Loggia, Atelier or Penthouse? Find a perfect apartment and make it fit your needs. With the Wolkenwerk App, not only may you choose materials but also customise additional elements. With the live cost estimation, making your house a home has never been easier!

Mass customisation in VR

Digitalisation of the AEC industry has been challenging engineers from all around the world over the last decades and still seems to be far from done. Companies face the challenge of choosing between proposed approaches and the difficulties of their implementation.

Due to the complexity of the industry structure, solutions need to be introduced with an appropriate consideration. Creating and maintaining a well-functioning, cross-platform, cross-industry system needs to handled with care. From urban planners, through architects, engineers from different fields (structure, manufacturing, plumbing and electricity, just to name a few), up to developers, representatives of regional administration and controlling officials, investors and, finally, building management and maintenance services – all parties involved in the process of building design, construction and management need to be provided an access not only to a complex database of 3D models, 2D plans, sections and detailing, but also to the records of the project planning, processes and reports. All mentioned, wrapped in a form of a complex database is what we refer to as Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Advancement stages of BIM are extremely different depending on the country and company. It is out of the discussion, however, that BIM is the unavoidable future and the only solution of optimising time, costs and, importantly, loses, in the industry. One of the predictable advantages of the system would be engagement of the end customer in the process. It was clear to Implenia, a Swiss developer and construction services provider, who asked us to create an end-consumer application to improve the sales process of apartments in their residential towers in Zurich. Over 300 units were divided into 63 types, each of them with its own properties, characteristics and requirements. Datasheets with apartment information exported from Revit databases and imported into the system, making live price calculation and automatic report generation possible.

Access to apartments configuration is granted to the users by an administrator controlling the process. Each apartment may be viewed in AR, VR and VR walk-mode. In AR, the apartment may be placed on a tracker (for example – laying on a table) and seems from all angles. In VR, the model is displayed in an abstract 3D space. In the walk-mode, on the other hand, it is possible to have a look around the apartment both by walking and looking around with the device in front of the use (changes of the device’s coordinates are applied to the virtual camera coordinates) or by using joy-sticks. Important to notice that customisation functionalities are maintained independently from a mode choice.

At any time during the process an illustrated report summarizing all the additional costs/reductions may be generated. As soon as clients are satisfied with the end effect, an agreement between them and the building owner may be downloaded. After revision and signing, it would be sent and treated as a final order confirmation. There is no need anymore to go to the developer’s office and spend hours discussing financial and aesthetical consequences of different choices – all alternatives may be compared and evaluated in the comfort of the client’s living-room.