Residential River Home BIM Import Into Unity3d And Oculus Rift

Affordable Alternative To 2D Blueprints

While most assume virtual reality is an expensive upgrade, contractors, real estate developers and architects are actually finding they can actually save money by commissioning a real-time virtual model.

BIM Import Into Unity3d And Oculus Rift

Almost three decades before Building Information Modeling (BIM) would go mainstream, the term “Virtual Building” was used in the earliest implementation of BIM through Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD debut in 1987.

Since then, the concept hasn’t changed, but visualization technology has advanced to the point where designers, engineers, contractors, and building owners can become so immersed in the virtual building model that they feel as if they’re actually there.  Technologies like the Unity3D game engine and the new $300 Oculus Rift virtual reality headset are making it possible.

“The first thing people do when they put on the Rift is to reach out trying to touch the walls or furniture they see in the virtual model, even it doesn’t really exist. It’s an almost involuntary reaction, which I think that says a lot about how immersed they are. They really do feel as if they’re occupying a completely different place.”

-Jon Brouchoud, Owner of Arch Virtual

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Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift version for PC
Oculus Rift version for MAC


Stand-Alone Playable Application

Stand-alone application for PC
Stand-alone application for MAC

The possibilities for design and visualization are endless. For their recently completed River Home project in northern Europe, the client provided an ArchiCAD BIM file, which was converted into the Unity3D game engine and published into an Oculus Rift application. The client used the virtual model as part of their schematic design development process to get a sense of how the space was shaping up, the relationships between different rooms, and the views to the adjacent river and lakes.

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