Augmented Reality for Architecture and Construction

Linda Malecaj Article

The emergence and great development that Augmented Reality (AR)  has undergone in recent years have already significantly transformed every industry, including construction. These transformations appear in the form of changes in design, modelling and building. In this field, where a series of actors are involved as part of the construction teams, they are benefiting a lot from this technology which provides them with benefits that significantly facilitate the tasks during different processes of their work. In addition, every day more and more this technology is becoming part of the architectural design processes thus allowing both clients and architects to make changes before construction begins. Thus this technological innovation is revolutionizing the field of architecture by including virtual elements that interact with the real elements that we already have in the environment that surrounds us.

Let’s see in more detail how this combination of these virtual elements with the real ones thanks to AR helps the architects in the construction with tools to make it possible to increase efficiency, accuracy, reduce the occurrence of errors and save time and extra costs.

Streamline Presentation Processes

Now thanks to AR, the whole visual plan of the buildings that will be built is possible to be seen by the architects. This gives them the opportunity to see what their plans will look like in reality. Moreover, it enables architects to make the necessary changes based on clients requirements. All this facilitates the decision-making process for architects for situations where they may be duplicated due to clients. In addition, the use of AR in architecture helps to realize a dignified presentation of a project that architects may have to do not only for a group of clients but also for an entire corporation. 

Equipment Monitoring

Detailed inspection and monitoring of production equipment is a key process in any type of industry. In this case, in every construction site, there are numerous types of equipment that require detailed inspection because in case of breakdown the whole construction process is interrupted causing delays that may have subsequent consequences. Not only in the monitoring of the proper functioning of this equipment but also in the recognition of this equipment, AR comes again to help with its role. Thanks to this technology it is possible to replace the traditional printed manuals, already with documented instructions in real environments and followed by 3D elements enabling the virtual exploration of this equipment. This brings us to the point that thanks to a pre-inspection of this equipment by the experts of the centre make it possible to prevent many damaging situations for the smooth running of the site. 

Workplace Safety 

One of the most important issues for construction sites is ensuring that safety training is delivered in an informative, relevant and accurate way. This whole process is critical, so training site employees to understand the importance of their safety while performing their tasks is essential. Thanks to AR it becomes possible to enable Remote Support that connects an expert centre with the site’s workers in real-time. This connection makes it possible not only to instruct workers in cases where various problems arise but also to speed up the on-board process and safety training that these employees should have. This AR-based Remote Support by introducing real situations makes it possible to improve this collaborative process between site workers and experts. This co-operation leads to the provision of effective training at a low cost but that can prevent incidents and accidents on the construction site.

Architect and Client Communication 

As mentioned above, the direct link between architects and clients is of particular importance because the whole construction process is about an end product that will be offered to clients. Therefore, the fulfilment of their requirements lies in the top priorities of the architects, adhering to the wishes of the clients. As mentioned above, AR-based Remote Support is not only used in the expert-employee relationship but also in the relationship between architects and clients. This remote connection makes it possible to present in real-time the various 3D models of projects that clients can request. This technology makes it possible to clearly provide the whole picture of what clients are looking for by enabling architects to make AR annotations for necessary explanations or even for markings at various points that may require changes by clients. As in any industry, achieving customer satisfaction is a primary goal to be achieved, and in this case, thanks to AR technology, customer satisfaction increases significantly. 

While AR is being widely adopted by various industries, as mentioned at the beginning of the article there is already an increase in its involvement in various construction processes as well. This is initially triggered by architects who are finding plenty of useful use cases of this technology in facilitating their work. What is widely encouraged is the embrace of this technology as innovative enough to change the way of communication between clients and architects, to significantly improve the various processes on construction sites, as well as to maintain the safety of site employees.