Wessex Water has begun a major reconstruction project for Durleigh Water Treatment Centre. The £50m project is to be delivered to BIM Level 2, and to do so, integrated an Igloo Vision Shared VR cylinder to provide an immersive, collaborative environment.
Wessex Water provides water and/or sewerage services to more than 2.8 million customers in the south west of England. The Durleigh Water Treatment Centre provides drinking water for 40,000 people in Somerset, and so has to be of the highest quality possible.
The scheme was to be Wessex Water’s first delivered to BIM Level 2. As a private industry, the water industry has not needed to comply with the Government’s mandate that all public projects be procured and delivered to BIM Level 2 as a minimum requirement. The water industry traditionally still has engineers wanting to use and mark-up paper drawings. This meant that the £50m project would be a flagship scheme with a key aim to use digital technology to work faster, safer and more efficiently.
Wessex Water worked with global engineering firm AECOM to form a comprehensive digital engineering strategy. AECOM recognised the potential of an immersive, collaborative environment, and suggested the use of Igloo Shared VR technology.
The 3D BIM model created by AECOM contained data from ground-penetrating radar, drone surveys, and laser scans. Teams of up to 12 people could stand within the Igloo 6.5m cylinder and walk around the virtual model of the site. Design reviews carried out from within the Igloo have helped with design coordination, stakeholder buy-in and plant operability reviews.
While this provides a valuable insight to the applications of VR in the AEC industry, it also demonstrates the advantages of Shared VR. Wessex Water turned down VR headsets for the project, feeling it was important to maintain eye contact and gauge reactions. Shared VR made it possible to have the best of both worlds by taking the benefits of VR and sharing it across entire teams.
Igloo Vision has compiled a full case study on the use of Shared VR in the detailed design of the civil engineering and mechanical and industrial engineering (M&IE) works. To read the case study Reconstructing a Water Treatment Centre with Shared VR, click here.