Kier Construction Eastern recently procured a HTC Vive VR headset and gaming laptop. VR is being used in construction to support client and end user engagement activities, helping the end user to visualise and immerse themselves in a 3D environment. Many end users struggle to interpret 2D drawings, and even static 3D renders.

Beaulieu Park Schools project is a £31.3m scheme for Essex County Council. Eastern decided to set the project up to work to BIM L2 methodology to support improved coordination, client engagement and to highlight the services Kier can provide as a top three Tier 1 supplier. VR was targeted as a key opportunity for client engagement, with a view of this experience leading to a wider conversation with ECC considering the benefits and implications of procuring schemes at BIM Level 2.

A VR workshop was held on Monday 11th December at Essex County Hall in Chelmsford, facilitated by our BIM team, with over twenty of the ECC capital projects team attending over four sessions. Each ECC delegate then selected which school building they would be interested in navigating around; Nursery, Primary, Secondary or Sports Hall, and ‘donned’ the headset!

Feedback on the day was very positive, and promoted interesting discussions about the width of corridors, circulation spaces and teaching layouts. The engineers in the room expressed interest about reviewing plantrooms in VR so we have offered to return in the new year with a M&E focused workshop.