If we just step back a moment and consider the entire picture when it comes to creating the built environment that surrounds us, we quickly realize what a complex and technically complicated endeavor it truly is. It requires a bevy of specialized experts working together to achieve a successfully built project. That’s why communication and transparency are of the utmost importance in our field. Traditionally this is achieved through site visits, around a drawing table, and sitting face-to-face. To be clear, nothing replaces the efficiency and effectiveness of in-person communication. But here at RVi, we are leveraging technology to enhance project team communication and increase transparency in the design process. Through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or more commonly known as drones), 3D visualization, and Virtual Reality (VR), we are able to better capture, analyze, and communicate the design, which in turn creates tremendous value for our clients.

Virtual Site Visits

Every owner knows the more people in a meeting, the more expensive the meeting. This is particularly true with site visits, and while nothing can replace the feeling of standing on a site and seeing it with your own eyes, the more people who can understand the site conditions and context, the better the team can design to that site.

We are using drones, 360° cameras, geolocated data, and web-hosted interfaces to help provide Virtual Site Visits to clients, their stakeholders, and design teams.

The bottom line: we are already going to be visiting the site, why not capture as much information as possible?

Once acquired, this data can then be shared with the team (even from the field), getting as many experts looking at the site as possible, catching problems and saving valuable time in the process. With all stakeholders involved, all parties can see a clear and consistent picture of site conditions, viewing through a desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, or VR headset.

Value in Design Visualization

For owners, trying to interpret consultant drawings can be an inexact science. Owners are often juggling sketches, renderings, 3D models, physical models, construction documents, grading plans, infrastructure plans, and more, trying to decipher exactly what they will be getting in the end. We have been able to provide tremendous value to our clients through providing a unified 3D model that represents all disciplines on site, giving owners a transparent look at their investment.

From due diligence and programming, conceptual design, to documentation and construction, every step of the design process must be carefully crafted and communicated. A bust between consultants can cost a project team thousands of dollars and valuable time in the process. This is why we work to create a collaborative approach to design, using 3D models as our common language, our lingua franca, to work together to solve design challenges. Through coordinating in 3D and sharing models between consultant teams, we can resolve design decisions that may be missed in 2D, work out grading challenges, create QA/QC opportunities, explore site lines and view corridors, and look at the site from all angles (not just in pretty renderings). This process ensures that all stakeholders see the same visual at the same time, leaving fewer things open for interpretation.

Virtual Reality at the Human Scale

Technology in the video game industry has brought virtual reality into our lives and into our homes. RVi is applying this same technology to help owners and project team members experience the design firsthand, before a single square foot is built. How we communicate our designs to the world is evolving and becoming more transparent through virtual reality, augmented reality, and beyond. These tools, combined with the 3D design visualization process we employ, make it extremely efficient to create the content for not only virtual reality, but digital project walkthroughs, video fly throughs, as well as traditional static renderings.

By investing in these and other digital innovation resources, RVi is raising the bar for development projects and saving our clients time and money in the process. To learn more about our suite of visualization services, contact me at rthomman@rviplanning.com or (512) 480-0032.