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How Is Augmented Reality Used In The Construction Industry To Save Money And Speed Up Projects

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The AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry has been around longer than most others on the planet. This is one of the reasons why new technologies get acceptance more slowly in some areas than in others. Budgets for research and development (R & R&D) in the construction industry are typically much lower than in other industries (it rarely exceeds 1 percent of revenues). That could be another reason why it is falling behind other sectors in adopting new technologies.

Developers can easily incorporate the benefits of augmented reality in construction into mobile applications thanks to the recently released mobile augmented reality development kits (Android’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit). As a result, the construction industry may be better able to make decisions in favour of AR solutions. However, there are still several roadblocks that could hinder AR implementation. So, let’s take a look at some of the industry’s perennial challenges, how augmented reality can help solve some of them, and what use cases can demonstrate AR’s effectiveness.

Augmented reality in AEC

The use of augmented reality in the construction industry

The construction industry is gradually but steadily making inroads into the mobile application market. The use of augmented reality wearables and mobile devices for workflow creation has skyrocketed in the last six years. Construction companies were able to double their use of augmented, thanks to this, and open AR development kits. In the next section, you will find examples of Augmented Reality solutions that are yet to receive acceptance by the experts of the construction industry.

AR in construction industry

BIM models superimposed

BIM models are more advanced versions of their three-dimensional forerunners. They contain a lot of extra information about piping, wiring, materials, and so on, in addition to the hull. A contractor or manager can walk inside a BIM model overlaid using a headset (like HoloLens) in the real world. They can compare what was planned with what was built and evaluate the work on the spot this way.

You can save money on rework and break the project into effectively scheduled stages of incorporating augmented reality into construction processes and BIM modelling. If you have any questions, you can take pictures, record voice messages, or record videos and send them to the design team.

Manuals and training for AEs

The Building, like many other industries, is heavily reliant on machinery. The majority of it necessitates extensive training. If something goes wrong and no one has the knowledge and skills to fix gaps in the team, they will have to call in an expert and wait for them to arrive. On the other hand, a team member can receive direct instruction and act on it using an augmented reality headset. As a result, AR training is less expensive, the instructions are more precise, reducing downtime.

AR applications for collaboration

Building necessitates the collaboration of many teams. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, designers, and managers are among those who work in the construction industry. And that list isn’t even close to being complete. In this environment, the quality of collaboration among these people has a significant impact on the amount of time and money spent on the project.  Not all workers must be on-site at all times, and when something needs to be clarified, it takes time to prepare all of the blueprints and models and consult all parties involved.

Another benefit of applying AR to construction projects is that workers sitting at distant locations can collaborate and deliver work. Field workers can share their video feed from the AR glasses with a remote expert in real-time and receive advice or instructions. Several people can work on the same model simultaneously, with all of the necessary data in front of them. As a result, augmented reality decision-making takes less time, downtime is reduced, and you don’t have to pay for the required team members’ travel expenses.

Construction of a tunnel

There is always the risk of hitting a gas line or damaging underground utilities when new cables or pipes are laid. A single misplacement of the excavator bucket can result in a massive explosion.

The main benefits of augmented reality in construction

Hand drawing Cost Benefits matrix graph concept with white marker on transparent wipe board on dark blue background.

The high cost of augmented reality has been one of the main barriers to its widespread use in construction. As a result, only large AEC firms can afford significant upfront investments in emerging technologies such as augmented reality.

Nonetheless, with the introduction of open-source mobile toolkits for AR, the cost of developing augmented reality apps is decreasing. The window of cheaper AR solutions has grown, and small-to-medium businesses have begun to reap the benefits of AR construction.

  • Rework, and downtime-related losses are reduced

If you want to maintain good relationships with your customers, finishing the project on time and within budget constraints is critical. BIM models have been shown to aid in both areas, but their application becomes much more straightforward with AR. Workers can spot any overlaps (piping, wiring, etc.) faster during construction and avoid rework. Furthermore, once you see the pattern of the utilities, you can prefabricate parts ahead of time. Besides, there will be zero fear of misalignment or miscalculations.

  • Improvement of project management and collaboration 

A client can see the results using augmented reality before the work begins. In this way, it is possible to avoid all misunderstandings. This is also true for inspections, where efficiency is more with the usage of AR overlay. You can spot more problems and solve them faster with augmented reality, eliminating the need for paper blueprints and communication delays.

An additional thanks to the AR collaboration for aiding various change implementations quicker. Moreover, all teams can work more precisely in this case. Since augmented reality allows accurate space, recreation, and projection, manual measurements are no longer necessary to mess with the drawing board. If you find augmented reality interesting, you must find someone to advise you. He will guide you regarding AR app development. Therefore, the best option is to contact a reputable and experienced AR app development company.

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