Seeing the future in VR

Over the next decade, the HOK team’s goal is to use architectural visualization technologies to document a multitude of future restorative states for this project. This will enable client partners to walk through the virtual Centre Block building to experience and assess future design stages and strategies, including the pre-demolition, post-demolition, and pre-occupancy phases of the project.“For example, we were recently asked to develop a series of montages that would encapsulate the future state of various high-heritage spaces within Centre Block,” says Cichy, adding that the process of coordinating capture, mesh optimization and development is non-linear, so certain rooms and spaces are being generated on a more aggressive schedule.

Unreal Engine helped the HOK team assess the geometric state of each space, isolate various mesh elements, and generate consensus on both the workload and how each end-state design would be presented to the client.

HOK was also able to take advantage of the expanding AEC ecosystem based on Unreal Engine solutions, such as using 3D Repo to support enterprise-level visual communication and Cintoo for managing point cloud data. Both solutions have developed Unreal Engine integrations to help bring new methods of accelerating decision making.

The HOK team is currently also working on an XR platform that will layer design strategies directly on top of existing spaces within the real Centre Block. This interactive experience will facilitate the layering of design, historical retrograde, and service upgrades on top of existing spaces within the building itself.

According to Cichy, it’s highly likely the experience will be merged with Centre Block’s eventual digital twin, as it will include a comprehensive account of several past states of the project. This is one of the key advantages of adopting real-time solutions—once you have the content in the real-time engine, you can create additional decision-making tools, like a digital twin, without starting from scratch.

“Very rarely is one gifted with the opportunity to work on a project of this magnitude,” Cichy concludes. “Working on a renovation that merges historical context with modern construction techniques is truly unique, and the integration of technologies that are truly at the edge of innovation make this project a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Source: Unreal Engine Blog

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