Foto Mikal Schlosser

Exam with VR glasses improves design

Tuesday 23 Jun 20

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Jan Karlshøj
Head of section, Associate Professor
DTU Civil Engineering
+45 45 25 17 11

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Andrei-Cornel Danet
DTU Civil Engineering
Digital design of constructions and examinations with VR glasses reveal early weaknesses and challenges in construction processes.

VR glasses and digital planning of buildings reveal challenges in design and in the interaction between different building systems such as ventilation, fire safety, geotechnics. That's the conclusion after 300 master's students at DTU Civil Engineering have completed the Advanced Building Design course, where a part of their exam project is virtual building models, judged by a censor through a guided tour with VR glasses.

"Using BIM and VR project visualization will save the students a lot of time in the design, and in future assignments it can reduce costs in construction processes."
Andrei-Cornel Danet, Assistant Lecturer.

“VR glasses make all aspects of a construction visible and give the teachers a very specific experience of the space and the connection between the different building systems. Nothing is hidden in a digital design - unlike illustrations and drawings that do not provide the same transparency. And that is why the digital design and VR experience give a boost in quality,” says associate professor and section manager at DTU Civil Engineering Jan Karlshøj.

Quality and visualization tool

Assistant Lecturer Andrei-Cornel Danet has included VR glasses in teaching at DTU Civil Engineering courses in Basic BIM (Building Information Model) and Advanced BIM over the past three semesters. VR glasses are used as a quality and visualization tool of students´ work with digital design, and Andrei-Cornel Danet believes that VR technology strengthen students' ability to identify design and construction errors.

“Using BIM and VR project visualization and checking facilitates the detection of errors early on and correct them. This will save a lot of time in the design, and in future assignments it can reduce costs in construction processes,” says Andrei-Cornel Danet.

Great potential 

VR technology is used in Denmark by several companies such as NCC. However, Casper Gullach, Head of Virtual Design & Construction at NCC, explains that one of the challenges with VR technology is that when VR really emerged, the BIM models were not at a level where they could really be used and provide value. Therefore, interest declined.

“Now, on several of our projects, the BIM models are in a much better condition than before, but on the other hand there is not the same degree as previous, focus and resources related to VR. You could say that the timing has unfortunately not been so good in relation to the introduction and testing of VR. However, it may prove that there is great potential in the technology as model quality increases and technology becomes easier to apply. Precisely this easy approach is why augmented reality, AR, is gaining ground because this technology is starting to be introduced in already used programs, so we can utilize them in combination with BIM,” says Casper Gullach.