This sounds like a bit of an odd assertion when we all know that construction is done, in the final analysis, by the skilled trades with their bricks and bits of wood. What are we looking at here; living and working in “virtual” buildings? But to ask that question would be jumping the gun a bit! Where we are is that today’s virtual reality refers to what goes on before the project starts on site and how it helps the skilled trades once it does!
But BIM isn’t the end game for virtual reality in contruction! Today we have Cloud Computing! Anything loaded onto that is fully accessible by absolutely everyone who is given access to it! So now we have our virtual reality, how does everyone get access to everything they want to know? Easy-peasy! We all have our PC’s, tablets and smart phones and we are all connected to the Internet which lets us into the Cloud! All we need now is for that information to be up there for our convenience!
That is the next stage in the game! We need Construction Management Software that is all things to all man – and women! Forms of Contract, BIM, drawings, Specs., etc.; all that stuff that used to take up loads of shelf space in everyone’s offices!Mustn’t forget the time it used to take up putting it on those shelves, either!
From what I’ve seen, having an inquisitive look on-line, there seem to be plenty of outfits out there coming up with software to take construction up into the clouds. Only one seems to be comprehensive, but more on that later.
Now we have everything everyone needs to know instantly to hand as virtual reality becomes today’s construction reality. If they don’t need to know something they can ignore it. Information over-load is avoidable!
So the virtual reality isn’t, and probably never will be, that much of a game-changer for all the pre-start on site discussions that decide what is actually going to be built. However, once that has all been agreed and a start date set, virtual reality takes over! Main contractor and sub-contractors and tradesmen will all be able to look at their screens and know what is going on and when they, their men and their materials will be required! That assumes, of course, that someone has gone to the trouble of putting together a decent Build Program for them to look at on their screens.
The ganger man will know when he has to have his men on site, and how many of them. His lads will be on piece work, probably, so he’ll make damned sure the necessary materials are on site ready and waiting for them. The site or project manager won’t have to spend much time explaining what needs doing; a quick induction and everyone will be out there earning their money! The skilled trades have a couple of quirks they’ll demonstrate once they are in the “virtual reality world”. They like to show off how clever they are so they’ll finish Tasks before the program says they need to. Plus they like to get jobs over quickly so they can get more work in that financial year to pay for family holidays!
Those last couple of points will make more work for whoever came up with the Build Program! It will need revision to get the follow-on trades there earlier! Job finished ahead of schedule; off site quicker; saving on site overhead costs. Client does their pre-handover inspection and contractors can get all the remedial work done quickly and easily. None of the client’s staff cluttering the place up!
Earlier I said “more on that later”. Well, there is only one Construction Management Software available world-wide that allows for ALL the project data to be put up there on the Cloud. If you are reading this Blog, you know which software that is:-GenieBelt of course!