The trial took place at the new Ashmole Primary School site in Southgate, London, where Morgan Sindall is the principal contractor. The team consulted BakerHicks’ specialist Building Information Modelling (BIM) team in order to project their live construction BIM model onto the mechanical, electrical and public health (MEPH) installations on the site.
Morgan Sindall provided BakerHicks’ specialists with their live model to develop a customised app, which allowed the project team to then view and interrogate a section of the project’s MEPH within a specified location. Using an image tracker which acts like a QR code but displays a 3D model rather than a web link, the team were able to superimpose the holographic BIM model onto the soffit of the ceiling. This enabled the project team to walk through the building wearing the Microsoft HoloLens headset, which acts as a self-contained holographic computer, to check and audit the actual built product against the original design.
The trial demonstrated the essential role mixed reality technology can play in quickly and easily identifying any potential issues with the build; the headset can record what the wearer is seeing and is fully interactive, allowing changes to be communicated to the design team. The team is now investigating how it could be used on a wider basis, for example in new scope integration or project aftercare to inspect any MEPH issues once the walls and ceilings have been closed up, minimising the need to re-open those walls and ceilings if a problem is identified.
Described as a perfect fusion of the real and virtual world, the benefits mixed reality could bring to our teams and customers are vast – including remote conferencing, construction design and installation reviews along with the presentation of construction models via holograms. I’m looking forward to our subsequent trials as we look to develop these exciting capabilities further.
Watch a video of the first on-site trial using a Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset.