Virtual Reality: The Immersive Bridge Connecting Architects & Building Product Manufacturers

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The AEC industry is formed by a wide range of stakeholders that collaborate and collectively create our built environment. Therefore, exhausting physical meetings at various stages of the design process and tedious design modifications form a dominant part of most work-flows. However, through the pandemic, the already exhausted work system has been further strained, bringing the industry to a standstill. Since architecture is so time-intensive, it is essential to rebuild our design process sustainably and efficiently. 

As the building industry navigates the paradigm shift towards technology, Virtual Reality has great potential to offer. The process of selecting and acquiring the right building products for architects has often been tedious, with prolonged periods of design modifications and site visits. Through Virtual Reality, brands can create digital twins of their products that allow architects and clients to experience the products conveniently within the safety of their homes. Virtual reality also allows for the integration of these products into the design, to scale. With virtual collaboration plugged into the same, various stakeholders can collaborate and pick the right products for the design efficiently. Product categories and catalogs can be generated, allowing users to explore multiple offerings. 

This significantly eliminates the need for physical meetings, models, or mock-ups, making it economically efficient for the building product manufacturers and sustainable for the environment. Through a cloud-enabled collaborative technology, building product manufacturers, and vendors can reach every designer independent of their geographical location or scale. Not only do digital tools provide greater visibility to building product manufactures but it also leads to a better understanding of the product and its application into the design. The true-to-scale real-time experience reduces visual inconsistencies leading to uniform visualization instead of varying interpretations, leaving no room for errors. This dramatically reduces the decision-making time as it reduces the need for in-person meetings, tedious design modification processes, and erroneous selection of products. Immersive and collaborative technology like Virtual Reality can bring accuracy in functioning and communication amongst all stakeholders, offering a comprehensive technological solution that ensures that all the stakeholders share the same understanding of the products to be used. 

The AEC industry functions through a complex network of interlinked and interdependent processes carried out by different professional teams. It is one of the fastest-growing sectors worldwide – and the nature of its output is remarkably impactful and long-lasting. Therefore, collaborative working is at the very core of the industry. As we redefine and rebuild our working methods, it is essential to create seamless and convenient systems as well as future-ready and resilient ones. Virtual Reality offers a better and faster way for decision-making that is affordable and economically efficient. It is a great way to communicate the user experience thus bridging the gap between client expectations and understanding and the final architectural product. Virtual Reality offers a power-packed, immersive solution that is interactive and true to scale, delivering a revolutionary design experience to the entire AEC industry. 

About the author: Gautam Tewari is the Co-Creator of Trezi, India’s first VR Platform for the Building Industry, developed under the ambit of his start-up SmartVizX. A graduate from the University of New South Wales, Tewari holds a masters degree in Construction Management and is a LEED-accredited professional. A skilled orator, Tewari has not only conducted several workshops for Trezi  across the country in top architectural schools  but has also been invited extensively to speak at trade events about the potential of Immersive Technology to revamp the workflows of the building industry. Apart from VR, Tewari is passionate about cricket, is a long-distance runner, fitness enthusiast, and an avid reader.