As virtual reality tech continues to mature, the construction industry is adopting and adapting it to reduce rework, improve safety, lower labor costs, meet timelines, resolve issues faster, and increase quality.
Aarsleff Ground Engineering, a provider of ground engineering, sheet piling, and geotechnical solutions, used the technology to create their proprietary “VROOM” virtual-reality room to develop and enhance the knowledge and skills of its estimators and engineers. Currently, the room allows “staff to visit project sites, observe site access points to determine appropriate rig type and see the surrounding environment before ever having to step foot on site.”
Aarsleff has recently partnered with the Luminous Group, a UK-based studio that develops mixed-, augmented- and virtual-reality applications and content. Together, the two groups are producing a VR application that enables Aarsleff’s existing customers and potential clients to virtually understand the process on the construction site. “Users will be able to experience and interact with the ground engineering specialist’s disciplines, from the stabilization of a slope with ground anchors and soil nails and the installation of a steel sheet or king post wall, to the driving of a precast concrete pile and the filling of an abandoned coal mine with drilling and grouting.”
According to Aarsleff, “the customer’s confidence in the product should increase, as should they feel part of its production process, new employees can benefit from an engaging induction and existing staff members can be inspired by exemplary experiences within the workplace.”
The company also wants to roll out the virtual application at careers fairs and university shows, to increase interest in construction. “Students and aspiring engineers will be able to walk around on an Aarsleff site,” Aarsleff’s Managing Director Kevin Hague said, “helping them to understand several ground engineering disciplines and learn about the machinery operated on site – all whilst in a safe and engaging way.”
Right now, Aarsleff is focusing on using the technology to bring a new dimension into its estimating process, but will also look into using it for company marketing, health and safety inductions, site training and other applications in the near future.