NAIT: Virtual House Project (Sim, AEC)

Project Description

This project is primarily a re-creation of the steps involved in construction of a residential house from the point where the Studs have been placed and the Trades would now arrive to start their work. This project was made successful by the combined effort of three Trade departments at NAIT, viz. HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing. Each of these trades were led by a Subject matter expert [SME] who overlooked the progress and audited the development of the house according to Alberta’s building code. The project used Unity Game engine to leverage the interactivity and deploy to Windows, Mac and Web Browsers.

The Problem given (User Stories):

  • The current trade students cannot visualize the creation of a house along with three separate trades involved from start to finish.
  • The students are further limited by logistical conditions like Travel, Weather/Environmental conditions which will not allow them to visit a live construction site.
  • This project would also explore the idea of virtual visiting the house and virtual placing objects at right locations using a measurement tool to access and examine rules of Alberta Code.
  • The project would be complete in development cycles, namely versions followed by development of specific features as requested and approved by Instructors and SME’s, example: Measurement of distances between two points in 3d space, Saving data locally etc.
  • The tool would be upgraded to provide Measurement done in 3D space for assessment of primarily Electrical Code of Alberta. (Version 2)
  • The tool would upgraded to provide a bookmarking feature in 3D space (Version 3)

FEATURES (Post-delivery): The educational tool allowed the end user to:

  1. Explore the stages of construction

(Installation)

1

(Finish, with Exterior)

2

  1. X-ray of the house with Studs being transparent

3

  1. Visualizing all the Trades, with the entire house removed

4

  1. Measurement and assessment of Electrical code objects using 3D measurement tools

5

The Web Browser (Chrome/Firefox) Link is available here: Link

Specific Skills used:

Programming (C#, Unity Engine), 3Ds Max & Cinema 4D (3D modelling), UI and UX principles, Graphic design, AI/Pathfinding, Custom Shaders and Material used.

Resources:

  • 1x Developer/3D modeler for 10-12 months
  • 1x 3D modeler for 6 months
  • 1x UI/UX designer for 3-4 months

Total time for Development:

  • Version 1: 12 months
  • Version 2: +6 months (addition of measurement tool) and 3 (addition of Bookmarking tool)

Value Generated/Saved:

Infrastructural cost saved to institute: Value of one detached ‘Landmark’ built property in Edmonton ($300,000)

Accolade:

Reviewed in in-house College magazine TECH-LIFE. [ Link ]