One of the heftiest line items in construction is the time it takes to correct a design or installation issue once it’s been caught in the field. Learn how one firm is using AR to change that.
Rework costs the construction industry over $65 billion annually in the United States alone – according to a recent FMI report, rework accounts for 5% of overall construction spending. The report estimates that nearly half of that rework is caused by poor project data and miscommunication.
As more contractors adopt integrated project delivery and virtual design and construction (VDC) methods, the industry is beginning to see the benefits of enhanced collaboration and greater involvement from project stakeholders in the field. Innovations in AR technology are also helping to break down long-established barriers in construction workflows more quickly.
Companies are realizing AR’s potential for greater efficiency and cost savings. Between 2019 and 2020, global spending on AR/VR technology grew by 78.5%, and is expected to reach over $50B in value before 2024. A recent survey suggests that AR and VR technology will see its most significant growth in the AEC industry over the next 5–10 years.
We recently visited with DPR Construction, an ENR Top 10 contractor, to understand how VisualLive’s mixed reality HoloLens and mobile technology enable them to enhance VDC workflows across their projects.
Founded in 1990, DPR Construction is a self-performing general contractor with a history of tackling complex and technical construction projects across healthcare, higher education, hospitality, and manufacturing using innovative design and technology solutions.
“I believe the biggest benefit to using VisualLive is in the field,” explains Josh Engelbrecht, a regional field engineer at DPR Construction. “The models that the VDC team creates in the office are generated and collaborated with the subcontractors and design teams and can now be expanded to the field.”
Using VisualLive in conjunction with the HoloLens allows workers to experience BIM models virtually on the job site, where they can quickly identify issues and instantly communicate them to the design team to minimize costly rework down the line.
“A lot of solutions require long, drawn-out workflows to get a model to the field in a format they can apply to what they’re doing out there,” says Taylor Granat, another DPR field engineer. “It worked for the time being but it’s nothing like getting the model into the hands on the job site without needing to rely on a somewhat defunct workflow.”
Traditionally, that defunct workflow involves finding an issue in the field, formally requesting clarification from the design team, waiting on a response or further questions, and stopping work until an answer is received. That back and forth can take hours or days, depending on the size of the issue or communication speed between office and field teams. If the request results in a change order, meaning a revision to the scope of work or the contract itself, it can often take more than a week for work to continue.
“On one of our job walks we were able to take VisualLive’s AR application out to the field. It was really exciting to see how enthusiastic the foreman was,” continues Granat. “The biggest key to the future of BIM technology and VDC in general is being able to get this technology into the hands of the people who are actually installing and doing the work.”