One of the most incredible technological advancements in recent years is the strides made in virtual reality. What was once the stuff of science fiction, can now be achieved with a smartphone and a headset. While some skeptics see this as a fly by night fad, Facebook recently acquired the VR giant Oculus for the tune of $2 billion. This is a strong signal this tech is here to stay and will most likely grow exponentially in years to come.

While this is certainly exciting from a recreational point of view, there are several key benefits businesses can capitalize on. The construction industry is one industry that can especially benefit from virtual reality technology. Here are just a few ways virtual reality will change the construction industry.

Walk-Throughs

Imagine being able to do a final walk-through of a project before any dirt is moved or bricks are laid. This dream is slowly becoming a (virtual) reality. Designers and architects are now able to use software that transforms their blueprints and drawings into a fully finished product. This allows the client to walk the halls of the structure and provide any changes and feedback before the plans are handed over to the builder. Doing this will save valuable time and expenses by catching changes in the design phase instead of during the building phase.

Collaboration

Contractors, designers, and architects will also be able to better visualize projects and collaborate on improvements early in the project. Sometimes when there are multiple parties working on the same design, each party will have their own interpretation of what the finished project will look like. Using virtual reality to bring the plans to life, gets everyone involved on the same page and facilitates a more cohesive collaboration.

Fundraising

When a hospital or university is raising money for a new construction project, one of the biggest fundraising problems they encounter is bridging the gap of conceptual to material. Donors often struggle to look at a few drawings and really see the value in the project. But, if you can let them to really experience the building by wondering around in it, the gap is bridged.

Unfortunately, VR technology is still rather expensive and time-consuming to use on an industrial scale. Only a handful of construction companies have implemented VR as standard practice, but, as the technology advances and becomes more affordable, it will become more commonplace.