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‘VR to give a push to integrated project delivery’

VR technology will help MEP contractors and consultants to address issues quickly, VP, Leo A Daly

| | Oct 17, 2018 | 9:00 am
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Dubai, UAE, 17 October 2018: Virtual Reality (VR) will soon be a common ‘thing’ in the contracting and MEP space, said Joshua A Theodore, Vice President, Global Health Practice Lead, Leo A Daly, on the sidelines of the Building in Healthcare Conference in Dubai. Forecasting the future applications of the technology, Theodore emphasised the role the technology will play in the initial stages of a construction project. He said, “The construction industry is coming to a point where a designer won’t even have to fly in to inspect a project at its initial stage. He could just do a walk through the site in a virtual way.” Elaborating, he insisted that VR gives a push to integrated project delivery where an entire team, i.e. the contractor, building owner, engineer, architect and designer can come together and discuss issues, while being virtually on the field.

Referring to VR as an extension of BIM, Theodore said that just as BIM simplifies the understanding of space and MEP aspects to a project, VR will enable MEP contractors and consultants to address issues quickly. “Clash detection is an important component of BIM which fully models HVAC and MEP systems in a building and using this, a contractor and consultant will be able to identify where to place the Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system,” he added.

Elaborating on the adoption of the technology, Theodore said that the more immersed the industry gets, the sooner it will be able to benefit from VR in BIM. “All you have to do is take a couple of extra steps. Take BIM, export it into a modelling programme, the user can make it photo-realistic for a more accurate understanding of the project or he can choose to use it in white and white,” he said. However, he added that VR is more likely to benefit the end-user as it gives the client a chance to visualise what they want, while being able to accurately communicate their preferences. He said that this, in a way, is a ‘win-win’ situation for both the client and the people working on a project. The only challenge, he said, is dealing with the stigma of trying something new. Theodore added, “In any industry, there is always that initial discomfort to trying something new. In this scenario, it is of wearing a VR headset and roaming around. However, this is just a small hurdle to achieving something bigger.”

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