Virtual Reality has great potential to support and enhance the process and experience of designing, planning and building a new construction. Architectural projects have an interesting combination of challenges, between the complexity, the infinite number of possibilities, the cost involved and the abstraction level of typical architectural plans, which can make it very hard for a layperson like the typical customer to really understand what they are buying.
Virtual Reality has the ability to provide a life-like preproduction of the architectural space that can be presented, explored and understood before a single piece of earth has to be moved. Architectural applications are also prime examples that practically group-based immersive environments to enable discussion and meaningful review, which only a multi-user immersive environment like a CAVE can provide.
Researcher at the EAC have worked with local construction company Nabholz to provide a virtual version of a building that has not left the planning stages. But because it is a new direction for the customer (a Zoo), having a clear understanding of what the proposed design will actually look like and the ability to discuss concerns before but as if the project was already completed has led to a much smoother planning and construction process.