Integration of VR with BIM to facilitate real-time creation of bill of quantities during the design phase: a proof of concept study
As building practices change, procedures that seemed indispensable at one point can be abandoned for others, one example of which is the bill of quantities (B/Q). Research into the extant literature attributes the declining use of B/Qs to a multitude of reasons, such as its complexity, the potentially long time required to produce it, the growth in popularity of non-traditional procurement systems, and the challenge of using the information within the document in a construction schedule. With these issues in mind, building information modeling (BIM) and virtual reality (VR) are combined and proposed as a potential solution that allows inclusion of the client into the design process. Following a literature review and precedent study, an experiment was carried out using this new process to simulate a client’s design decisions on window and interior furnishings. The choices made by the client using VR automatically updated a B/Q schedule built in Revit and allowed them to have a firm understanding of project costs. Besides giving the client more confidence in a pleasing final outcome, the technology also ensured an up-to-date, accurate, and easily understandable B/Q. The proposed method features great potential savings in cost and time and gives the B/Q a newfound importance in future construction processes. The research case presented in this paper is a stepping stone in exploring new opportunities offered by VR and BIM and how they could improve the reliability and accuracy of traditional procurement within construction, specifically within the B/Q document.
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