adopted augmented reality are already benefiting financially, and as the technology improves, AR will soon become a fixture in meeting rooms and on job sites.

Specialists in Construction Insurance


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