Mixed Reality makes construction plans clear and tangible
Planning, construction and operation. Digital and in 3D. This is no longer the future of construction but it has been a reality for several years thanks to BIM (Building Information Modeling). BIM technology records and combines planning and construction processes across the entire value chain and displays them digitally. «This gives those involved in construction access to a digital three-dimensional model with all the relevant data,» explains Gianfranco Basso, Head of Construction at Swiss Prime Site Immobilien. «Mixed Reality takes it a step further. We use technology to layer the aforementioned 3D models on top of reality – for example when carrying out measurements at the construction site. All you need to do is put on the glasses to receive more information and be able to record it and feed it directly back into the BIM model.» This makes even the most complicated construction projects clear and intuitively tangible. «The software we use to convert our construction plans is called ‹sphere› and was developed by holo|one,» says Basso.
«We use Mixed Reality to overlay 3D models on top of reality when carrying out measurements at the construction site»
Gianfranco Basso, Head Construction Swiss Prime Site Immobilien
The collaboration between Swiss Prime Site and holo|one began in spring 2018. «We and our group companies were looking for dynamic tech start-ups offering Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality solutions as part of our accelerator workshop,» says Dominik Dobler, Venture Partner Manager at Swiss Prime Site and responsible for coordinating the collaboration within the project team. «As soon as these young entrepreneurs pitched their idea to the jury, it was clear that our experts could develop a promising use case. This eventually became the basis for the proof of concept.» Stücki Park in Basel – where Swiss Prime Site is constructing four new buildings for the life sciences industry and expanding the rental floor space by 33 000 m2 between now and 2023 – was the ideal test site. Halter AG, who is carrying out the new constructions as general contractor, was enthusiastic about the SaaS (software as a service) model. «We saw potential for a significant increase in efficiency in multiple areas, both for the Stücki Park development and our own real estate projects,» says Rainer Schmitt, Head of Digital Planning and Construction at Halter AG.
As «validation partner», the experts at Swiss Prime Site and Halter made their knowledge and network available during the pilot phase. «We benefited from the structural advantages of an established company. In addition, Swiss Prime Site gave us direct access to the construction site and the relevant stakeholders, which allowed us to test and optimise our platform in a real-life context,» explain Sven Brunner and Frank Hasler from holo|one. And the next step? «When collaborating with start-ups, we focus on expanding and developing our corporate venture ecosystem. The learning process that we have undergone together creates a good basis for the future implementation of Mixed Reality solutions, as well as resulting in competitive advantages for both parties,» summarises Dominik Dobler. «The next step is for us to introduce the product to the market, together with holo|one and Halter.»