Property Investment News feature on Virtual Reality


by Kirsi Kinnyenen, COO at Tridify
on Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Property Investment News: Could you explain, in simple terms, how Tridify works?

Tridify is a simple-to-use cloud-based service that combines Building Information Modelling (BIM) data with virtual and augmented reality technologies. This enables the creation of accurate, interactive and immersive virtual reality environments.

Tridify visualisations can be viewed across all mobile devices – such as smartphones and tablets – as well as via virtual reality headsets. This means everyone across the life cycle of a building project – from developers to end users – can access, explore, contribute to and experience projects anytime, anywhere, breaking down the silos that are common across the building cycle, which can delay and stifle workflows.

Essentially, Tridify allows all stakeholders across the planning and construction cycle to unlock the power of BIM. This delivers significant time and cost savings by shortening the sales process to achieve a faster return on investment, and reducing expensive reworking, rebuilds and wastage across a building project.

Tridify is also platform agnostic, which means quick implementation and less training due to its highly intuitive user interface.

PIN: What are some of the main advantages it offers to property developers (and others involved in the process)?

Using VR to maximise the benefits of BIM and making the solution highly accessible through the cloud in the way that Tridify does is having a major impact on the way construction projects are planned, managed, built and marketed, driving efficiencies across the entire value chain in the following areas:

Combining VR with BIM in Tridify’s cloud solution enables developers to know what a building is going to look like and how it is going to work before a stone is even laid. Being able to experience a project in this way is a hugely powerful tool, one which can do everything from reducing wastage to improving the return on investment of a project. One of the most obvious benefits being that it allows the testing of any number of features before work starts. This includes being able to visualise aspects of a project, such as the services onto the interior shell, making it easier to understand and communicate what goes where.

Computer-aided design (CAD) and 3D visualisations have long been used to demonstrate formats, spaces and systems. However, previewing paper and computer-generated details still only provides a limited experience of the finished building. And often, the designer’s vision for the completed structure fails to match that of the client.

Physical models, meanwhile, are hugely time-consuming and costly to build, and rarely if ever provide the viewer with anything other than a brief glimpse of what the project could and will look like – even down to inaccurate portrayal of colours.

With VR technology, it’s possible to experience a building accurately, from finding the entrance lobby and predicting the flow around it to viewing the layout of an apartment or potential office.

Tridify’s software extends this value by offering, amongst others, features such as the ability to create virtual reality videos with live interaction, compiled in seconds, and snap screenshots, 360 images and stereo pictures on the fly which can be sent to your email.

The design process is increasingly collaborative, with a wide range of people involved. Many problems and errors in construction projects arise from poor communication in the early phases. With VR, all collaborating partners are able to present, explain and make recommendations in a shared environment, which means that misunderstandings and errors are far less likely to occur.

Take the example of a complex medical project. Using VR, with Tridify’s dynamic object functionality, key stakeholders like surgeons can quickly and simply check out a room to make sure all necessary tools and devices are accessible, or that corridors are wide enough for medical teams and equipment, providing much clearer insights into whether a building will be fit for purpose.

By allowing people to accurately experience how a project will impact their environment, a lot of the fears, objections and issues that can crop up around construction projects can be alleviated. This speeds up the decision-making process for development, meaning a quicker ROI.

Sales and marketing
One of the areas VR can have a major impact is in the residential business. The experience of being inside your future home, moving around, and changing materials, fixtures and furniture, is an unparalleled sales tool.

A key factor is what you can see outside the windows of the home. A good view both speeds up the buying decision and justifies a premium price. A virtual home is also a great place to present products – such as furnishings – and services that can be bought, adding another layer of value into the process.

VR has the power to help manage the hazards to significantly improve health and safety on construction sites. Creating VR simulations means training can be undertaken in a safe environment – reducing injuries and saving lives.

As mentioned earlier, VR can help reduce waste by removing reworking and enabling construction companies to more accurately plan the resources they need. Furthermore, by creating realistic digital environments that can be viewed anytime and anywhere the industry can reduce the amount travelling for everyone from investors to end-user as projects can be experienced from anywhere in the world without having to bring people onsite. Plus, as the technology behind VR develops and becomes more readily available so the need for huge computers is reduced, cutting down the amount of energy needed to run VR devices.

PIN: Could you give an example (or even a couple of examples) of how Tridify has brought benefits to an actual ‘real life’ project?

Aberdeen Asset Management used Tridify to streamline its renting and leasing process for the properties it manages. Many people involved in the buying process find it difficult to interpret two-dimensional building images in terms of accurately planning facilities, fixtures, fittings and furnishings. This is particularly true on the commercial side, where businesses need to specify facilities, as well as how to modify existing ones to their own specifications. By combining VR and BIM in an easy-to-use accessible cloud-based interface that can be used across mobile devices, Tridify is enabling Aberdeen to present properties more clearly so that clients can visualise them more effectively. Any modifications can then be discussed and applied accurately in real time to give an instant impression of how they would work in practice.

Tomi Gronlund Head of Transactions at Aberdeen Asset Management says:
“Tridify is a deal-making machine that gives much needed support in the fast-paced property transaction and leasing market. We are able to understand our customers’ needs better and respond to them more quickly and effectively thanks to Tridify making it quick and easy to create detailed 3D and 360 degree visualisations of projects. The process is also much more personalised and tailored to each customer’s specific needs, shortening lead times and resulting in greater customer satisfaction.”

Dental equipment company Planmeca is using Tridify as a key sales tool by creating accurate visualisations of its clients’ clinic environments to help them plan and design more effective workspaces, and illustrate how its products could be used and positioned most efficiently.

First the clinic is accurately modelled in VR using Tridify, and then the workspace is designed by populating it with 3D representations of the necessary Planmeca products. Being able to experience Planmeca products in situ virtually in their own clinics is helping boost sales.

Suvi Jakkula of Planmeca says: “Software like Tridify can visualise a dental clinic along with Planmeca equipment in the correct dimensions quickly and easily. Currently, 3D plans take time to create as they are often produced by a third party. Importing a clinic floor plan into Tridify allows you to move around the layout and change the colour of the equipment yourself.”

The view from buildings is a key factor when deciding whether or not to buy, yet it is difficult for developers to enable prospective buyers to experience this during the planning and construction phase.

With this in mind, Tridify is being used to sell spaces in Redi, a new 33-story building in Helsinki, by creating true VR visualisations of the incredible views people will be able to enjoy from the property once it is complete. In particular, Redi will include a public space occupying one of its higher storeys that will offer a stunning panorama of Helsinki, and Tridify is enabling buyers to experience this in VR.