Our technology platform was developed by 3D Vista Holdings in collaboration with Danny Forster & Architecture. The patented technology platform currently leverages Sketchup CAD software to organize product data, visualize architectural designs at each phase, prioritize features through value engineering, document construction using 360-time lapse photos, and manage facilities during the operations phase of a hotel.
We believe this platform – which will be fully ported to Revit later this year – can play a key role in managing the design process while engaging non-technical people throughout the entire building lifecycle.
The origin of this technology was DF&A’s decision to embark on its largest modular construction project to date: a 30-story AC by Marriott at 842 6th Avenue in New York, which will be the tallest modular hotel in the world. Tackling such a high-profile large-scale building project meant addressing the two major stress points of modular building: accelerated design and off-site quality control.
Because the modular construction requires the guestroom prototype to be completed extremely early in the process, there must be total coordination between client, architect, interior designer, mechanical and structural engineer, and fabricator. To facilitate that coordination, DF&A and 3D Vista Holdings co-developed this Virtual Reality and data management software.
The process begins by organizing the 3D content and supporting specification documents (including specifications, installation guides, safety data sheets, and warranty information as PDF files, image files, or videos) into the business unit hierarchy. The product information can be managed by a non-technical user and is available from within the CAD model and via a web app for non-CAD users.
During architectural design, CAD users can access the product catalog to insert 3D objects into a CAD model. They can swap objects with allowable substitutes and can create photo realistic renderings and virtual walk-throughs which can be shared with non-technical team members via a URL link.
This technology helps all stakeholders gain visual insights into the design throughout the design process, with the ability to click on any object to see detailed specifications or related data at any point. Using this tool, everyone can visualize the space under design and instantly apprehend the aesthetic and the financial implications of design decisions.
During manufacturing, off-site construction presents a quality control challenge. How do the client and the architect supervise construction that is taking place in another city or state or country? We use this same interactive model during construction to envision the end product through photo realistic images while accessing all product specifications and related data from any device without the need for special software or training.
3D Vista’s technology integrates 360 time lapse photos to document quality during five key stages of construction. That way all the stakeholders can compare what a module under construction actually looks like with what it should look like. The geographical gap between off-site and on-site is closed, vastly improving the QA/QC process for modular construction.
Finally, this technology documents the construction process in a way that will be helpful post-occupancy. Once the hotel is operational, the facilities team will have access to the time lapse 360 interactive walk-through for the building complete with all the product specification data.
When an issue arises, the maintenance team can access the walk-through and go back in time, if necessary, to see what was installed behind the walls. Additionally, all product specifications, operations, and maintenance documents can be accessed through 3D Vista by simply clicking on the item in question. Essentially, we have created a time machine that lets you peel back the walls and inspect how everything was built.
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