ITcon Vol. 24, pg. 553-568,

From BIM to VR: defining a level of detail to guide virtual reality narratives

published:December 2019
editor(s):Dermott McMeel & Vicente A. Gonzalez
authors:Katie Graham
Instructor, Media Production and Design, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
Associate Faculty, Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Carleton University

Lara Chow, Associate Director
Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Carleton University,

Stephen Fai, Director and Associate Professor
Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Carleton University,
summary:In 2012, the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS) started a research relationship with Public Services and Procurement Canada to develop a building information model (BIM) of the Parliament Hill National Historic Site of Canada. The model was created to facilitate a multi-year rehabilitation of the site and was developed using both historical records and highly detailed geo-referenced point cloud data. In the process of planning the model, CIMS developed a unique Level of Detail (LOD) specification for heritage buildings that, in addition to standard specifications, considered cultural heritage value as part of the LOD. As the rehabilitation project unfolded, the possibility of using the BIM for public engagement through the creation of virtual reality (VR) experiences was proposed. In this paper, we discuss the transferal of CIMS’ LOD from a BIM to a VR environment, arguing that the BIM LOD’s focus on cultural heritage value is consistent with virtual reality LOD in that it can be used to guide participants through a virtual reality narrative by inferring that areas of higher fidelity have greater value.
keywords:Virtual Reality, Building Information Modelling, Level of Detail, Narrative, Storytelling
full text: (PDF file, 1.163 MB)
citation:Graham K, Chow L, Fai S (2019). From BIM to VR: defining a level of detail to guide virtual reality narratives, ITcon Vol. 24, Special issue Virtual, Augmented and Mixed: New Realities in Construction, pg. 553-568,