‘Virtual soft landings’ is a term used to describe the handover of construction projects using 3D virtual reality walk-throughs. Virtual reality is often a new concept to the industry, yet there are amazing benefits, particularly in regard to helping users successfully occupy and operate a new building to its optimal performance.
My five reasons to use ‘Virtual Soft Landings’ to successfully handover construction projects.
1. Time saving
Everyone wants more time. I have had experience handing over projects as a Main Contractor, Consultant and Client. The reality is, all the people involved on the project also have other responsibilities. Client’s want to think they are the only project and the Main Contractor tries their hardest to make them feel that way; however, we know this is not the case. Historically, when the keys to the building have been handed over to the Client, the Main Contractor moves on to their next project.
A good Main Contractor will take the time to undertake familiarisation and induction sessions. These can be to the general users and the facilities management. But because you need the specialists to assist with these demonstrations, in conjunction with the coordination of diaries of sometimes hundreds of people, it can be a logistical nightmare trying to arrange and complete this training.
‘Virtual Soft Landings’ creates a digital twin of the building which allows users to explore and familiarise at their convenience prior to and during occupation. Tutorials, inductions, and familiarisation media are created and included across the space for the users to view and use when required.
2. Lasting memory
Research shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50% of information presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70% of new information, and within a week an average of 90%. It is clear that no matter how hard we try to remember, we are destined to forget things.
Virtual soft landings helps overcome this problem, by having the tutorials available when they are needed, on demand. Whether it’s remembering how to reset the boilers, using the new audio-visual equipment or recalling what room number the laboratories are, 3D virtual walk-throughs enable your users to optimise their occupation of the building.
3. It works
At View3D our slogan is ‘see for yourself’. There is no point me writing a thesis (remember, in a week you would have forgotten 90% of this anyway!), it is best for you to literally see for yourself.
We undertook a virtual soft landing project for a client's new boiler house. They asked us to include their test certificates, operation manuals, equipment literature and introduction videos. We can create and include the information relevant for you. They have seen great benefits in optimising their operation of the space. This is only a small space. Imagine a whole building with familiarisation and tutorials across all aspects of using the building.
Once we have scanned the building and created the virtual twin, this can be used in multiple ways. Some clients would rather have two virtual models; One for the general users and another for the ‘back of house’ facilities maintenance team. We can create both.
4. Environmental Accreditation
If you are targeting formal environmental accreditation such as BREEAM or SKA, virtual soft landings are for you. A virtual soft landing is an excellent way to achieve your credits (BREEAM) or measures (SKA). Virtual soft landings help you towards your goal to optimize the building performance and usability.
5. Alternative uses
Once a 3D virtual walk through has been created of your building, this can be duplicated and used for additional reasons:
Transform the way you share your new space by allowing users to virtually walk through it and explore. Everyone involved in the project from Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Clients have an invested interest in promoting their work and portfolio. Easily share it on social media and allow people from across the world to view and see your building.
Use the 3D model to help visitors and users plan their visits. Help individuals with physical disabilities including wheelchair users check the accessibility of your building.
Facilities management can use the model to plan maintenance and activities, induct new staff into the building who are unfamiliar, and highlight asbestos and fire routes. The list of potential uses goes on!
To conclude, the uses of virtual technology in construction are numerous. This brief article discusses it various roles and functions in the hand over process. View3D are advocates for ensuring the handover process is as efficient as possible. A virtual soft landing ensures that the roles of Main contractors, and the needs of building users are both met.