Collaboration is the key to successfully delivering projects in any industry, and it matters all the more especially in industries such as AEC which are immensely fragmented, and where there are a number of stakeholders involved. Better collaboration not only reduces the time taken for projects, it also reduces errors which results in significant cost savings and helps bring the vision of the client closer to reality, faster.
And in the AEC industry, efficient collaboration between client and all the other stakeholders is critical to reduce the iterations and manifest designs into physical form with minimal errors. .
There are several issues that the industry faces where better collaboration is required. To understand in detail the challenges faced by the AEC stakeholders, we studied several projects to gain a better understanding of the issues. Here are the key pain-points we would like to address using Trezi –
One of the key issues that adversly impacts a fabulous design experience is a lack of understanding of the common goals of the project for which the participants are collaborating. In the case of architecture and interior design, visualization and understanding of the design by clients and other stakeholders is the first step.
Earlier, architects and interior designers used 2D floor plans and 3D static renders as the predominant medium for showing and communicating their design to their clients. Since 2D drawings and static renders had limited capabilities to showcase details, it resulted in a lot of discrepancies in terms of the clientâ€™s understanding of the design intent and vision, scale, volume, proportion, lighting of the space and what the architect really intended to convey. The architect/designer/creator has a clear idea in their mind of what their design will look and feel like, but needs to communicate this to other stakeholders. Scale models and 2d drawings do not communicate this design intent and communication is flawed, which leads to many errors.
The number of iterations were numerous, and clients requested changes based on their limited understanding of the design from the 2D plans and static renders. Architects and designers had to go back and make changes in their authoring software of choice, and then go back to their rendering software to recreate the renders, not once but again and again, increasing the design closure time Â One of the main reasons we set out to make Trezi was to improve the process of visualization of design and thereby improve the understanding of the design that is at the heart of collaboration on the building project. Trezi uses the immersive and to-scale experience of virtual reality to perform real-time rendering and accommodate changes to the design at the click of a button.
This provides not only a new way for clients and other stakeholders such as MEP consultants and contractors to better understand the design before anything has been built, but also for architects/designers and their clients to finalize the design with fewer iterations. This results in a significant saving of time and costs that occur due to the traditional rendering process. What used to take several days is now, through Trezi, instantaneous.
The ability to fully understand the design and participate in the design process, through Trezi, has also empowered clients, and helped them â€śfall in loveâ€ť with their home/office at an early stage in the project. This has resulted in clientsâ€™ greater willingness to pay, faster design closure and execution and improved satisfaction with what they receive at the end of the project.
In our previous post, we spoke about the traditional planning process. Usually, the process starts with 2D plans, 3D static renders or pre defined timed walkthroughs that offer no control to the user/ client. Upon receiving the base build drawings, the interior designer does the space planning and puts together the overall look & feel. Once the layouts are frozen and look & feel approved, the process of specification and product selection commences, detailed design and tender/ construction drawings are done and then the build phase kicks off. While some companies only do build or design, some do both design and build.
With each phase in the process of project delivery, the need of collaboration grows. Current methods do not facilitate effective collaboration as different stakeholders end up working with different versions of layouts and documents. It is nearly impossible to track which version a particular project stakeholder is working on. This results in errors in ordering, planning which leads to undesirable and avoidable cost impact.
Collaboration issues don’t happen only in the design phase, they also happen in the construction phase. But it is more costly in term of money and time for all the stakeholders when an issue is discovered in the construction phase.
Trezi helps all stakeholders collaborate in real time. Using the power of immersive technology, we envision all stakeholders referring to updated virtual models at any given point in time. The beauty of Trezi is that it is part of every stakeholderâ€™s workflow, which ensures that everyone is working with the same model at the same time.
Interaction and Coordination with Building Product ManufacturersÂ
Traditionally, building product manufacturers have lined up outside the architectâ€™s office with physical samples and catalogs in a beauty parade to showcase their products for the project. Of course, architects also visit vendorsâ€™ websites to explore products as well. But in either case, this process takes a large amount of time, and results in a lot of wastage and costs for the suppliers.
With Trezi, we wanted to reduce the wastage and time spent in the entire process of building product selection, by enabling product manufacturers and suppliers to display their products in VR-ready catalogs made available in Trezi. Architects and designers can browse through these products within Trezi, choose the product(s) that they want to work with, and insert these directly in the design. This is a very important point as till date the manufacturer/ supplier is able to show the 3D model of the product in isolation or in an extruded model. With Trezi they can insert the VR model of the product in the architectsâ€™ designed environment and all stakeholders can understand the option in an immersive manner. While this is still work in progress in Trezi, we have made strides and the collaboration between stakeholders have definitely gone up for the architects and suppliers already using Trezi.
Experiencing the Volume
Architects and designers have been firm believers of the physical model to get a â€śphysicalâ€ť sense of volume and understand it better. Physical models are still relevant because of the level of understanding they bring – and Trezi takes this experience a step further. Trezi allows the architect and designer to be physically present in the volume and experience it in full-scale. Not just that, Trezi allows the architect to even see the what kind of light is the built form allowing in at different times of the day.
Architects and designers have for long said, â€śI wish I could be physically inside the space being developed.â€ť With Trezi, that wish comes true – for the designer, the client and even the product supplier. Experiencing the volume and placing building products in it helps architects and designers collaborate far more effectively with product suppliers than the current methods of physical mockups.
With Trezi, all it it takes is a single click to convert your Sketchup, Revit or FBX model into an immersive VR model. Using compatible HMDs such as the HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift, a user can then walk a VR model without much ado.
Single Version of TruthÂ
We envision Trezi as the collaborative software platform where architects, engineering services consultants, contractors product manufacturers and clients could work on a single model simultaneously. We firmly believe a Single version of Truth could solve a multitude of complications that has been arising out of ineffective collaboration. Architects could also be efficient storytellers with Trezi acting as a platform that helps them portray their vision clearly.
We now aim to take the entire process of design to the cloud where people could make changes instantaneously and there are no discrepancies between what the senior designer instructs and junior designer delivers.
To conclude , we are working on creating a world class product that aims to resolve a number of collaboration issues that have been plagued the AEC industry until now. Utilizing virtual reality, Trezi helps communicate design better. If you are a designer, an architect or anyone in the Architecture-Engineering-Construction industry, do visit Trezi and download it today.
The future we envision is a place where AEC professionals spend less time in iterations, avoid spending long hours on manual work in client presentation and have their files converted instantly. We want to bring all the stakeholders in a single spot right from the design phase to have a clear line of communication between the participants.