Augmented Reality for Green Buildings

Date : October 18, 2016

We’ve been experimenting with the application of augmented reality for green buildings.

According to Wikipedia: Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. 

We believe the potential for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is huge.  In fact, research firm IDC recently published a study saying worldwide revenue for the virtual and augmented reality market would grow from $6.8 billion in 2016 to more than $213 billion in 2020.

The applications in the building industry are endless.  Here’s a video by Trimble about the way they see using AR for architecture:

Some other applications for AR include:

  • Interior Design: walk a tenant or prospective tenant through a proposed interior design concept within the actual physical shell space.  Many people have difficulties visualizing 3D, so this would actually allow a tenant to walk into and through a holographic interior design concept at a scale of 1:1.  The interior designer could also switch concepts and possibly change the design on the fly based on client feedback.
  • Education: learn about the environment around you; share interactive holographic media in groups; learn about green building features that are typically invisible (look through walls).
  • Civic Engagement: do presentations at City Hall and public consultations using interactive shared holographic buildings. Shadow studies and traffic studies could be animated in 3D and allow individuals to interactive with them.  Proposed developments could be viewed at a 1:1: scale on the actual proposed site, with the ability to turn shadows on an off.


Through a partnership with Limpid Logic, we’ve co-developed an augmented reality app for viewing and interacting with 3D buildings using a SketchUp input file.  The app is run on Hololens and allows the user through voice and gesture command to place, move, rotate and zoom in and out of the 3D model.  We demoed the app at our 10th Anniversary Party on Oct 14, 2016.  Here are a few videos testing the app at Vancouver City Hall:

If you’re interested in exploring applications for augmented reality for architecture, interior design, real estate, or education, let’s talk!