||Virtual reality (VR) extends the possibilities of visualising the built environment before construction, hence it has the potential of becoming a powerful design tool
||This paper describes our work in collaboration with a leading British housing developer, and highlights the need to balance the differing agendas of academic research and its practical application in the competitive modern workplace. Through consultation with our industrial partner we identified the potential of VR to contribute to design generation and product marketing. A prototype project raised important issues relating to the smooth transfer of VR techniques from research into practice in the building industry.The major technological issue arising, which we will focus on in this paper, is the inherently different structure of CAD and VR models. As CAD packages are the major way in which the building industry stores three dimensional geometric data, the present differences between CAD and VR systems lead to both implementation and data transfer problems. Construction companies are inhibited from using Virtual Reality as the overlap between CAD and VR skills is insufficient, with building professionals remaining unfamiliar with VR concepts.Transfer of data from CAD to VR systems is problematic. Three different strategies for overcoming this problem are described. These are to build a library of standard parts, to rely on imperfect model conversion through translators, and to use virtual reality as an interface to a central database.The future impact of advances in CAD technology and the emerging standards for data transfer on the integration of CAD and VR data are discussed. Whilst our prototype project demonstrates the potential of Virtual Reality in practice, further work on improving the compatibility of CAD and VR systems is necessary before widespread industrial acceptance and commercial viability are attainable.
|Year of publication:
Whyte J (1998).
Virtual reality (VR) extends the possibilities of visualising the built environment before construction, hence it has the potential of becoming a powerful design tool. Bjork B C, Jagbecj A (ed.); The life-cycle of construction IT innovations. - Technology transfer from research to practice. [ Conference Proceedings / ISBN 91-7171-281-4] Stockholm (Sweden) 3-5 June 1998 (ISSN: 2706-6568),