Aecom employees review the fabrication model of the Barkow Leibinger Summer House

Technology

HoloLens used for first time in construction and engineering

16 June 2016 | By Tom Ravenscroft

Aecom has piloted the use of the Microsoft’s mixed reality headset, the HoloLens, on three construction projects, including this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London.

According to the global consultancy, this is the first time that the technology, which adds holograms of 3D objects into a user’s view allowing interaction with these virtual objects as if they were present, has been used in engineering or construction.

The pilot projects are a collaboration with software vendor Trimble, that has created mixed-reality solutions that allow Aecom to feed 3D engineering models of large or complex projects into the HoloLens world.

Using the headset designers and engineers can view a complex structure as if it were a 3D model placed on a table, or zoom in for a 1:1 view that simulates what it would be like to move through its structural framework.

Aecom and Trimble have piloted the use of the mixed reality headset on three projects around the world: in London, Hong Kong and Denver. In London the HoloLens has been used to help engineer this year’s Serpentine Pavilions.

Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Barkow Leibinger. Photo © Iwan Baan

The Serpentine Galleries’ programme includes four “Summer Houses” with complex, unconventional structures, each designed by a different architect: Kunlé Adeyemi, Asif Khan, Yona Friedman and Barkow Leibinger. Aecom has used the HoloLens technology to aid in visualisation and design review of the complex, unconventional structures (Barkow Leibinger design pictured).

Using the headset designers and engineers can view a complex structure as if it were a 3D model placed on a table, or zoom in for a 1:1 view that simulates what it would be like to move through its structural framework.

Bryn Fosburgh, vice president at Trimble, said: “As an early adopter of Microsoft HoloLens, Aecom is already demonstrating the value of mixed reality in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. Aided by Trimble solutions and the HoloLens in a business setting, the company is learning first-hand how the technology can improve efficiency and enable effective collaboration throughout the design process.”

Read more on Construction Manager.

Aided by Trimble solutions and the HoloLens in a business setting, Aecom is learning first-hand how the technology can improve efficiency and enable effective collaboration throughout the design process.– Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble