ITcon Vol. 25, pg. 233-253, http://www.itcon.org/2020/14

A design review session protocol for the implementation of immersive virtual reality in usability-focused analysis

DOI:10.36680/j.itcon.2020.014
submitted:April 2019
revised:September 2019
published:April 2020
editor(s):Jan Karlshøj & Line Leth Christiansen
authors:Silvia Mastrolembo Ventura, Research Fellow
Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics (DICATAM), University of Brescia
silvia.mastrolemboventura@unibs.it

Fadi Castronovo, Assistant Professor
Department of Engineering, California State University East Bay
fadi.castronovo@csueastbay.edu

Angelo L.C. Ciribini, Full Professor
Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics (DICATAM), University of Brescia
angelo.ciribini@unibs.it
summary:Research and applications related to Virtual Reality (VR) in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Facility Management (AEC/FM) industry are steadily increasing, being considered as one of the current trends in digital innovation. A convergence is currently on-going between Building Information Modelling (BIM), VR implementation and the soft landings principles, which highlight the need for a smooth transition from design to operation through the early involvement of clients and end-users. In particular, immersive virtual environments could allow stakeholders to experience the full-scale representation of a virtual facility prototype in an intuitive and engaging manner through immersion and sense of presence, promoting feedback collection during usability-focused design review meetings. On the other hand, despite the renewed interest in immersive VR, both technological and procedural challenges to its effective implementation still exist. The latter are within the scope of this study, which aims to address them in a systematic way as a comprehensive guideline for clients and design teams. This study describes the development of a VR-aided usability-focused design review session protocol for implementing immersive VR when clients and end-users are involved in design review meetings. It is the result of an inductive approach associated with qualitative research methods for data collection and data analysis. A case study has been selected as a main research method for facing the first step into the research problem. A further iteration of data collection and analysis was adopted to guarantee the validity of the research, including talks with experts and literature comparison. Finally, the session protocol has been developed in the form of a process map representing all the necessary phases and activities to consider for the effective adoption of immersive VR to evaluate design intents with clients and end-users. As a comprehensive summary, the session protocol fills a gap in the research on the adoption of virtual reality in the AEC industry, which was lacking a prescriptive and structured process to drive the effective use of this technology in collaborative meetings and decision-making processes.
keywords:design management, design review, usability evaluation, stakeholder engagement, virtual facility prototype, virtual reality, procedural guidelines
full text: (PDF file, 1.11 MB)
citation:Mastrolembo Ventura S, Castronovo F, Ciribini A L C (2020). A design review session protocol for the implementation of immersive virtual reality in usability-focused analysis, ITcon Vol. 25, Special issue eWork and eBusiness in Architecture, Engineering and Construction 2018 , pg. 233-253, https://doi.org/10.36680/j.itcon.2020.014