Architectural Visualization 3D Rendering Services

How Augmented Reality in Architecture Is Transforming Real Estate

More than any sub-specialty in real estate, architecture is all about aesthetics and presentation. How a structure looks, how the space flows, and how functional it is are of primary importance. Hence, any technology that enhances how stakeholders view and appreciate the structure is of immense value.

Today’s most popular visualization tools are virtual reality (VR) and rendering, however, augmented reality (AR) has also emerged as an up-and-coming technology that can revolutionize the industry. This promising innovation was valued at $57.26 billion in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate of 39.8% from 2023 until 2030.

If you want to remain competitive and updated on the latest real estate trends, you must familiarize yourself with augmented reality. Join Plus Render as we tell you everything you need to know about it.

What Is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is a part of extended reality (XR)—a visualization technology that superimposes computer-generated elements on a person’s perception of the physical world. In doing so, it creates a hybrid environment that offers a more interactive and engaging experience. 

This can be a valuable tool for attracting clients, managing expectations, and more closely coordinating the development of a real estate project. 

How Is Augmented Reality Used in Architecture?

You may have first heard of augmented reality through Pokémon GO, a mobile game that encourages players to explore their surroundings through the lenses of their smartphone cameras. Though the game popularized AR, it offers immense possibilities in business, including architecture.

In architecture, augmented reality is overlaid with virtual 3D models that are often embedded with BIM (Building Information Modeling). It recreates physical spaces to provide a more accurate idea of what the design would look like once it’s built. 

If you’re an architecture or design professional who wants to offer their clients added value and a memorable customer experience, then you have to explore the possibilities of AR. For starters, architects and their colleagues can walk around an existing space that has been enhanced with valuable insights. They can see which elements add to the structure’s appeal, understand the path of installations, play around with different versions of the model, and reduce the possibility of errors before construction even begins. 

Moreover, it easily integrates with other technologies like virtual reality for real-time data visualization and modification, which helps make processes more efficient.

Applications of Augmented Reality in Architecture

Augmented reality simulates hyper-realistic environments and can serve multiple purposes in architecture. We’ll discuss its most common applications here.

Plan Projects 

2D sketches are indispensable for creating various types of architectural drawings but they’re often insufficient in the context of today’s real estate landscape. Nowadays, clients want to be sold on a design before they put any money down or commission the construction of a project. 

AR will help you bring a variety of factors as you develop your design. You can visualize how your structure will look in real-life environments, take them apart layer by layer to check (and eliminate) safety risks, plan for discrepancies, address design and build issues, and pre-sell designs even before any construction takes place.

Pitch Your Creative Ideas Better

Blueprints and other technical drawings are essential tools in your arsenal but they can be difficult to understand for non-architecture professionals. By using augmented reality, you can make presenting and developing your ideas much more relatable and easier to comprehend. 

Clients, builders, and contractors don’t need to study technical details as much. They can take a look at your AR model and instantly appreciate what you’re offering. These renders can be enhanced with details from your AR environment. Users can click on walls and see the material it’s made of. They can tap on windows and see the kind of window, its size, glass, and other important aspects.

So, if you’re looking to arouse engagement and generate interest, AR is an ideal tool that can wow your stakeholders and make working with them easier.

Gain Insights From Historic Designs

If you’re someone who likes to take inspiration from the old to make something new, AR can help you gain different perspectives, explore unconventional concepts, and make better designs that don’t have the flaws of the previous models. 

For example, let’s say your client is a big fan of Gothic styles, but they don’t want their structure to be overly dark and intimidating. In this instance, you can pick and choose a few elements associated with this medieval architectural style, such as flying buttresses with elaborate carvings, large stained glass windows, and pointed arches. At the same time, you can leave out architectural aspects that might make it seem dated like gargoyles, or elements that some may find impractical like overly high vaulted ceilings. 

6 Benefits of Using Augmented Reality in Architecture

Here are some reasons why AR is considered a valuable tool in the field of architecture and construction:

More Accurate Timelines

Augmented reality bridges the gap between design and construction in more ways than one. It’s a collaboration powerhouse that improves designs by providing participants with real-time access to important information at various stages of the project. 

This helps you determine just how long each step would take while ensuring seamless task management between different teams. It greatly reduces the risk of inefficiencies, allows for quick and informed decision-making, and keeps you on top of your workflow, helping you complete projects faster to ensure client satisfaction.

Facilitate Collaboration 

Successful real-time collaboration is a pressing need in architecture as architects work with professionals from other disciplines, such as landscape designers, interior decorators, and structural engineers. 

By using AR, stakeholders across the globe can come together in a remote environment and view every tiny detail of a proposed model. They can interact with it in the augmented space and then use their combined expertise to share constructive ideas. These can be offered with extreme accuracy while ensuring that the building is functional and meets the necessary structural requirements.

Avoid Waste of Resources 

Augmented reality helps minimize health and safety issues while enhancing the efficiency of the ground crew to eliminate the likelihood of human error. As such, a “digital twin,” proposed by Oke and Arowoiya, could optimize the utilization of construction materials and resources to prevent waste. 

AR can also be used in logistics to improve inventory tracking, which can help optimize the availability and utilization of resources without manual management.

Improve Client Understanding

For the layman, the language of architecture, its technical jargon, special terms, and nuances, can be hard to understand. It often requires further explanation which can make it frustrating and difficult for clients to get a realistic idea of what a design will look like. This is where augmented reality can help. 

AR creates immersive environments within the context of the real world to facilitate a better understanding of the architect’s vision. Clients can visualize a live view of the structure, get a sense of its scale, interact with the proposed model, and zoom in and zoom out to appreciate its various facets.

It enhances their understanding of the project and aids informed decision-making.

Assess and Manage Hazards 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 1,056 fatalities in the fields of construction and extraction in 2022. This represents a whopping 11% increase from 2021. Since contact with equipment, falls, and trips make up a majority of these hazards, the construction industry must promote a positive safety culture.

Augmented reality can be of aid here. Virtual simulations of processes can be used to assess potential safety hazards to reduce the risk of accidents on construction sites. It can also help provide real-time safety information to the workers to further improve safety.

Identify Issues in the Design Process 

Augmented reality allows architects to examine the proposed design from every angle. They can also use it to understand the structure according to their mechanical systems to spot potential problems and inconsistencies in design even before they sneak into construction. 

Naturally, this can be a very valuable intervention. Design errors can adversely influence project performance and can cost 6.85% to 7.36% of a contract’s value. So, by using AR to make early-stage revisions, you get an added layer of security that can potentially reduce rework to less than 1%! Considering that around 30% of the overall construction work is actually rework, AR can help you save big money.

Bring Your Vision to Life With Plus Render

Augmented reality in architecture is an exciting and promising way to elevate your services. We hope this article has given you an idea of its possibilities. To learn even more about how you can use AR in your practice, get in touch with Plus Render. 

As a high-end visualization studio, we have helped several architecture professionals like you harness the benefits of tools like augmented reality. Step into the future with us and let’s bring your vision to life with the latest visualization technologies.

Allow us to deal with the technicalities so that you can focus on what you do best—creating groundbreaking designs.

Related Posts