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Digital duet: BIM and augmented reality

What looks like something out of a futuristic movie is already reality at pde: We walk across the construction site, point our cell phones or tablets at specific areas, and see on the screens not only what the camera shows us, but also all the information of the BIM model in addition. What we see is a virtual extension of reality. Directly on the spot. It's a combination of augmented reality, or AR, and building information modeling, or BIM. This allows us to detect discrepancies between planning and reality in real time, document them more quickly and fix them. For many, this is the future. For us, it is already the present.

For tunnel construction. After successful application of the GAMMA AR app in building construction projects such as the Vienna Museum or Q218, it was now also used in the Antonibergtunnel tunnel project in Bavaria. The strengths of BIM and AR clearly outweigh the disadvantages. We compared the model on site with reality on the basis of the execution planning. The use cases that stood out were primarily change and defect management. Thanks to BIM and AR, we were able to record the changes in the construction on the construction site and update them in the as-built model, which documents the actual built condition.

Differences became apparent, for example, in the dimensions of shafts, distances or the position of various built-in parts. With the help of the app, we were able to quickly and easily measure the installed elements of the operating technology - such as lines or lamps - and compare them with the model. AR is also a valuable support for defect management: Missing elements are immediately visible in comparison with the model.

For coordination. The basis for the smooth application of this new technology creates a well-chosen location point to ensure coordination between model and reality. Although GAMMA AR is designed for structural engineering and works plane-based, its use is also fast and well feasible for axis-based structures. For offline use, which is also possible, the model only needs to be downloaded beforehand. For online use, a direct connection to BIM 360 is possible. In addition to the standard IFC exchange format, the app also supports native formats - for example, from Revit. An up-to-date model is, of course, a prerequisite for this.

For quality. With BIM and AR, we increase the efficiency and quality of processes. We can identify deviations between the model and reality more quickly through improved change and defect management, and correct them or incorporate them into the model. This saves costs. Our use of the AR app on the Antoniberg Tunnel impressively demonstrates the synergies between BIM and AR. We will also use the combination of these technologies in our next tunnel projects to help improve quality quickly and easily - and to make our work easier.


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