Augmented reality set to take BIM into the real world

June 21, 2017

woman looks transparent monitor panel that indicates technological graphics, futuristic GUI(Graphical User Interface), IoT(Internet of Things), technological abstract

Maintaining your electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems can be a real challenge, especially when many of these systems’ components are hidden inside walls, ceilings, floors or underground. Facility Managers often have to make do with 2D blueprints, which are difficult to translate into the real world. Augmented Reality (AR) can alleviate this difficulty.


In an earlier post we discussed the advantages of creating a Building Information Model (BIM) for your facility. A BIM is a digital representation of your facility that can provide a complete picture to contractors and engineers, so they know exactly what they are dealing with for maintenance or renovation. AR takes BIM into the field, to provide a real-time picture to contractors and making repairs that much easier to carry out.


Using a smartphone or tablet with AR software, users can view a 3D BIM in the real world, from multiple perspectives. Simply hold the tablet up to a wall and you will be able to “see” what’s behind it: find studs or locate your electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems components. Click on the virtual image on your screen to get up-to-the-minute information about every working part in your facility. Take pictures, attach notes, and add information to the BIM, all from the convenience of your tablet or phone.


Want a real-time assessment as to the health of your equipment? Scan QR codes for instant updates. If you find an issue, you can initiate a work-order at the touch of a button. Need more information, want to download a manual, or peruse comments left by contractors or engineers? It’s all right there.


But AR isn’t just for maintenance. AR lets you bring your BIM with you to your construction site, assisting you with quality management and helping you communicate errors back to the office.


A Facility Manager application for AR is a relatively new field. Let the experts at Vanguard Resources help you find the systems that are right for your needs.