The demand for construction has never been greater. Even though it’s a very diverse industry, it’s one of the leading industry sectors in the UK. But that doesn’t mean it’s at its best.
Construction workers face problems on a daily basis, including reduction in skilled workers, criticism for the amount of waste, levels of performance and productivity. Not to mention the fast growth of technology that companies need to keep on top of. Digitalisation of the construction industry is happening now, but can virtual reality make a positive difference?
Virtual reality was originally introduced for the ultimate gaming experience. Users put on a headset and are fully immersed inside a simulated environment, being able to interact in a 3D world in the game of their choice. These flew off the shelves and are still very popular today.
It has become apparent that virtual reality is not only good in the entertainment sector, but can also benefit industries such as medicine, architecture and construction. The use of virtual reality in construction has many benefits and is predicted to thrive in the industry, along with other innovative technology, proving fundamental to a company’s operational needs. Utilising modern technology can help expand your business, as well as improving training, efficiency and productivity.
Enhanced training programmes
When starting any new job or college course, you are forced to sit through a number of on-board demonstrations and dull powerpoint presentations. With the use of virtual reality, training programmes in the construction industry can be enhanced and made more engaging and effective.
By putting students in a realistic environment using virtual reality, they can really see how things work, identify real-life safety risks and learn practical skills before entering the world of construction.
Increased demand for skills
With the current shortage for skills in the construction industry amongst millennial’s, using new technology like virtual reality and construction software can really spark an interest in working in the industry. Today’s young people have grown up with technology and are painted a poor image of the construction industry.
In fact, the construction industry has a diverse range of jobs and skills such as architecture, project management, carpentry and many more trades that can be extremely profitable. These are all the specialist skills that are currently in demand. With the pairing of new, innovative technology, such as virtual reality, youngsters may take another look into a career in the construction industry, bridging the gap in the current skills shortage.
By using up-to-date technology like virtual reality, people from all over the world will be able to easily and effectively collaborate on projects. No more faxing or bad photocopies of designs. Everything can be accessed instantaneously using virtual reality. It allows everyone who needs to work on the designs to do so from anywhere in the world, view all other aspects of the project in a realistic environment and in turn lead a high performing team.
Virtual reality can not only be used to view the end project but can also be utilised to create virtual conference rooms and meetings for you and your team. This can help save time and money on labour costs, travel expenses and different resourcing costs to design the project. Virtual reality can not only help collaboration within your team but also with external Stakeholders and parties interested in the project.
Using up-to-date technology in collaboration with other, innovative solutions such as construction accounting software and mobile cloud, can have the ability to really enhance your working environment.
Design faster and more precise
When designing the end product, using virtual reality for your project design can increase efficiency and accuracy. By using 3D designs and soon to be 3D printing, you and other workers will be able to easily create your designs quickly using up-to-date technology, and also identify any inefficiencies. This is because everything will be built to scale, rather than limited by the size of your notebook or computer screen.
In some projects, errors arise after building has commenced. In a virtual reality design, you are more visible to things that don’t work. In turn, this will save you a lot of time and money, reducing the number of projects required to come to a halt and spending more money trying to resolve the problems that are not usually foreseen. By adopting modern technology, you can really increase productivity in the workplace.
Better user experience
Being able to offer your customers a virtual tour of their finished project will put your company at the forefront of the construction industry. Virtual reality systems create a better experience for the customer, allowing them to view the finished design and imagine them in their new home or building before it’s been built. This can ensure they are happy will the design, how it looks and how it sizes in real life. It also allows you and the customer to make any changes that may improve the finished project and foresee any problems before spending lots of money.
It provides customers with realistic expectations, especially with more complex and demanding projects. In creating the design, you can ensure everything fits how it is meant to, make any suggestions by showing the customer how it will look and provide a more accurate quote.
It’s no secret that waste is one of the biggest challenges and criticisms the construction industry faces. Virtual reality systems can help the future of the construction industry and reduce the amount of waste produced. By creating more accurate designs and having early visibility of problems, using virtual reality can significantly reduce the waste that projects produce because they haven’t had to throw away materials that were the wrong size or restart projects due to a flaw in the designs. By utilising modern design technology, it also reduces the amount of paper waste on a project site.
Digitalisation of the construction industry is happening now, and fast. New opportunities to address problems such as collaboration, shortage of skills and productivity is at our fingertips with the rapid growth of technology.
Adopting virtual reality technology and other essential software for the construction industry will help put companies at the forefront of the industry and increase reliable outcomes for customers.
Are you investing time and money in the best technology for your business?