8 Applications of Augmented Reality in Construction

8 Applications of Augmented Reality in Construction

Technology impacts the construction industry, improving job site performance and results. One of the hottest trends is augmented reality (AR), an interactive experience that combines real-world and computer-generated content. 

With AR, construction professionals can use state-of-the-art cameras and sensors to blend a site's physical surroundings with digital views and present them in real time. This information allows your team to introduce increased accuracy and efficiency into your projects. The result is a process where workers and digital equipment work together more effectively.

A typical construction-related AR scenario entails creating detailed 3D models and combining them with the available building data. The information is displayed digitally over the physical surroundings, providing a more in-depth, real-time view. 

How Is Augmented Reality Used in Construction?

Augmented reality in construction has many applications and benefits. 

1. Employee Training

AR can help teach crews to use heavy equipment more productively and safely. They can practice operating the machines in a virtual environment by wearing AR headsets while performing drills and receiving instructions. They can visualize what happens when using the equipment before implementing it at the job site, allowing them to prepare for multiple real-world scenarios and understand how to react appropriately when they occur.

2. Project Planning

The ability to generate 3D models on a 2D plane and integrate building information modeling software enables construction firms to build and present interactive models that bring their design concepts to life for clients. The higher level of detail allows clients to visualize the concept more clearly and modify the plans before the physical work begins. Builders and designers can minimize the midstream changes that increase the project's cost and lead to delays. 

3. Making Modifications

If modifications become necessary, AR can streamline and simplify the process. Workers can display interior or exterior views of the building and make virtual adjustments without altering the original design. This feature is even more valuable because it allows engineers to identify and troubleshoot errors and relocate various structural components virtually. This step can ensure that the physical execution of the changes will fulfill all expectations and avoid costly mistakes. 

4. Collaboration

A successful construction project requires multiple parties working together in a team environment. AR enables professionals across various disciplines to collaborate in real time without demanding that each person travels to the physical building site. They can review blueprints, share notes, discuss design issues or make changes remotely. This opportunity saves time, provides immediacy and increases efficiency. 

5. Monitoring Progress

AR-compatible apps are available that allow project managers and other stakeholders to view and monitor the job's progress during every phase. These tools can identify and capture the results by taking photos at specific capture points. This step can reduce the dependence on time-consuming visual inspections that often require multiple site visits. It also provides better consistency by pinpointing the status at targeted locations over an extended period. 

6. Proposal Presentations

Using augmented reality in construction is excellent for enhancing presentations to clients. Instead of interpreting blueprints and diagrams, clients can get a more detailed picture of what the finished building would look like — inside and out. You'll be able to demonstrate more clearly that your company can work to and meet your clients' expectations. 

7. Automation

Taking measurements and other steps in the construction process manually consumes time and reduces accuracy. With AR, you can automate many of these activities, such as measuring a space's dimensions and integrating the gathered information into the building models. Workers can also compare these readings against the finished product to detect possible discrepancies. 

8. Closing Out Projects

Augmented reality can be an invaluable inspection tool after finishing the construction job. It allows inspectors to check every aspect of the work to ensure it meets the specs as they are outlined in the virtual model. On-site team members can assess the accuracy of items like the placement of walls, pipes and ventilation shafts. They can ensure the project is as accurate as possible and meets the client's expectations. 

Get the Right Equipment for Your Construction Projects

Whether you utilize augmented reality in construction or prefer more traditional building methods, The Cat® Rental Store can provide a wide assortment of equipment rentals that meet your needs and fit your budget. We carry high-quality, expertly maintained products from Caterpillar and more than 70 other leading manufacturers. With more than 1,300 locations worldwide, there's sure to be a full-service store near you.

Call us at 1-800-RENT-CAT or contact us online to request a no-obligation quote today.