Joe and the White Oak Treeladams2017-08-10T08:55:34-04:00
Virtual Reality Viewer
As an engineer involved in delivering a construction project, imagine if you could–before one shovelful of dirt has been moved–let your clients, stakeholders, and the public step into your design and experience it in true-to-scale, 360-degree panorama.
By giving them this experience early in the design process, you could sync up expectations early, enabling others to clearly visualize what the completed project will look like.
That’s the power of virtual reality.
Seeing is Believing: Joe and the White Oak Tree
Imagine a seemingly simple sidewalk installation project in a residential area populated with longtime property owners. These are often contentious projects, with a “not in my front yard” reaction when they hear of the plans.
In a public right-of-way meeting in the past, you may have tried to explain or show with schematics that the project will not negatively affect someone’s yard. After all, it’s just a sidewalk. But they may not believe you because they can’t really see it–they can’t envision it the way that you can.
Imagine you’re at the same public right-of-way meeting … but this time armed with virtual reality technology. Folks have seen printed schematics and renderings of sections of the project. But before you can get to your demonstration, a lifelong resident named Joe interrupts.
“I grew up in my house, as did my father and grandfather before me. My grandfather planted a White Oak tree in the front yard almost 100 years ago, not far from the curb. You’re telling me that you’re going to tear up the the roots of my grandpa’s White Oak?”
You reply, “I don’t think so, but just to be sure, let’s ‘drive’ the street as designed and see.”
By projecting the virtual reality design on the screen, you “drive by” his property as if in a car and point out to him his house with the huge White Oak tree 15 feet from the curb.
“That’s your house, and your front yard with the White Oak, right Joe?” you ask.
“Yes,” Joe replies.
You ask, “Is that too close to the tree? We’ll be digging about 11 feet from the tree. I can’t promise we won’t touch any roots, but they’ll be small offshoots far from the trunk, if any.”
“Oh, that’s not as bad as I thought it would be before I walked in here today. I had trouble picturing it. 10’ sounds closer than it really is when you see it on paper,” concedes Joe.
Historically, when the public — like Joe in the preceding story — has seen plans for a project, they were shown a piece of paper with contour maps marked up with colored pencil (or modern variations of the same produced from a CAD program). It is just too abstract for many people to process and imagine.
But virtual reality can help reduce those misconceptions.
Interested? Give it a try.
To hear more about how virtual reality can help make your projects more successful, contact Ben Shinabery at 800-928-2222 or bshinabery@Qk4.com