04.02.2019 | By Petri Luomala

This is the second part of our three-part series where Pauli Keinonen, Technical Director for MagiCAD at MagiCAD Group discusses the potential of VR and AR applications for MEP design and the central role of BIM-methodology in their adoption.
In Part 1 we looked at the importance of accurate and comprehensive product data.

From Revit projects to virtual reality

The distance from having data in BIM format to actually accessing the data using virtual reality technologies is not a long one.

“When a system has been designed with a software such as MagiCAD for Revit, all of the needed data will be present in the Revit project. After this, you could say that making the Revit project accessible for virtual reality technologies is actually a relatively easy step”, Keinonen explains.

“For example, in a project where the building’s structural side has been designed using Autodesk Revit and the MEP systems with MagiCAD for Revit, all of the necessary geometry and data will be contained in the Revit project. The Revit project can then be easily rendered into one of the VR formats using any of the available virtual reality rendering plugins for Revit, such as Enscape”, continues Keinonen.

Enabling better communication

The potential benefits of virtual reality access for information exchange are evident. From installation personnel to end-users, new technologies promise to better include the needs of all project parties in the design phase.

“When the model has been rendered into a format suitable for VR, VR technologies can be utilised as part of project coordination meetings, allowing the participants to see in practice how the MEP systems have been routed inside the building, how the routing fits to the available spaces and also to examine alternative approaches to solving specific problem spots in the system’s design”, says Keinonen.

“Furthermore, virtual reality enables also a new kind of feedback from the end users of the building. As an example of this, there have been hospital projects where doctors and nurses have been able to experience their future working spaces using virtual reality glasses and provide feedback on the operating room layouts and space requirements to make the spaces as functional as possible”, Keinonen says.

In Part 3, on Monday 11.2.2019, we will examine how augmented reality applications can help us move closer to true BIM 5D and how facility management can benefit from the new technologies after construction.

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