Exploring BIMs as avatars: Using 3D virtual worlds to improve collaboration with models

Anne Anderson, Carrie Sturts Dossick, Rahman Azari, John E. Taylor, Timo Hartmann, Ashwin Mahalingham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the AEC industry, globally distributed teams are becoming more common, BIM adoption is increasing, and effective time management is essential for remaining competitive. Therefore, understanding how to maximize BIM for construction coordination using collaborative technologies becomes crucial. Observations from a 2012 industry case study with a five-member distributed team led this research team to hypothesize that importing a 3D model into a 3D virtual world would improve team collaboration with models because using cues in the 3D environment (including avatar position) affords more efficient communication and having independent viewpoints allows a greater number of coordination issues to be discovered. This paper reports on a collaborative experiment with four different universities in 2013, in which we observed six geographically distributed nine-member teams as they conducted work using two different communication technologies: A commercial collaboration platform in which team members view models via desktop sharing, and a 3D virtual world in which the students were able to "walk through" the building model. We found that the teams using the 3D software were able to communicate ideas more quickly and had significantly more discoveries. By contrast, the teams using desktop sharing software often required a detailed verbal explanation when communicating specific ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConstruction Research Congress 2014
Subtitle of host publicationConstruction in a Global Network - Proceedings of the 2014 Construction Research Congress
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Pages179-188
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780784413517
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 Construction Research Congress: Construction in a Global Network, CRC 2014 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: May 19 2014May 21 2014

Publication series

NameConstruction Research Congress 2014: Construction in a Global Network - Proceedings of the 2014 Construction Research Congress

Other

Other2014 Construction Research Congress: Construction in a Global Network, CRC 2014
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period5/19/145/21/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction

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