Aranza Ayala Amador Talent Research Program Intern
“I would like that in the future clients of architectural firms can experience an accompaniment during the design process different from the one that currently exists. The implementation of virtual reality in architectural projects would bring amazing benefits into the market.”
Virtual Reality (VR)
Surely you have heard about virtual reality, maybe in the context of video games. This technology uses interactive glasses that bring the user inside a 3d world while allowing a simulation of movement through space as in real life.
Virtual Reality or VR is an environment of real-looking objects and scenes, created by employing technology that generates the feeling of being inside these scenes.
In addition to the world of video games, virtual reality has benefited other applications, some examples of virtual reality applied to other contexts are the following:
In gastronomy, can be used while tasting a dish, the VR can virtually transport the user to the region of origin of the food creating an immersive experience in that environment. In the context of medicine, “Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)” has managed to reduce the effects of Parkinson’s in several patients by applying treatment with virtual reality. While in journalism, news streaming can transport the user to the scene of the events, with 360° videos broadcast on live mode.
Virtual Reality on Architecture
This technology applied to architecture is focused on clients so that they can visualize the project and know how the project will look finished before it is built. The client will be able to go through and make suggestions for the materials and decorations of the project while becoming familiar with it.
Among the benefits that this technology brings, it is important to mention that both the client and the architect will be able to better understand the building, for example, through VR the architect will give options to the client on how to incorporate natural light into the project, recommending where it is convenient to place balconies and windows, achieving greater energy savings.
During the construction phase, the new workers who join the project can be provided with a training camp on the project, showing them the key characteristics of the construction through VR.
It is indisputable that digital technologies have transformed the work routine of different sectors, for architecture, virtual reality has improved noticeably the way of visualizing the project, increasing the productivity of design teams, improving the quality of 3D models, and allowing greater accuracy in the final project result.
Virtual Reality for Real Estate Development
How can virtual reality benefit the real estate industry? Photorealistic visualizations have been very useful tools to represent three-dimensional space describing architectural projects, just as hand-drawn perspectives were once.
Currently, during the processes of buying and selling real estate products, the common strategy used by developers and sellers is the physical construction of “Showrooms” where the spaces for sale are recreated on a real scale so that potential buyers live the experience of touring and experiencing the space that is for sale. This method aims to seduce and convince the client and has historically meant an infallible method for the real estate industry.
Despite the success that physical “Showrooms” have had, there are some considerations that could limit their efficiency. For example, when only one version of space is built, there is no possibility of displaying more options for configurations, finishes and furniture for the interior.
With the implementation of virtual reality, we could migrate to a “Digital Showroom”, providing the opportunity for the potential buyer to visit virtually different prototypes in case they want to experience more options and possibilities of combinations according to the familiar or commercial needs.
The implementation of VR for the real estate industry will bring innovative marketing strategies with some benefits.
Building real-size prototypes for showrooms, where finishes are used under the quality standards that will be used in the final product means that the developer and therefore the buyer assume a considerable additional cost.
On the other side with virtual reality, it is possible to save money and time invested for the physical creation of these spaces, because their realization and demonstration are digital.
The implementation of VR as a marketing strategy opens the opportunity to expand sales internationally, since the dissemination of the product is done virtually, customers will be able to enjoy this experience from the area where they are located.
The product customization suggested by the potential buyer can be reflected immediately for the clients who will be able to visualize in real-time, the suggestions that they make to the space to satisfy their needs.
Architecture is a field in which professionals require a highly developed spatial imagination, but clients often do not have this type of imagination or spatial experience, they will not be able to read a plan, but with virtual reality, it’s possible to walk on an architectural project that is not yet finished, opening the possibility for the client to make suggestions and modifications to their space without having to wait for the product to be finished.