This was a joint promotion between the client and contractor. The 3Ts Redevelopment has been making good use of virtual reality (VR) for the last two years, and this has been for promotional purposes, as a way to orientate hospital staff to the new building well before it opens, and as a tool to encourage interest in construction careers amongst children and young adults.
The drawback with VR is that it requires specialist equipment and a lot of processing power to use. To widen the potential engagement audience, the project team has developed an augmented reality (AR) app that can be operated on smartphones and tablets.
The 3Ts app lets users see a 3D model of any floor of the Stage 1 Building using a paper floor plan and the camera on their phone or tablet. The paper floor plans can be printed from the app. The 3D model for the appropriate floor is then downloaded onto the user’s device and is shown superimposed onto the floor plan on the device’s screen.
Users can zoom in to look at individual rooms or get an overview of the entire floor. The 3Ts AR app appeals most strongly to those in the 12 to 18 and 18 to 25 age brackets who have grown up using such technology. It has proven its worth as the most effective tool to interest those in this age bracket in the company’s stalls at recruitment and career fairs.
The use of this technology has directly challenged the negative image of construction often held by young people, namely that is only about bricks, mortar and hard hats. More than 1,100 unique uses of the app have been registered since it was launched in January.
The social nature of such technologies means that there is a 4 to 1 impact ratio for each unique use, meaning that the app has reached an audience of approximately 4,500 people, mostly within age demographics that the construction industry is keen to engage with.
This use of relatable, up to date, AR based mobile technology helps market construction as a 21st century industry to people who might otherwise never have considered it as a career path.
Monitor site report. Laing O'Rourke. Sussex. June 2019.