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Virtual reality lets you step into your building design

Imagine clients walking through a newly proposed building or renovation project before it's built. Virtual reality (VR) technology makes this possible.

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VR Rift headset by Oculus. 

As the design-to-make process becomes more digital, the Building Information Model (BIM) has become increasingly important. BIM is now realized in ways that democratizes 3D modeling experiences for all stakeholders. Designers and builders use tools like VR to enhance their understanding of designs and accelerate decision making to bring projects to realization more quickly than before.

For architects, VR works in conjunction with hand drawings and digital models to help them realize their design ideas. VR supports the notion of “Connected BIM” in that it helps integrate every team member into the design process much earlier than before. The immediate benefit of using VR in the design studio is the improved sense of scale and spatial relationships that allows for near real-time feedback. VR has the potential to accelerate design decisions by allowing more stakeholders to validate design concepts at full-scale.

Read how Kieran Timberlake is shifting design practice to include interactive design through virtual reality and applying it to a pro bono project for designing facilities on Mars.


VR application for architecture and interior design.

For construction professionals, augmented reality (AR) is the complementary application of VR that superimposes the virtual world over the real world. Imagine walking on the job site with an AR equipped construction helmet and being able to "see" through walls. The AR helmet would reveal concealed building service items like electrical conduit, heat ducts, and water pipes projected across the walls in front of you.


AR / VR application for construction.


Augmented reality takes the BIM model to the construction site, allowing construction crews to experience it at full-scale in an immersive 3D environment. It could even encourage the construction field to study the spatial relationships of building assemblies and systems. Read more about how Autodesk and Mortenson Construction are partnering to create innovations in augmented reality .

Autodesk® Revit Live® is an exciting virtual reality solution for the built environment. Revit Live provides an easy way to create immersive visualizations in one click using the Autodesk Revit Live architectural visualization service to help designers understand, explore, and share their designs. The Autodesk® Live Viewer is a complementary solution to Revit Live that allows you to present and share your VR experiences with others without the use of the Revit desktop application.  

AR and VR technologies can disrupt and radically change how we imagine, design, and build in a connected BIM world. Explore what VR has to offer today.

Learning resources

Introduction to BIM
Check out this self-paced course for modeling, visualization, and cloud rendering.

Inspirational stories

Life on Mars? Architects Lead the Way to Designing for Mars With Virtual Reality
Learn about the Mars City project that Kieran Timberlake is leading.

Augmented Reality in Construction Lets You See Through Walls
See how smart helmets are being used on construction sites.

Trial software

Try Revit Live today with a 30 day free trial
Revit Live provides an easy way to create immersive visualizations of Revit models in one click.

Revit Live sample models
Download the free viewer and sample models.