Timeline: 1 month (June-August)
Hardware: Hololens 2 Trimble XR10
Industry: AEC & STEM
Services: Consultancy Services, Bespoke Development
Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) – formerly known as Construction Scotland Innovation Centre – is one of eight industry led and demand driven Innovation Centres supported by Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and 12 Scottish university partners. They build strong collaborative projects that tackle construction industry challenges, create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
To address the current climate crisis, the Scottish government is looking to introduce a legislative change that enables people to develop skills contributing to the Net Zero Scotland efforts. As part of this initiative, BE-ST are focusing on building capacity and training as many learners as possible on adopting the Passivhaus standard and methodology in larger construction projects, such as social housing and schools.
Encouraging sustainability is the driving force behind an eco-friendly future in construction and in young people that want to enter the sector. However, traditional ways are not engaging enough and do not provide enough interaction – young professionals and students are learning passively, instead of being active in their learning.
Instead of the traditional paper graphs and manuscripts, users blend the real-world components with digital visualization of crucial Passivhaus concepts, allowing them to gain better practical experience.
Once the headset is on and the activity starts, users can visualise essential models of the Passivhaus standard right in front of their eyes, expanding on the different layers and on the practical choices that can be made in favour of sustainability. Some examples include air quality and flow within the house, build-up, and composition of the walls, building materials and natural light.
Using the XR-10 HoloLens 2 headset, we produced a Mixed Reality (MR) application that allows learners to visualise and understand crucial concepts of the Passivhaus standard. Also, this MR training app is currently helping BE-ST showcasing the potential of immersive technologies in construction, with a focus on the future of sustainable architecture and construction.
In mixed reality, digital and real-world objects co-exist and can interact with one another in real-time. This is the latest immersive technology and is sometimes referred to as hybrid reality. It requires an MR headset and a lot more processing power than VR or AR.
In mixed reality, digital and real-world objects interact and co-exist in real-time. This new reality is based on advancements in computer vision, graphical processing power, display technology, and input systems.
To be considered an MR experience, the interaction between human, computer and environment (the physical world) needs to happen. So, for example, movement through the physical world translates into movement in the digital world. Environmental input is, however, the most crucial of the three: without the blending of the physical space and digital realities, an immersive experience can’t truly be considered Mixed. That’s why Passivhaus XR10 is an MR experience, allowing the users to learn in a blended environment, maximising interaction, practical and visual learning.
The experience is developed to be easily extended in the future. This development choice significantly reduces the cost and time for implementing future features. Here’s a few examples of what could be next:
As with all new technologies, it’s important to have a strategy for the future, prototypes are only the first step into greater projects and reaching further objectives.
The application is currently being used by BE-ST and Edinburgh Napier University as a blended learning tool to compliment their current training on PassivHaus.
In the coming months, we hope to continue the project to bring it to a commercial standard and inject new learning techniques into the ever changing workforce.