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  • Writer's pictureRavi

Case Study: How Norwood Architects use VR to identify potential issues pre-construction?

"Norwood Design Build was originally established in 2004 by James Norwood “Woody” Vaughan, offering design services, and transitioned into a full-service architectural firm offering design, master planning, and interior design services. They are committed to design based on their client’s preference of style and catering to the client’s needs.

We spoke with Woody N. Vaughan, CEO of Norwood Architects, to find out what inspired him to try Virtual Reality (VR) and how VR has helped him in enhancing the client experience.

What inspired you to try VR?

We had bought Oculus for the kids for Christmas, and I had been reading about virtual reality and architecture, and always wanted to see if I could connect Revit for VR presentations in some manner. However, it sounded challenging at first, so I put it off until one day when I was exploring the Oculus menu and came across Sentio VR.

After trying it out, I found myself completely immersed in VR, which compelled me to explore more and more. The fact that we do the majority of our projects in Revit, and Sentio VR's straightforward process for Revit walkthroughs, is what prompted us to choose the software and explore it further for our needs.

How did you get to know about Sentio VR?

As I mentioned while exploring the Oculus menu I came across Sentio VR and I always wanted to discover a plugin that I could use directly in Revit, rather than having to export the model from Revit and then import it into Sketchup to use that software. I was looking for something that was a bit easy to set up and so that's how I found you guys.

How are you using Sentio VR at your work?

We export the 3D models using the Sentio VR Revit plugin and then want our client to actually walk through a building using Oculus Quest 2 to visualize how things are going to look on a human scale. They've always been able to see things from a model scale, but being able to actually have them walk through was a great experience. The first VR project that we did was of a restaurant and our clients were able to actually observe what the space might look like and we could take a note of feedback and changes that they wanted.

What impact does VR have on the client experience?

Some clients face issues comprehending plans and with VR they can visualize and feel the space beforehand, saving money and time by incorporating a few adjustments or changes that they wish after experiencing the design in VR.

Initially, some clients are not that friendly with using VR but taking the effort to explain the procedure is worthwhile because the experience is fantastic once they try it.

In my opinion, VR aids in the right implementation while also increasing the project pace.

Can you share about your rendering workflow?

Currently, we export our renders whenever we need photorealistic renderings to a group in India and then they send them back to us, but we are planning to do it inhouse and are looking to try Lumion as opposed to Vray since it is more of a plug and play and easy to render.

Photorealistic presentation in VR can be great as the clients can get to see how the end design might look. The possibility of showing and presenting conceptual designs (Revit) and photorealistic designs (Lumion) on a single platform is a huge time saver for us, we are planning to explore the 360 interface soon and SENTIO VR appears to be a wonderful platform for us.

Check a quick video of Woody Sharing his experience here:

A big thank you to Woody Vaughan for sharing his experience with us. If you also want a great client experience in VR try Sentio VR for free or get in touch with us directly.


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