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The Benefits of Virtual Reality in Architecture

Recently we had the opportunity to give a virtual tour of the Electrophysiology Room designed for St. Mary’s General Hospital (SMGH) as part of InsiteVR’s Immersive Project Showcase. The event was held at SMGH and invitees from across North America with virtual reality (VR) headsets were invited to participate.

Mario Pistone, Vice President and Claire O’Donnell , Associate of Parkin Architects along with SMGH staff provided a guided tour of the room design and function and shared how VR helped in developing the design and addressing operational needs within the space, including sightlines, adjacencies, and workflow. The tour also included assigning roles to participants and allowing them to stage a procedure in the room, thereby providing a (virtually) hands-on experience of how the space functions and how the healthcare team would use the space. Click on the video below to experience how a virtual tour could work for your next project.

Benefits of Virtual Reality in Architecture

Create an individual experience
One of the best features for architects is that virtual reality creates an immersive environment for the client. The client can engage, explore and react to the virtual space. They can mark-up, annotate and provide design feedback which can be relayed back to the design team to advance the design. The end result, the client gets to visualize and experience the designs we create.

Understanding the space
2D floor plans can be difficult for some to visualize how all of the spaces will fit together. Even 3D designs can present challenges in understanding the space. Virtual reality goes beyond interactivity to help clients fully understand the space and provides them with a more accurate representation of how it will function in real life. 

The Virtual Mock-Up
Through the use of on-line, multi-user collaboration in VR, clients can animate the space through mocking various scenarios within the space.  Client teams can move in their workspace in VR to verify that visual connection to other key team members is optimized, equipment is placed effectively and efficiently in the room and the room shape and layout contribute to streamlined workflows.

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