Augmented Reality in Construction- Top 7 Applications Full Details

Augmented reality is a trending technological advancement that has the potential to change the user experience and visual presentations. In this article, we will find out the details of augmented reality in construction sector along with its importance and applications in civil engineering.

Let’s start from the definition of AR.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality use of a synthetic environment for the integration of 4D building information models to live picture. It is more feasible and more effective than the traditional methods.

The real and virtual environment are represented as the two poles of the continuum. And, augmented reality is the middle segment of continuum.

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In the next section, I will show you why augmented reality is an important technology to be applied in civil engineering.

Why augmented reality is important in civil engineering?

Man leveraging AR for a purpose
Man leveraging AR for a purpose
  • Augmented reality can significantly contribute to the understanding of project documentation in various stages of construction projects.
  • And is thus better integrating the construction phase with earlier stages of development.
  • Augmented reality can facilitate the understanding of project documentation especially in the visualisation of 3D models in the field, but remains technologically constrained.
  • The claim of significance is based on the comparison of well-established conventional presentation techniques with augmented reality, both theoretically as well empirically with the survey among
    potential users.
  • Generally speaking, the function of the prototype visualisation of the
    preliminary design is more useful as the function of construction schedule supervision.
  • The experts from the field of architecture, engineering and construction have assessed that the current functioning of the prototype presented in the paper can be most useful with the process of communication between the experts and investors.
  • It is also possible to conclude that the presented prototype allows us to see and estimate whether the work on-site is conducted in accordance with the expectations defined in the schedule.

Now that you know the relevance of augmented reality in civil engineering, let’s dig deeper into the applications of AR in the field.

Applications of augmented reality in construction

Seeing the world through augmented reality technology
Seeing the world through augmented reality technology

The main applications are,

  1. Effective Architectural Drawings Translation
  • It is definitely not an easy job to transform a drawing into a fully-fledged framework. It requires several steps, including the identification of different structural components, followed by a flawless building.
  • As a project is typically envisaged in phases, during construction, mistakes can slowly creep in.
  • However such errors can be easily avoided as AR offers a virtual picture of the building structure.

2. Superior design and development

  • AR may be used to refine designs to allow optimal use of the available space, thereby eliminating any space wastage.
  • AR can be used to create spatial models, which help designers recognise and rectify flaws when designing.
  • In addition, this technology also helps to create new designs, as the civil engineer would be able to better envision the structure and make several beneficial modifications.

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3. Reduction of error when constructing

  • The minimization of errors that occur when executing the completed design during construction is one of the most significant advantages provided to civil engineers by this technology.
  • AR provides the entire construction sector with a virtual template, making it easier to manage different processes and thus helping engineers achieve better performance.

4. Better promotion of projects in the building industry

  • A challenge faced by most civil engineers and architects is explaining building projects to individuals without a professional context.
  • Also, excellent architectural drawings, usually on a smaller scale or 2D designs, can not serve the purpose if the target audience does not understand them.
  • However, customers can be provided with a virtual tour using various colours and offering different views of the project by making use of the AR concept.

5. Valuable man hours saving

  • Using AR can decrease the errors that appear to occur when an approved civil engineering plan is performed.
  • Numerous factors, such as misreading sketches, measurement errors, etc., can cause errors.
  • Using AR, which allows continuous monitoring and analysis of construction work to ensure that it fully adheres to the approved plan, such errors can be easily avoided.
  • This removes future mistakes and reduces the time and effort needed to correct those mistakes, thereby saving considerable time and precious man-hours.

6. Quick review of designs for projects

  • Building proposals under consideration can be easily reviewed on a real scale using AR by project managers and other authorities.
  • This allows them to easily recognise minor mistakes or issues that have managed to slip from the eye of the civil engineer and sneak into the construction process.

7. Cost reduction

  • Because rectification of errors avoids future construction errors, the costs associated with the manpower and materials used are also reduced, thus reducing the total cost of a construction project.

Also read: Types of Cracks in Building- 14 Causes& Prevention Full Details

Let’s sum up with the conclusions.

Conclusions

  • Even though augmented reality has a substantial potential it is unlikely that in the nearby future it could replace the conventional presentation techniques
  • The idea of using Augmented reality needs to be developed in parallel with conventional methods
  • Well-formed digital models, such as BIM, are prerequisite for AR 
  • The main barriers were found to be,

(a) GPS positioning in general indoors positioning in particular
(b) visual occlusion
(c) scalability in relation to the size of BIM models and end-users

  • Some of the barriers could be removed by developing side distributed near real-time video and image processing, advanced computer vision algorithms to help with unwanted visual occlusions, etc.
  • The idea of using Augmented reality needs to be developed in parallel with conventional methods, so that when the basic technology for augmented reality matures engineers and architects will be able to take advantage of it.

So, have you found the blog insightful about augmented reality in civil engineering?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Happy learning!

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