Following the opening of the company’s new Electronic Visualisation Lab, at their new Clyde House HQ, BIMIreland.ie speaks to Joseph Mady about the opening event, the Lab technology, how it will be used and what it offers clients, and how in the future this technology will influence contractor operations.
Describing the technology and what the Lab offers, Joseph says, “This is the first Electronic Visualisation Lab (EVL) in Ireland, this area consists of a bespoke constructed wall, high-end projection system, VR station and touch screen TV. This area is user-friendly having been tested over the last number of weeks to prepare for the official opening. Designer Group staff are consistently utilising this area and the technology which enables our staff, external consultants and clients, to step inside the design. Experiencing the design at a much earlier stage ensures quicker sign-off, validation and aligns all stakeholders’ expectations within this collaborative environment.”
The Electronic Visualisation Lab enables Designer Group to virtually build the building before it is built and they can present this to their clients within a greater immersed environment which enables them to experience the design. Joseph tells us, “The changes occur at an earlier stage ensure that we get client buy-in and then this, in turn, causes fewer issues down the line. Clients have become more educated on BIM and really understand how the technology can add value, not only to the construction but to the full life cycle of the building.”
People from industry and academia including main contractors, architectural firms, and design consultants attended the opening. Joseph says, “On the day we had invited members of industry and academia to experience our new office and EVL area. We demonstrated a number of VR softwares and the differences between them, how we utilise them. In addition to this, we presented a number of procedures that Designer utilise to enhance collaboration, increase engagement, reduce installation errors, and speed up sign off.”
He describes how this Lab came about: “One of our goals is to leverage our knowledge in virtual design and construction to help advance the building practices of the AEC industry. Over the years, Designer Group has partnered with outside organisations, academic institutions, to increase education and research efforts in the promotion of VDC within the international building community. Technology is evolving at an exponential pace and it is not only about engaging the latest technology but also how we align it with our people and processes. Enabling technologies are changing the way that we collaborate but it must be user-friendly and used by all members of the organisation otherwise the value is lost and bottlenecked. During the transition from our old office to our new office, it was always envisioned that this area would be our digital collaboration area.”
Joseph tells us at present a number of contractors are looking to develop their collaborative working environment, saying “this will become standardised across the industry as we engage more and more with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.”