Every building project has its surprises. From a small DIY project to building a hospital, things don’t always go according to plan. This efficiency-sucking truth could change for construction firms through virtual reality. Virtual reality is more than just a cool way to play video games. It has applications across many industries and disciplines from helping veterans cope with PTSD to touring a college campus from across the country. Its application to construction could have a significant impact on building and planning projects.

Planning Virtual reality allows for the planning process of a building project to be much more detailed and precise. Before the building process starts, the plans can be fine-tuned to cut out inefficiency. Once a building project has started, it is costly to make changes; virtual reality can eliminate this need. Using virtual reality, you could look behind a wall and see what could interferences or challenges you might come up against when planning the plumbing, electric, duct work, and more. Resolving these issues before a project is started means less time is wasted and projects will be completed on schedule. It can also take the speed of project approval to the next level. Quicker approvals have been seen by many firms who use virtual reality because there is less confusion for someone who is not accustomed to looked at blueprints or BIM models. If these plans are shared with the construction crew, everyone will be on the same page and have a good understanding of what will be constructed. Design More than the layout and building materials can be planned by using virtual reality. This tool allows for the design to come to full fruition before any walls go up. For instance, a dentist could see what his patient rooms look like, where he will set up his station, and where the window will be in relation to his computer. Being able to really see the rooms takes a lot of the guessing out for the client. Virtual reality gives a whole new layer to jobsite walks. It’s no longer just about envisioning what will come together, it can be seen before it happens. You can also insert the exact specs from a manufacturer, such as the exact faucet you will use, increasing again the level of detail. Higher satisfaction in clients can be obtained through virtual reality because of the level of involvement they are able to have. Room for creativity Like all new technology being applied to the construction industry, virtual reality in construction leaves room for creativity to take hold. New ways to apply this tool have potential to revolutionize the industry. When combined with other trending technologies, such as drones or GPS tracking, virtual reality is made even more powerful.