Construction Simulation Using Virtual Reality
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Two main simulation methodologies namely, the network-based simulation and the graphical simulation technique are being used in the construction industry. While the network-based simulation technique, which was originally developed for manufacturing processes, is very tedious, complex, and time consuming, the graphical simulation technique is taking many forms and it is gaining more support within the construction industry. The graphical simulation technique, which was originally derived from what is called the Visual Interactive Simulation (VIS). Tthe Virtual Reality (VR) technology may be used to model, design, and simulate construction operations. There are some attempts in that direction, however, these attempts have either been or are being made within research institutes and large construction companies where expensive computer hardware were purchased and sophisticated software were developed. There is no indication that these attempts were made on non-expensive computer workstations or on the PC platform. This paper describes some state of the art techniques by which construction operations (such as earth removing operations, material handling, manipulating building components.. etc.) can be modeled, visualized, and graphically simulated in real-time 3D environments on the PC. The construction industry will benefit from this study since it introduces new software and hardware technologies that are capable of delivering comparable workstation performance on the PCs at a fraction of the cost.