Welcome to house shopping in the age of coronavirus.
It’s Saturday evening in London, and I’m house shopping in Dublin, thanks to a virtual-reality headset.
Temporarily forgetting she is sitting beside me, I shout to my wife: “I’m in the children’s bedroom.”….
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Virtual Reality, the new tool in house design.
Virtual Reality: Customer Feedback
From listening to our previous customers and clients Virtual Teic has discovered that the traditional process of building a house is lacking an extra step, the opportunity to better understand the design of the house before building begins. Now this has become possible with the advent of Virtual Reality Technology which adds an extra level to the building design process.
So, you want or need to build a house?
Here are the typical steps to building a house:
This first phase is to look at the finances and see what kind of house you can afford.
Following this you will come up with a design to take to the architect.
The architect studies the design and tells you what you can do and what you can’t, draws up 2D plans of your design which, through continued consultation, you agree on.
Next step is to submit the finalised plans to the planning authority for permission to build.
Application to build is approved, hopefully without too much hassle, and construction begins.
These steps have been set down for years and work pretty well, or do they!?
Let’s go back to step 3.
When the plans for your house design are drawn up by the architect you can finally see and understand how your home is going to look. But, as we have discovered, not everyone can understand or visualise their house from the plans. Over 80% of people have no “spatial awareness” of the size of rooms or the general area inside the house from looking at the plans, they have trouble visualising room design or how windows and doors will look in relation to each other and generally the overall layout of the building.
But what if you could take the plans, have them constructed into a 3-dimensional model and be able to walk around the outside of the house and through the interior in full scale before you start building? The chance to be in your house and see where everything is, the actual size of rooms and their relation to each other, how big or small the windows are using both width and height instantly! The layout of stairs, the kitchen design, bathrooms, en suites and storage areas. This is available now using Virtual Reality and 3D computer models. We have found VR as a benefit to people building their home and this service should be in place as another step in the building process. Or at least to have an interactive model of your house, floor plans available online at your fingertips.
At Virtual Teic we have at least 4 clients a month using our Virtual Reality 3D house model service and the reaction has been immensely positive. “It’s a no brainer” and “that was money well spent” are just a couple of the comments we’ve had. It gives the client confidence in their house design, gives them the opportunity to see problems and make important changes to the design. We love the reaction they get after putting the Virtual Reality goggles on for the first time, “Wow”, and “oh my God” are just some of the comments.
Nitty Gritty! Clients get down to the true worth of using virtual reality
Having studied the online models we’ve previously sent them of their house before coming in to VR, they know straight away what they need to look at, what doesn’t fit, elements in the house they don’t like, or want to make sure of, of course clients also want to see elements they do like and to confirm they’re correct. For instance, they can walk around the kitchen with all the units in place and make sure elements are where they want them, is the oven and cooker correct in relation to each other.
A good example which we have come up against a number of times is the kitchen island. Using virtual reality clients can move round it and actually see if the room between the island and the main kitchen worktop is wide enough. If not, we can move the island using the 3D model to another position. If this was to happen at the building stage, and there were connections through the island to a cooker or sink, the time cost and upheaval to move even a foot, would be immense compared to placing it in VR.
Another common issue is stairs. The placement, angle, and how the stairway relates to other elements in the house can be a real problem. One client project we were involved in had this problem. The stairs were 900mm fold back right with a centre landing and the stair was positioned inside the front entrance on the architects plans. In the 3D model it revealed that the second level of steps came back across and hindered the opening of the front door. On the plans it looked fine but in reality it was an impossible position. Building the model first, walking through using VR, and seeing the problem, we could resolve it in 10 mins but if it had happened on the actual build there have been a real problem, especially if the stairs were custom built off site.
This is the value of 3D models and Virtual reality which has been embraced by the construction industry for large projects because of its importance in efficiency and cost effectiveness. It is slowly being accepted by house builders but with an air of caution, partly because it hasn’t been used in the building process previously and mainly because it is believed to be too costly. Not any more!
Call or email us at Virtual Teic for more information.
Virtual Teic’s services are aimed at architects, developers, builders, estate agents, people building their own home and anyone else involved in the building and construction industry. In this era of BIM compliance, we believe that we are offering a service that will be an added benefit to coincide with the building services that are already out there.
Our system comprises building the model from plans, of any kind of building project, by creating a 3D computer model that can be used to check and test the design for suitability as well as other solutions.
Virtual Reality. The next big evolutionary change in technology after the internet, mobile phones and gaming is now here and more accessible all the time. In the construction Industry BIM has become an important system that will ultimately be used in all construction.
Our aim is to give you and your customers a representation of their potential building or house design so that they can see it before construction begins, this way they can view the design better instead of, after it’s built, saying “oh I thought this room would have been bigger” or “That window is too small for that view”!