Heriot-Watt University: The Age of Metaverse in Construction

Traditionally, our consumption of the internet has primarily appeared in 2D forms. Computers, smartphones, laptops, and smart TVs are all the first generation of truly connected devices that brought us into experiences together through the internet.

The latest generation of connected devices is moving into other multi-sensory forms such as augmented reality (AR) glasses, virtual reality (VR) headsets, focusing on the 3D generation such as 3D immersion, a sense of physical presence in a virtual world, and interactivity with our real world.

Although the concept is almost only a year old, the onus is on early users to create winning outcomes from it. As one of the fastest-growing industries, the construction sector stands to gain from it in the future.

Not only the core industry but other stakeholders involved, such as designers, architects, and project managers will stand to benefit from its adoption. While 3D visualisation has been commonplace in construction, combing AR and VR will be the next step. And now we enter the age of metaverse.

What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a virtual-reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users, as described in the dictionary. It is a 3D evolution of the internet, representing a virtual universe that can be experienced like the real world. The explanation looks simple enough, but it has the capability of revolutionising the world. It already is.

The usage of the metaverse in the construction industry will significantly help designers and architects create spaces in an increasingly efficient manner as it will provide an opportunity for them to experience the space as it is being built.

Traditionally, architects and designers have been dependent on 3D modelling and visualisations to design spaces; however, the advent of the metaverse and the unique capability of the technology to help individuals walk through a near-real representation of the space, can benefit them. Architects and designers can collaborate on the design concepts remotely by being part of the building design in the metaverse.

Metaverse in the construction industry will help designers and architects create spaces in an increasingly efficient manner.

Additionally, for construction project managers, it is extremely important to be fully aware of the building design and construction – while they cannot be present at every corner, building managers can have a consistent eye on everything happening at the build stage with the help of the construction environment’s virtual representation.

Furthermore, it is imperative to understand the importance of metaverse at all three stages of construction: design, development, and build. In these stages, the concept provides a near-real feel of the end product through AR and VR.

While architects, designers, and project managers will undoubtedly benefit from the metaverse, these professions will also help build it.

Architects and designers are extremely important to create any space in the virtual environment, from designing indoor to outdoor spaces, which they also handle in the physical world.

Architects and designers are extremely important to create any space in the virtual environment.

Still nascent, the metaverse’s capabilities are yet to be seen and explored. However, as the world is becoming more and more aligned towards advanced technology, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a commonly used resource in the world.

Metaverse in construction is only the beginning in the built environment, and the industry is yet to see and experience the full potential of what futuristic concepts can achieve by opening up a world of possibilities.