Virtual Reality and its Applications in the Mockup Process: A Case Study

David B. Friend, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


Mockups are an important part of the construction process as they provide numerous benefits in both constructability review and aesthetic approval. Virtual Reality is an emerging technology that could prove to be a valuable addition to the mockup process. Many construction firms are attempting to incorporate virtual reality into any process they can --ranging from impressing owners in order to procure jobs to training employees so they can more adeptly adjust to field conditions. This paper will introduce virtual reality and some of its applications in the construction industry, specifically analyzing virtual reality and its applications in the mockup process via a case study. While the projects were met largely with success, they had their share of challenges in implementation. VR mockups proved valuable for aesthetic review purposes. They also improved the design-approval process which, in turn, reduced both cost and time. The technology was still met with challenges in implementation. The primary challenges were: aversion to the new technology, illness/nausea, hesitation about increased investment earlier in the project, and the reliance on available technology.