AR in Construction: Modern Methods for an Age-Old Industry

September 1, 2023
-min read

Construction is just one of many industries that are turning to augmented reality as a tool to power their trade. Given that it has the ability to transform the way buildings are both designed and constructed, AR has become essential to engineers, architects, site managers and everyone else in between. 

Read on to discover the benefits of using AR in construction, what it is and the ways it’s being applied by property developers around the world.

What is Augmented Reality?

AR, or Augmented Reality, is a digital layer over the real world. Whether looking through your smartphone camera or AR glasses, you can see virtual objects—like furniture—integrated into your surroundings. It blends digital elements with the physical environment to enhance our interaction with the world.

3 Ways That AR is Being Used in Construction

1. Awareness and Safety

AR allows construction workers to train their responses to dangerous scenarios in a safe, controlled environment. The benefit of using AR is that the simulation will overlay the real world, meaning that training can be performed in the actual location they’re working in. 

Regarding awareness, AR glasses will present real-time alerts to construction workers if they get too close to heavy machinery or zones on site that are marked for being particularly dangerous.

2. Planning and Design

Before construction has even started, you can use AR to create a 3D model of a property that allows you to examine both the interior and exterior of a structure. When combined with VR, you also have the added benefit of offering a virtual walkthrough in tandem. 

As for planning, you can overlay digital blueprints at a construction site to gain a real-time view of the project and how it matches up with the surrounding environment.

3. Layout and Measurement

AR glasses and apps make it simple to mark out precisely where to place elements. Using the blueprints of a build, overlaying 3D models onto a physical space means there’s no guesswork in adding electrical outlets and plumbing, for example. 

The added benefit of AR in this area is that you can quickly get measurements of structures simply by looking at them, ensuring the end product matches the design.