Firm to Explore Virtual Reality Client Showrooms
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (July 18, 2016) TSX, NYSE:STN – Following a successful research pilot, Stantec architectural designers are launching a secondary study to explore methods for integrating virtual reality (VR) technology with building design modeling. Among primary objectives, the initiative will include extended development of VR design testing as well as creation of demonstrative VR showrooms in targeted offices alongside staff training modules. Both initial and secondary research initiatives have been funded by the company’s R&D Fund Program.
“As designers, we are passionate about creating meaningful and memorable experiences in the spaces we design, and we believe strongly in finding the best possible ways to clearly communicate our ideas to our clients so that they understand what they will be getting ,” said Stanis Smith, Stantec buildings executive vice president. “Drawings are, at best, imperfect tools for communicating the look-and-feel of a space that we are designing. Virtual reality gives us the ability to clearly communicate our design ideas to our clients in an interactive and immersive way, and get feedback from our clients in real-time as they “walk through” the virtual environment.
VR: The Business Benefit
For targeted clients in healthcare, commercial, and other industry arenas, Stantec designers effectively use virtual reality to communicate design concepts in lieu of constructing traditional full-scale, mock-up rooms or scale models (practices that uses considerable time and resources). Research designers create three-dimensional models of hospital rooms, building exteriors, or other public spaces using existing Building Informational Modeling (BIM) software and then blend the designs with VR software. Physicians and nurses can better understand the feasibility of a designed healthcare space with software that tracks their motions while virtually exploring patient areas. The healthcare and commercial sectors are among several areas in which Stantec is exploring the use of VR technology in the design process.
After successfully piloting VR with designs for Vancouver’s Robson Square Revitalization and Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic Cancer Building – as well as healthcare projects in Northern California and The State of Qatar– Stantec researchers will explore the development of two educational VR showrooms in San Francisco and Vancouver, BC to engage clients. The project will also include extensive software product testing to assess which evolving VR technologies best complement use in buildings design. Stantec’s second research phase is expected to finish in early 2017.
San Francisco-based Stantec Architectural Associate Brendan Mullins is serving as the VR research lead at Stantec. A graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, Mullins holds a blended background in architectural design and digital media with design experience in gaming and buildings.
We’re active members of the communities we serve. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind. The Stantec community unites approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across six continents. Our work—engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics, from initial project concept and planning through design, construction, and commissioning—begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. With a long-term commitment to the people and places we serve, Stantec has the unique ability to connect to projects on a personal level and advance the quality of life in communities across the globe. Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN. Visit us at www.stantec.com or find us on social media.