How Virtual and Augment Reality Can Help Improve the Design Process and Your Firm’s Bottom Line

By Lori Johnston


The state’s $122 million Judicial Complex isn’t set to open until the fall of 2019, but the judges who will work in the complex have already toured — and even suggested design improvements for — the building. Using virtual reality before construction began, they walked through the hallways and courtrooms at the complex, located on the former site of the Georgia Archives building in downtown Atlanta.

A similar virtual walk-through was conducted at University of North Georgia’s Convocation Center, a 103,000-square-foot gym and facility that opened this year in Dahlonega to host commencement, basketball games, military training exercises, concerts and other events. “The beautiful thing about virtual reality is that you can put yourself any place in that room,” says Marvin Woodward, Deputy State Property Officer and Deputy Director of the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission (GSFIC) Construction Division. “What you might capture in the static schematic might not be the angle where you have an issue. It’s a chance to walk through the space and experience it the best way you can besides the real thing.”

And for firms in the architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industries, the beautiful thing about virtual reality and augmented reality is that these tools can save money and time, especially when dealing with complex design and construction projects in the public
and private sectors. “This is our chance to become more efficient, to eliminate rework, to eliminate mistakes and try to do it right the first time,” Woodward says, of the industry.

From state buildings to campuses to hospital complexes, design professionals are finding these tools to be more than a novelty. They are changing the design process, pricing and hiring.


Continue reading this article in the March/April 2018 issue of Engineering Georgia magazine.