Despite advances in the field of information modeling of buildings, a vast majority of the project documentation is still composed and used in paper form. Technologically the interpretation and logical use of plans therefore remains as unsupported as it was in times prior to the onset of computer aided designing.
The thesis studies how to address this problem with Augmented Reality, a technology that augments the real environment with computer generated information. We have set the hypothesis that AR can significantly ease the process of interpreting the project documentation.
We have developed a prototype of the application which can be used on mobile devices and allows the integration of 4D building model information into real surroundings. Since it was established that components needed to implement a BIM based AR system exist, Component Based Software Engineering was used.
Our approach has the following original elements: (1) Original system architecture that is based on a BIM server. (2) The use of a Generic AR component for the visualization function. (3) The system enables the preview of information models in two building stages. It enables use in the phase of urban planning, to visualize 3D BIM, and monitoring of the progress of the construction process. The prototype was tested on an actual construction site of a multi-residential high rise building located in Ljubljana.
We have evaluated the hypothesis with theoretical self-evaluation of the prototype and with structured interviews. Conventional presentation techniques were compared with the AR approach. Despite the technological drawback, it has been established that project documentation is understood easier if it is displayed with augmented reality. According to interviews AR is superior to 3D at least to the extent that 3D is superior to the 2D display method of project documentation.