The relationship between architecture and construction is constantly evolving. Designers and clients are increasingly looking for a more visual and immersive experience when it comes to portraying designs. One way of effectively demonstrating this concept is by using virtual reality (VR). In January 2016, Cadsoft unveiled how its Envisioneer software would work with the Oculus Rift.

After designing an architectural layout using Cadsoft’s Envisioneer, users can fully immerse themselves into a virtual environment using the Oculus Rift. Paired with the Xbox 360 controller, users can make their way around the design to get a true sense of space within the building and a closer look at the design features.

Kevin Schmitter, lead developer on the virtual visualisation team at Cadsoft explains, “When worn, the Rift can give the user the feeling of actually being present in whatever experience they’ve chosen. This is incredibly useful for home design, as the designers and clients can experience the home and feel the scale and space in a way that simply isn’t conveyed by looking at images, all while being able to quickly make changes to the home design in response to their experiences.”

Unlike typical VR add-ons, the Envisioneer software has VR as part of the workflow, which means no exporting and very little loading time is needed.

Virtual reality could be used as a new way to attract clients with impressive 3D tours of their design. This will also give clients a different perspective, with the opportunity to make changes before future problems arise.

Who will benefit most from Virtual Reality technology in the building industry?

Virtual reality can be used as a sales tool – there’s no longer a need for show rooms and models homes to portray new building designs. Potential clients can simply plug into the Oculus Rift and make their way through the new homes.

Furthermore, this enables builders, interior designers and architects to adjust the layout and design features to exactly what they want at a cheaper cost and with less potential design problems arising in the future.

Overall, VR will give architects and builders new ways to connect and communicate with their clients.