We recently visited the London offices of Fulcro to meet Dr Max Mallia-Parfitt who has been doing some fantastic work developing innovative technology solutions for the construction industry.
Although many ‘BIM Champions’ have been disappointed with the lack of real change since the government mandated BIM on its construction projects in April last year, it was a real confidence boost to see these kinds of solutions being developed and used in project delivery.
Utilising Microsoft HoloLens we were able to view scaled project models in a true VR environment. There were a number of really useful functions, including the ability to turn parts of the model on and off to view differing levels of detail, such as the M&E, Steel and Roof/Ceilings, etc. On top of this there was also the ability to view the model at 1:1 scale, meaning you were effectively fully immersed within the model and reviewing ‘life sized’ information with your very own eyes.
We were also lucky enough to have some time to see the FULmax CUBE (see video below) in action and we were hugely impressed with how effective and easy to use the solution is. The cube can be assembled in less than 3 hours, with user training delivered in just 12 minutes. It allows up to 6 users to simultaneously view and discuss the project model in detail. This allows BIM data to be accessed live, while in the virtual environment, enabling teams to interact with both graphical and non-graphical information in order to make better design decisions and drive client value.
As much as the technology was hugely impressive, what struck us most was the vision from Fulcro to invest in ‘non-construction’ people, like Dr Max, and provide a platform for these kinds of technologies to be developed. What is absolutely certain is that we need to attract more of these kinds of people with this kind of thinking into the industry.