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HomeConstruction ManagementApplication of Augmented and Virtual Reality in Construction Sector

Application of Augmented and Virtual Reality in Construction Sector

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A custom AR/VR development service may be one of the greatest future options for the building industry, which is on the verge of modernity. Even while safety procedures, tools, and materials have advanced significantly over the past few decades, a lot of the labor is still dangerous, ineffective, and unattractive to new workers. Augmented and virtual reality development services are playing a prominent role in construction sector now a day.

A construction project has many stages. The design stage is the first. During this stage, a committed team visualizes and collaborates on the project in three dimensions while doing defect management to find answers before construction begins. Studies and simulations of the building’s structural soundness, lighting conditions, and potential weather effects are also part of the design phase. The construction phase is the second and most challenging stage. Along with many laborers on construction sites, it also includes engineers and designers. Keeping a tight grip on things and communicating as necessary during each level of execution is crucial. The majority of supply chain and logistical operations also take place during this time. Progress should be regularly tracked, and any deviations from the original plan should be noted and adjusted as necessary. A dynamic construction site is vulnerable to numerous risks that could jeopardize the project’s timeline, the caliber of the building, and the safety of individuals working there. Finally, the post-construction period, which lasts for around 30 years, is the stage in a building’s life cycle that is the longest. To “create a comfortable living and working environment as well as to maintain equipment to prevent functional failures,” maintenance operations are carried out as part of FM activities.

Augmented vs. virtual

It’s critical to understand the differences between augmented reality and virtual reality to comprehend how these immersive technologies could revolutionize the construction sector. A holographic, full-scale image of the building will be projected onto an empty job site in augmented reality, as opposed to virtual reality, which would place you within a virtual, three-dimensional building.

Additionally, it was stated that the differences between VR and AR are based on the equipment needed and the experience:

(1) AR makes use of a real-world environment, while VR is entirely virtual.

(2) VR requires a headgear device, but AR may be accessible with a smartphone.

(3) AR enriches both the virtual and real worlds, whereas VR only enhances a fictional reality.

(4) AR users can control their presence in the actual world, whereas VR users are controlled by the system.

A headset that produces stereo sound and 360-degree visuals gives the impression that you are inside a virtual world, creating an immersive experience.

On the other side, augmented reality improves what you see. By pointing the camera at the area where the furniture will be placed, furniture stores like IKEA have integrated augmented reality into their apps so customers can see how a piece of furniture may look in a room.

With AR in construction, the concept is comparable. Members of the project team can utilize AR to choose a building’s location or orientation. Although augmented reality can be viewed using a headset or smart glasses, apps for tablets and smartphones make it easier to access.

AR/VR in Application in Construction Industry and its benefits

The market for augmented reality services is anticipated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.8 percent, from $70.91 billion in 2021 to $102.6 billion in 2022. The COVID-19 impact, which had earlier resulted in restrictive containment measures including social withdrawal, remote work, and the cessation of commercial activities that resulted in operational issues, is largely to blame for the rise as businesses resume operations and adjust to the new normal. At a CAGR of 44.8 percent, the market is anticipated to reach $451.72 billion in 2026.

The global construction industry has historically been one of the last to adopt new technologies, whether it be digital twins, pre-fabrications, 3D printing, or AR/VR – all of these buzzwords have been in other industries for quite a while, but they are now being looked at from the perspective of the Construction industry in the recent years, & now, this shift is occurring at a faster pace. In a survey of 150 construction organizations, data analytics company Global Data discovered that 55% of businesses were thinking about implementing the technology in their operations over the next two years. According to the study, attitudes toward augmented reality are becoming more favorable, with 51% of respondents stating that this is the case compared to earlier. The research also predicts that by 2030, the AR industry would have increased by more than a third. Recently, the construction industry has increased its use of technology, including augmented reality (AR), with companies like Multiplex, M Group, and Eurovia using it on their construction sites.

A 77 percent CAGR is anticipated for the global AR/VR industry between 2019 and 2023. With the help of augmented reality, retailers are improving the online buying experience by letting customers see what a product (such as a piece of furniture or appliance) would look like in their own space. Innovative augmented reality projects currently under development include Akular AR, GAMMA AR, Arvizio, ICT Tracker, The Wild, and VisualLive.

According to a study, integrating augmented reality (AR) with BIM is thought to greatly boost the applicability of BIM to fieldwork. Additionally, as users do not need to access the entire BIM model to extract the information of one component while mounting the device on it, the AR-BIM-integrated system takes less time to operate.

