ITcon Vol. 8, pg. 43-50, http://www.itcon.org/2003/4

Industrial applications of virtual reality in architecture and construction

submitted:July 2002
revised:May 2003
published:May 2003
editor(s):Kahkonen K
authors:Jennifer Whyte, Research Fellow,
Innovation Studies Centre, Business School, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus,
email: Whyte@imperial.ac.uk
summary:This paper reports on a study of industrial applications of virtual reality in USA and UK construction. A multiple case study approach is taken and eleven organizations that are lead users of the technology are studied. Their strategies and business drivers for the use of virtual reality are identified and emerging patterns of use are explored.The study finds early adopters focusing on the use of virtual reality for either systems integration, supporting the customer interface or developing new markets. The business drivers for implementing and using virtual reality include demonstrating technical competence, design review, simulating dynamic operation, co-ordinating detail design, scheduling construction and marketing. Those organizations using virtual reality in the architectural design and construction of the physical built environment sharply differentiate models created for professional use within the project team and supply chain and those for wider interactions. The size of their projects and the extent to which design is re-used may affect strategies for implementing and using virtual reality and the business benefits obtained.In previous work, virtual reality is seen as a universal interface to all construction applications. However the findings of this study suggest a more complex story, with a range of strategies and business drivers potentially leading to competing design families.
keywords:virtual reality, industrial applications, strategies, business drivers, technological families
full text: (PDF file, 0.298 MB)
citation:Whyte J (2003). Industrial applications of virtual reality in architecture and construction, ITcon Vol. 8, Special issue Virtual Reality Technology in Architecture and Construction, pg. 43-50, http://www.itcon.org/2003/4