New technology is making its way into just about every industry, but profound is the impact it has on construction. Virtual reality (VR) is one recent advance in technology that’s taking the construction world by storm. Implementing VR allows construction companies to improve safety, customer experience, operating cost and more.
That’s why many companies are looking to VR to solve some common challenges for construction businesses. The following is a look at VR, how it’s used in construction today, and what to expect for the future of the industry.
Virtual Reality in Today’s Construction Industry
Today, construction industry executives are learning that VR has the potential to impact their business in a number of ways. Companies have already begun to incorporate VR into daily operations. Overwhelmingly, businesses benefit from better customer experience, better collaboration, and improvements in the scaling process. Here’s a look at how:
Better Customer Experience
Among the main frustrations for construction clients and building owners, alike, is a lack of transparency during the building process. Flat, static plans can only offer so much insight into the mind of the designer, and as new thoughts or concerns arise, looking at the same 2D print over and over again may not yield any new information or inspiration.
When construction companies offer a virtual reality experience for customers, they can truly immerse themselves in the concept, addressing concerns as they take a virtual tour. This leads to better, faster work and more satisfied clients. In a business world that’s already seeing the rise of things like DevOps, a technological movement focused on achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction, construction companies can use virtual reality to remain competitive.
When you eliminate the need to travel to the site to collaborate, teams can exchange information faster. That’s exactly what virtual reality does for construction companies today.
Using VR, remote teams of stakeholders and advisors can view a construction project and respond in real time which this leads to more efficient problem solving and all around stronger communication. Some of the benefits of improved collaboration include being faster to meet timelines, faster issue resolution, more efficient use of labor and resources, and achieving an all-around higher quality outcome.
In years past, meeting the needs of scalable blueprinting meant making a costly and resource intensive model of a project. By design, these models contained inaccuracies required to make them structurally sound for mobility and durability. Today’s VR modeling offers construction companies more accurate, more detailed, and less costly virtual models for projects. These improvements decrease cost while increasing delivery speed and overall reliability of the model. In addition to seeing these positive improvements arise in their business, construction owners also save money by reducing the likelihood of rework, promoting a safer work environment, decreasing the cost of labor, and increasing quality at a faster pace.
How Virtual Reality is Changing Construction
As businesses begin to access the many benefits of using VR, the construction industry is feeling the ripples of disruptive technology. Disruptive technology is that which changes an industry so greatly, that all businesses must adapt to it to compete. Virtual reality is the future of construction.
Here’s what construction executives can expect from the fast-paced progression of VR disruption:
Improved Design and Customer Experience
Improving the accuracy and detail of designs means better resource utilization, better collaboration, faster delivery, and an all-around happier customer. Business should expect to see a rise in customer satisfaction, and over time that will raise the bar on what customers expect from construction businesses.
Advances in Safety and Training
VR can help construction employers improve employee and site safety. In some forklift certification courses, drivers are able to virtually use the heavy machinery to help them get a feel for operating it in a controlled environment where no one can get hurt. By creating an immersive, virtual experience, construction operators are better equipped to handle actual situations where safety is a concern.
What’s clear is the reach of virtual reality in construction is expansive, and this is just the beginning. So, buckle up and get ready to improve your business model with an approach that includes VR, if you haven’t already begun to do so.
For those in the beginning stages of getting started with VR, conceptualizing your first virtual reality project can be done in a few steps:
- Understand VR tools and how to work with them, this includes selecting a few VR design tools; and
- Prepare for obstacles like financial limitations or restrictions, requirements for hardware resources, heavy equipment, and physical demands.
With that said, go forth and learn how to incorporate VR into your construction business. The VR wave is coming, and surviving it means learning to adapt to the brave new world of construction in 2019 and beyond.