Virtual Reality: The Immersive Experience

Virtual reality, a computer technology, is changing the way individuals view the world.

By Affiliated Engineers February 13, 2020

Virtual reality, a computer technology, is changing the way individuals view the world. By simulating a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment, a user is free to interact with objects within the artificial world’s space. This innovative approach is practical, affordable, and available now.

What can I use it for?

This immersive experience allows designers, collaborators and clients to experience true spatial conditions, review conflicts, observe maintenance access, explore complex details, and even perform virtual site visits.

Primary use cases include:

  • Coordination reviews with internal or external teams.
  • Client engagement for design validation.
  • Reviewing design options.
  • Constructability or Installation Review.
  • Virtual training and mentoring.

Recommended hardware and software:


Google Cardboard is a simple way to view VR from your smartphone. It’s easy to use and affordable to purchase – and one of the best ways to build an immersive experience.

The Oculus Quest VR headset is a standalone device with a wireless connection – no need for a VR workstation. This headset can be used sitting or standing, and it instantly translates your movements to provide a life-like experience.

The HTC Vive is a virtual reality headset with a tethered connection back to a computer. The headset uses “room scale” tracking technology, allowing the user to move in 3D space and use motion-tracked handheld controllers to interact with the environment. The tethered connection allows you to use the power of the PC to render your VR environment allowing for a more robust user experience.

VR Rendering software:

Insite VR: Cloud-hosted multi-user VR meetings with markup and reporting capabilities

  • Locally installed desktop client that connects to the service
  • VR device agnostic, and can also allow non-VR users to participate using the desktop client
  • Upload models direct from Revit, Navisworks or SketchUp
  • Additional service that supports instant access to models hosted by BIM 360

Enscape: Add-in for real-time high-quality rendering and quick view to connected VR Headset.

  • Export a 360-deg panoramic for smartphone or web viewing.
  • Export to a Standalone VR viewer file that does not need Enscape to run.
  • Supports Revit, SketchUp, and Rhino.

This article originally appeared on Affiliated Engineers’ website. Affiliated Engineers is a CFE Media content partner.

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