Comparing the Capabilities of Virtual Reality Applications for Architecture and Construction
Since Virtual Reality (VR) entered the consumer market in mid-2016, its uses have been gaining momentum in both architecture and construction firms as well as software developers. While still in the early stage of being widely adopted in the industry, several VR applications for architecture and construction have been developed for commercial uses with Building Information Modeling (BIM). This paper aims to evaluate the capabilities of computer-based VR applications for architecture and construction uses that were available as of mid-2017. Through a literature review and internet search, eight VR applications were identified and grouped into two categories: a standalone software program or an add-on for another software program. Six VR applications were tested with both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive using the same BIM model, and their VR capabilities were evaluated and compared, including hardware support, navigation, utility, simulation, collaboration, and supported file formats, as well as license cost. Recommendations were given on how architecture and construction firms at different levels of interest in VR can apply these applications more effectively. This paper provides firsthand information to architecture and construction firms who are interested in applying the VR technology.
The Multiple Activity Chart: A Multifaceted Tool for Project Planning and Control
Project scheduling and control are among the main skills a professional construction manager, or one aspiring to be, must possess in their skill set. Different types of schedules are developed for the project in its different development phases, including master schedules, milestone schedules, phase schedules, reverse phase schedules, and very short-term schedules. Among the techniques that have been used successfully in other parts of the world, and seldom in the United States, is the Multiple Activity Chart (MAC), which can be an effective tool for scheduling daily activities, particularly the interaction between crews of labor and other resources, including materials and equipment. This paper addresses an educational approach utilizing the MAC as a tool for delivering project management education and training not only linked to scheduling and control, but including other skills such as estimating, equipment management, productivity improvement, and most importantly creative thinking and problem solving.