By: James Holt, BIM Manager
Even before this time of social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions, Clune’s Virtual Construction (VC) department has regularly implemented new technologies and the best solutions to continue to help deliver construction projects on-time and under budget. Today, with many project stakeholders unable to visit a jobsite in person, VC technologies have proven to be even more essential for keeping clients and industry partners regularly updated on a project’s progress.
During this time, we have found there are two main criteria clients are focused on: to maintain a project’s schedule as much as possible and have a clear understanding of the overall goal of the project. By understanding these priorities, our team is able to determine which tools are needed to ensure a successful project. Having a “purpose-built tech box” to pull from is a priority of our VC department.
Clune’s “purpose-built tech box” includes comprehensive 3D laser scanning, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) services. We have altered our current processes and technology, and are merging them with new technologies, to enable clients to stay connected, informed and to easily communicate about a construction project from a distance.
One of the best tools for remote and quick testing of potential solutions is “model visualization” which is a 3D model that is placed over an original 3D drawing or scan of the space to address an issue that may arise during the construction process. When a plan or solution to an issue can be developed virtually, we are able to avoid the hazard of trades working in close proximity for extended periods of time. The VC team can work with those same tradespeople in a safe manner to come to an exceptional result in the planning period that can be safely executed.
Additionally, Clune is receiving an increased amount of requests for various visuals that enable better communication with stakeholders. Matterport, OpenSpace, and Trimble Published Scans are three of many platforms that can be used to regularly keep clients in the loop about the progress of their project.
These three solutions in particular, provide a “Google Earth” like experience, allowing clients to move around freely and see their space as it is on any given day. Utilizing this type of technology provides the clients with the ability to make informed decisions about a project in the same way as when visiting the site in person.
WHERE INFORMATION AND VISUALIZATION MEET
Clune is also using Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) technology to overlay information and objects over the real-world spaces for a visual representation of a solution in the actual project area. Virtual walkthroughs for project updates and photorealistic virtual walkthrough documentation can also be created. These AR walk-throughs are an exceptionally helpful tool because the team can have one person physically on-site inspecting the existing conditions, while everyone else is able to view remotely via a monitor or screen. This allows the entire team to see the site and the design intent and discuss potential issues that may appear when the site inspection is held in real time.
The goal of the VC department is the same as it has always been – to make communication easier for project stakeholders. These various technologies and methodologies allow Clune and its partners to look at problems from all angles without setting foot on site. For more information about these capabilities, visit www.clunegc.com/services/virtual-construction/.