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Augmented Reality in Construction (1 of 3): A Paradigm Shift

Updated: Feb 16


Augmented Reality in Construction

This article has been created from the Construction Disrupted podcast - Episode 9 - Can AR be a True Reality? Featuring Caner Dolas and Jayan Jevanesan, Co-Founders of Gamma AR.



The construction industry has long been associated with traditional methods, relying on 2D plans and spreadsheets for project information. However, the advent of augmented reality (AR) technology is poised to revolutionise the way we approach construction projects. In this article, we will delve into the potential of AR in construction, its advantages, and why it represents a pivotal shift in the industry with Gamma AR co-founders Caner Dolas and Jayan Jevanesan.


The Current State of Construction

Construction, as it stands, is inundated with challenges arising from miscommunication, errors, and inefficiencies. The use of 2D plans, as Caner explains “often leads to miscommunications… especially if you have a complex situation” involving mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems. The pressure on construction teams to deliver within tight schedules further exacerbates the likelihood of mistakes.


The Promise of Augmented Reality

AR offers a solution to these challenges by providing information in a more intuitive and human-friendly format. By overlaying 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) models onto the construction site, AR makes project intentions crystal clear. This capability allows construction professionals to visualize the final product before actual construction begins, reducing errors and enabling on-site discussions about the construction process.


The Market Opportunity

The potential of AR in construction is underscored by the sheer scale of the industry and the challenges it faces. Rework alone costs the industry a staggering $720 billion worldwide. The waste extends beyond financial aspects, affecting the environment as well. By implementing AR, we can address these issues and significantly reduce both financial and environmental footprints.


Beyond Construction

The application of AR extends beyond the construction phase. Once a building is completed, there is a new market for facility management. Moreover, construction is not limited to buildings; it encompasses infrastructure like roads and ships, making AR's reach even more extensive.


The Hidden Costs

When we analyse the construction industry, we often focus on the building cost. However, the true cost of inefficiencies, rework, and waste is frequently underestimated. Many issues on construction sites go unreported, which can lead to costly mistakes. The industry's low profitability further underscores the need for technological advancements to enhance efficiency and competitiveness.


Why Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality offers a unique solution because it addresses a critical information gap in the construction process. While BIM and other technologies have revolutionised the design phase, the actual construction site still relies heavily on traditional methods, such as pen-and-paper. This disconnect creates a significant opportunity for AR to bridge the gap and bring the benefits of digitalisation to the construction site.


Summary

Augmented Reality has the potential to be a game-changer. It provides a more intuitive way of managing project information, reducing errors, and increasing efficiency. With the ability to foresee issues before construction even begins, it offers a unique opportunity to save costs, improve profitability, and reduce environmental impact. As construction embraces AR, it may lead to a paradigm shift that enhances the industry's overall competitiveness and sustainability.

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