Augmented reality, with its capacity to deliver real-time information, is employed in the sector to promote project confidence overall while also boosting efficiency, safety, and collaboration. Here are some examples of how building teams use augmented reality to speed up construction. Construction workers’ access to technology such as augmented reality (AR) will not only combat soaring resource costs but help attract young people to construction roles, according to a report from GlobalData. The study finds that while one-third of construction sector executives polled by GlobalData in late 2021 had no intentions to invest in augmented reality, almost 55 percent of those surveyed aim to do so within the next two years. Building models can be placed on a construction site using headsets or smart glasses and compared to it using augmented reality (AR). Errors can be easily detected by a user before extra work is done, preventing needless rework and the usage of additional costly resources.

Virtual reality is a computer-generated representation of a real-world experience that allows users to interact with their surroundings both digitally and physically. Virtual reality-based simulations are created to provide users with an immersive experience and unique insights into the functioning of the digitally imagined world. Respondents, content producers, hardware, and game engine software are essential elements required to experience virtual reality. Oculus, HTC, and Samsung Gear are among the virtual reality devices utilized in construction. Virtual Reality (VR) technology could be used in conjunction with three-dimensional (3D) modeling to improve communication in vocational training, education, and professional practice. Models for the construction process were created using 3D modeling and virtual reality techniques.

The 3D models created to support rehabilitation design become a crucial tool for the observation of abnormalities in structures and to support judgments based on visual comparisons of potential courses of action. A virtual reality (VR) model developed to aid in the management of lighting systems in buildings enables the visible and interactive transfer of data about the physical behavior of the elements, defined as a function of the time variable. It is also possible to develop interactive models that instruct students about construction.

The combination of geometric representations of a building with scheduling data about construction planning information forms the basis of 4D (3D + time) models. As a result, 4D models in this industry combine 3D models with project timelines, and VR technology has been used to make 4D models more realistic, allowing interaction with the environment depicting the construction site. Construction firms can provide a 3D model of a property as well as an AR overlay of furnishings using ARVR technology for potential purchasers. The virtual image of a furnished apartment can then be used to conduct a full tour, giving a clear impression of how the finished residence will look. To finish construction projects on time, communication must be quick and effective. To find and address any flaws, the design team can use AR headsets to communicate site data that engineers or supervisors have captured. Using an AR overlay of the Building Information Model (BIM) over the real model, managers or contractors can take a virtual tour of a site for evaluation and review. He added that good material alignment aids AR to guide workers and save errors, time, and cost. 971 people lost their lives in construction in 2017, making up 20.8% of all fatalities in the private sector. The precise locations of potentially dangerous equipment around the site can be determined using AR and VR technology. ARVR can also be used to deliver training, removing any physical risks to employees. A US-based corporation has implemented VR safety training programs to spread the proper practices and improve worker safety.

According to a survey, there is anticipation that more components of the home buying process would involve the usage of VR and AR technology to offer services to purchasers. Two of the realtors suggested that the VR tours be expanded to include neighborhood and walkability information. Another realtor suggested that VR and AR technologies could speed up the time-consuming home inspection procedure.


While still-emerging technologies mature and new ones allow us to offer faster, better, and safer, AR and VR will help with more evidence-based decisions and a greater understanding of the customer. 3D modeling and simulation have made it possible to concentrate more on technology because the design and other factors were eliminated during the pre-construction phase. Utilizing AR and VR technology has significantly increased workplace safety. VR immersion safety training programs have helped managers go a further step toward ensuring the security of both their staff and the on-site workers. Leading construction organizations are aggressively implementing augmented and virtual reality in the industry since it is a game-changer as part of their digital transformation plan. The writing is on the wall, given how quickly virtual reality is spreading throughout society. The success of the 21st century depends on AR/VR technologies.

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Shantanu Trivedi
Shantanu Trivedi
Shantanu Trivedi is working as a faculty at the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. He holds an MBA and a Ph.D. degree in Supply chain management. He has more than a decade of experience in teaching and research. He has published 2 books, 5 book chapters and more than 12 research papers and articles in international journals of repute. His research interest includes Supply chain management, agribusiness, online and distance education, Business sustainability and infrastructure management. He is the reviewer of many international publishing houses. He has presented his work and won awards at many research conferences and symposiums. He has worked on many research with state governments and the government of India. In his spare time, Shantanu loves to travel and explore nature.
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