How can architects use VR to communicate design intent?

Working as an architect, I had often found it difficult to communicate design intent to our clients. While working on a building project, we often used 3D design modelling/authoring tools and communicate the schematic and conceptual designs to clients and other stakeholders by generating static renderings from fixed viewpoints on paper, a powerpoint or a screen.  

I had realized that what we visualize, design and consume on our screen is increasingly distant from the reality of what’s outside the front door. Since this medium is neither to-scale nor immersive,  clients often do not fully understand the design intent, leading to significant collaboration based shortfalls that result in coordination related problems later leading to time and cost based losses.

Now, imagine walking your client through their house or workspace even before it is built. Seems too good to be true? Not at all. This is how virtual reality or VR technology is changing the way you communicate design intent – by providing an immersive and to-scale design experience, as real as it can get.

VR provides for clients and other stakeholders such as engineering consultants and contractors to better understand the design before anything has been built. Right from the initial design stages right through to the construction stage when the need to effectively collaborate is at its peak; the benefits offered by VR help the entire project team work with a single version of the truth. You can even get your client to participate in the design process and finalize the design much faster with far fewer iterations.

The availability and affordability of virtual reality head-mounted device (HMDs) like the Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE or Google Cardboard are getting reasonable by the day. VR is now the new and a very real possibility and can address the pain points architects have suffered for long.

Immersive technologies are here! It is time for you to adapt to VR too and stay ahead of the curve. What are you waiting for? Message us at to learn how VR can benefit you and your company!

Watch out this space to know how Alcove is using VR to change the design process and conclude projects faster.