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The Future of Visualisation in Construction Allows you to Step Into your Design


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As an architect, designer, builder, or engineer, an element of what you’re constructing will always remain in your mind’s eye. Only once the project is finished can one truly experience what  it looks like.

 Thanks to advances in technology, such a scenario is now no longer the case. Jobsite ANZ spoke to Jeremy Harkins, Director of ineni Realtime, a Sydney-based design consultancy aiming to humanise digital technology, data, virtual and physical environments. It provides solutions to the building and construction industry, the property sector. and IT-based companies.

 Within its offering, ineni provides virtual environment services, including interactive 3-dimensional visualisations for construction and design developers. 

Within its offering, ineni provides virtual environment services, including interactive 3-dimensional visualisations for construction and design developers.  

The process usually begins with a BIM (Building Information Modelling). Harkins notes that ineni is also able to work from models and architectural plans, and it can create a building life-cycle visualisation for both the project development phase and for the operations period, including facilities and asset management. 

ineni was founded five years ago, at a time of exponential growth of in the real-time visualisation industry, which shares traits with virtual reality (VR). Harkins believes that consumer-facing products, such as Oculus Rift, have increased awareness of VR in general, which has been mirrored by a growth in the VR elements of ineni’s projects in the past two years.

A Virtual Environment with Real Benefits

The power of being able to view a building before it is complete cannot be underestimated, particularly in the crucial stages of seeking funding, community support, or partners. Harkins says the main benefits of interactive visualisation include stakeholder engagement, design development, community engagement, and transparency of a project.

“What we do translates really well to both marketing and operations, and links those two together. The virtual model we create can be reused throughout the whole life-cycle of the building,” says Harkins. 

“The virtual model we create can be reused throughout the whole life-cycle of the building." 

“The real-time aspects of virtual environments are key, providing instant visual feedback to users in real time. Models can also be interactive—as opposed to a static video—whereby the viewer can walk through the building, open doors, and so forth.”

Through the use of game technology, ineni repurposes powerful software engines to architecture so that it can give a better user experience, especially for non-technical people. 

Illustrating a Vision

It’s a motivating experience for a builder, architect, or engineer to see the fruits of their labour before the construction process is complete or is yet to begin. In times gone by, builders would complete the building, and only then see if it turned out the way they had imagined. 

Now, with a virtual environment, the architect and builders’ visions can be aligned with the design development phase, eliminating unwanted surprises and delivering on expectations. Elements can be redesigned throughout the planning phase thanks to visualisation, giving a better construction result at the end of the process.

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