Visualizing Architectural Designs Through Virtual Reality (VR)


Authored by Dan Stine, December 19, 2018

Dell created a promotional video of LHB using VR on their hardware (yes – Dell, the giant computer company). It was an honor and a lot of fun. It is super exciting to see our efforts implementing VR getting such widespread attention. Dell hired a media agency, Metia, who captured video of staff, clients and even contractors using VR on a large project we are working on for United Properties.

LHB architect Karin Stuber is showing our client Gordy Stofer, United Properties’ Vice President, Office Development, the project in Virtual Reality while they are being filmed.

The project site is right next to our Minneapolis office as pointed out in the image below. The project consists of a ten-story (with a penthouse) office building and an adjacent nine-story apartment complex with an attached eight-story parking garage.

This image is from the VR software, and thus shows
the context we developed for the client experience.

We have a lot of existing imagery mapped to the ground and several adjacent vertical surfaces.

Here is a shot, of a shot, of Dan Stine, LHB BIM Administrator, engaged in VR and showing off the extent of what we can do in this immersive environment.

In addition to VR action footage, they also interviewed a few people in the office. In this next image, our IT Manager Ross Conklin is describing our longtime relationship with Dell and how we are standardized on Dell Precision 5000 Series tower desktops with Intel Xeon processors and NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards for most production staff.

The crew was excited we had a lot of cool “B-Roll” opportunities they did not expect. For example, we have several of the Dell 34″ UltraSharp Curved Monitor: U3417W on adjustable mounts. Notice the beautiful “architect’s office” context of the interior design library complete with rolling ladder.  

As you can see in this picture, Autodesk Revit, LHB’s primary design software,
has a lot of “in-canvas” real estate!

Below is a shot of Stine and our Integrative Design Team leader, Rick Carter FAIA, LEED Fellow, “pretending” to have a meeting. The funny thing is that it was supposed to be just acting, but we got really in-depth in a conversation of the merits of using a particular program for collaboration in addition to clash detection. When the crew was done with this shot, they could tell we were still talking and said they would go set up for the next shot and come back for us!

Candid shot of Stine’s interview.
Cool shot of the guys dialing in the frame and sound for Ross’s interview.

 Every time we have been interviewed by local media, I have encouraged the reporter and camera person to try out the VR experience. 

Chantal Espinoza, Senior Account Executive from Metia, is checking out our project.

And if all this was not amazing and a full day’s work, they also ran around to a few of our completed projects in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Area and took some drone footage!

Construction site of The Nordic Office Building located in the North Loop of Minneapolis.

Thanks to Dell and the Metia crew! The super professional and talented crew made the day fly by.

YouTube Link to Video

Dan Stine selfie with Tom Severini, Jennifer Pyron and Chantal Espinoza.
Not pictured, from the main crew, are Gabriel Bienczycki and Drew E.

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