Increased interaction with multi-user virtual reality in construction projects

Janne Porkka, Nusrat Jung, S. Suval, P. Jäväjä, A. Savisalo, J. Päivänen, J. Sireeni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


During last decades the rapid development of ICT has strongly reformed architecture, engineering and the construction industry. Model-based applications, such as building information modelling (BIM) and urban planning tools, are being used by architects and engineers for increasing their productivity. These tools are a promising platform for planning, but more user-friendly interaction is needed for communicating plans to other stakeholders and end-users. This paper introduces an approach where virtual reality applications, together with participatory design and collaborative design approaches, are used in order to improve interaction and communication between various stakeholders in urban planning projects. The approach deploys experimental multi-user virtual reality environment in design review meetings carried out in two urban planning projects in Finland. The environment consists of three adjacent large wall displays positioned at 45 degrees angle between each other. Navigation in the model is performed by multi-touch gestures on a large tabletop interface. The first case study, an area development in Inkilänportti retail area harnessed virtual reality for collaborative design review meeting between the client and multiple design fields. In the second case study, virtual reality was utilised for a participatory concept development of Finnoo-Kaitaa city district. Based on the feedback from participants, visual communication has its benefits when compared to traditional meetings. The empirical findings collected through self-completion questionnaires from the participants of meetings indicate a positive attitude towards the new technology uptake. Virtual reality applications are a very promising channel for client and user participation, and as well, help to bridge the social interaction gap between industry professionals and non-experts, whose participation is also crucial to successful urban planning. Urban plans are usually large and complicated. Therefore, effective visualisation is significant for successfully understanding the spaces, dimensions and associated atmosphere indicated by design solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCONVR 2012 : proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality ; November 1 - 2, 2012, Taipei Taiwan
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
Event12th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, CONVR 2012 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 1 Nov 20122 Nov 2012


Conference12th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, CONVR 2012
Abbreviated titleCONVR 2012
Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Province of China


  • construction industry
  • model-based design
  • virtual reality
  • design review
  • interaction


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